Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Making Faces

Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: February 21, 2017 (first published October 12, 2013)
Pages: 405

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Goodreads SynopsisAmbrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

REVIEW: Making Faces begins in September of 2001 right before the attacks happened, right before Fern’s life and everyone in it are changed drastically. There is Ambrose who seems perfect. He is able to do about anything and everything including having a beautiful singing voice that, as Fern puts it, is the most beautiful voice in the planet. Bailey who is smart and loving, but also has a debilitating disease that will one day possibly end his existence. He’s reminded of it daily, even in the smallest of things like the death of a spider.

Then it happens and everything isn’t the same anymore. The attack on 9/11 that affected everyone reaches all of their lives, making the day somber and many of them asking what their future will be like. Phone calls and chatter going on around them, then watching as the towers collapse and minds are filled with questions and painful ingrained images.

“And then the South tower collapsed. It was there and then it wasn’t. It dissolved into a massive cloud that swept down and out, dirty white, thick and fat, bristling with debris, dense with devastation. Someone screamed and everyone was talking and pointing. Fern reached over and took Bailey’s hand.” 

In all of that chaos, with all of those questions, the least one everyone thought would go the route of armed forces, of joining the fight against the terrorists that caused millions of heartaches, enlists.  Ambrose lets it be known that he will fight for his country and not be moving forward in any other endeavor everyone knows is waiting for him. He becomes more than just the jock, the pretty face with a great voice, who has the world waiting for him on a silver platter.  And that changes him both physically and emotionally. Not only does that happen, but he also has a strong connection he acquires with Fern who is someone no one ever saw him getting close to.

“With Fern, there was a possibility of a lot more. At least, the letters made him think there could be more. The tour was up in two months. He decided when he got home, he would find out. 

When he feels he’s become extremely different and unwanted on his return, Fern proves him wrong and his feelings grow that much more rooted and blossoms into something more that he ever felt possible. And Fern never expected any of that either. Her life has been made, and gone on without issue, but her heart and mind had also always been on Ambrose and what he was going to through, how he was doing in all the craziness he’s been a part of for the past few years.  They are never that apart in mind, and once they are near physically, the attraction is hard to deny.

“Ambrose nodded, his mind on the fireworks, the way it felt to lay next to Fern as light exploded above them, her sweetness, the smell of her skin and the soft sweep of her hair. He understood torture.”

This is not only a book about the tragedy that befell our country, or how our main character’s deal with it all, or even the beautiful love story within these pages, it is also about Bailey. I love this character, he is strong and resilient, loving and caring, unrelenting and honest to the core. Even with all the trials he has had to endure in his lifetime, he perseveres and has a great sense of humor to him.

“Bailey laughed and groaned loudly. ‘Boo, freakin’ hoo! Waaa! You big baby! Do you expect me to feel sorry for you, Ambrose? ‘Cause I don’t. It reminds me of a book I just read for this online English course I’m taking. This guy, Cyrano de Bergerac, was born with a big nose. Who the hell cares?”

There is much to this read. Everything that is loved keeps getting better and more profound. And I can’t help but love all the characters in this book, especially Fern and Bailey. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a main character like Ambrose filling these pages as well. And there is so much more in this book that makes the reader want to keep reading and not place this book down even after the last word on the final page.

***I received this copy from Spencer Hill Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***

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