Making Faces by Amy Harmon

“Ambrose 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.”

making faces

Rating: 4 stars

I came across this book over Goodreads as a recommendation. It was one of these few times where I start reading a book blindly. And this book was one hell of a ride. The reason why I rated it 4 stars is because the beginning was slow, but it quickly became an interesting read.

This book follows the story of Fern Taylor, a shy girl in high school who doesn’t think she’s pretty, and has a crush on Ambrose Young our other protagonist. The latter is this handsome, muscular guy loved by every single person in town.
Everyone will think, as I did, that it will be a cliché, contemporary novel where the guy finally realizes that he fell in love with the non popular girl in school couple years later. But this story was deeper than that and I just wanna thank the author for writing an outstanding novel. 

Ambrose Young, called Brosey by everyone, is loved by everyone, AKA the popular guy. He got everything every guy dreams of having: the looks, the girls being madly in love with him, champion of wrestling and on top of that he got a brain. After going to war, losing his best friends, his face being completely deformed, he totally became someone else and didn’t even want to go out except at night. After being known as “Hercules” for a decade, he then started to hide in the shadows. He was different whether it was from the inside or from the outside. 

As for Fern Taylor, she was the complete opposite. She was this shy, sweet, caring girl who remained unnoticed during high school. She never recognized her own worth even though people kept telling her otherwise. As the story continues, and as she become older, she become more confident in herself, knowing what she wanted and never giving up on writing her own novels hoping to get published. She had more confidence in herself, that’s what i liked about her. She knew what Ambrose was going through since she felt she was “ugly” during her whole life. Of course, she didn’t have scars on her face but she was able to get through him and make him feel good about himself. 
(NB: she had a huge crush on him since they were in high school)

Both of them had a meaningful and deep connection and their relationship wasn’t based on a hot steamy sex scenes during all the book. Loved how they were both patient with each others while falling in love, neither one of them pushed the other. The book truly shows that beauty is not always what the eye sees, it’s what every person has on the inside that matters if they get to know them better.

One other special character has a special place in the book. Bailey Sheen, Fern’s cousin and Brosey’s number one fan. He was one awesome character with amazing lines and awesome presence. He’s in a  wheel chair bound since the age of 11 due to Muscular Dystrophy. Despite his decease, he was an incredible character and an important person to the plot. He was the person Fern needed while growing up and he was there for Ambrose after he returned from war. He pushed him by saying everything Brosey didn’t want to hear and he was a great support for him. He was the voice of reason.

Making Faces was heartbreaking and heartwarming. Although there was sadness and loss, there was also much love, laughter and beauty.

“You loved ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn’t be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and appreciation.”

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover

“Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.”

November 9

Rating: 5 stars

I said it once and I’ll say it again … I would read anything by Colleen Hoover even her grocery list. It’s been two days since I finished November 9 and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to write a review before but didn’t find the proper words to describe what I was feeling.  

Colleen Hoover is a phenomenal writer and knows how to make any reader feels what the character are feeling. She never fails to make me speechless after finishing one of her books. I managed to avoid spoilers and anything related to the story from the moment this book was released and I didn’t even know how since it was released 7 months ago. 

November 9 is not just a date for our two protagonists Fallon and Ben. On November 9 and when she was 16, Fallon was in her father’s apartment when a fire took place. She was burned and had scars for the rest of her life. She would do anything to forget this date. As for Ben, he had his own reasons (avoiding spoilers for people who didn’t read the book yet).

Loved how Fallon and Ben met with Ben faking being her boyfriend in front of her father. Since the moment they met and i fell instantly in love with their relationship. Fallon became the muse of Ben and he started writing his first novel. They agreed to meet every November 9 till they 23 with no interactions between them. This made me wait every November 9 to know how they will interact with each other. Everyone “needs a” Ben in his life who will make any girl feels like she’s a princess.

“People don’t feel uncomfortable when they look at you because of your scars, Fallon. They’re uncomfortable because you make people feel like looking at you is wrong. And believe me—you’re the type of person people want to stare at. People want to stare at you. Believe me, I’m one of them.”

Fallon was struggling with her own insecurities and Ben was there to help her every step of the way. Ben had his own issues, and that’s a mystery for us, one that is revealed during the progression of their story.
They completed each other in a way no one can understand. They had their own world every November 9. I wanted them to be a thing already and not see each other just during this date. They will make you feel every single emotion. One one page these two would have the reader dying from laughing then on the next page he would be crying. 

Every plot twist that happened after we thought that they were finally together and nothing will come in the way, was frustrating. Like every CoHo book something tragic that happened in the past has to make an appearance in the present and make everyone go crazy. I was waiting for something to happen, especially that Ben didn’t let Fallon read his manuscript once, but didn’t expect the plot twist to be like that.  

Hats off for Colleen Hoover for writing another amazing story and can’t wait to read her newest books (Can August come any sooner??)