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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