Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sy reviews: MAKING FACES by Amy Harmon

Title: Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance


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 a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

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It's pretty obvious to people who know me that I love reading. So I was a bit worried last week that the year is almost over and I haven't had my best read of 2013 yet. Sure, I've given a lot of five stars in some of the books I've read this year. But still, nothing has tugged at my heart that fiercely. Well, just today the worry has stopped. I have found my best read of 2013 in Amy Harmon's Making Faces.

So here's my review. Well, this is a different kind of review. It's more of a letter with things I wanna say to the characters that touched me.

Dear Paulie,
You're one of my favorite underrated characters. I love how sweet and loyal you were to your friends. I love that one part where you sang to Jesse about the son he hasn't seen. You had me choke up with so much emotions on that scene. I love how even if you were hesitant to sign up for the military, you still did. Because you love your friends, and you were loyal to them. So thank you for reminding us that loyalty is one of the true testaments of a good friendship.

Dear Elliott Young,
You are a great dad. Your vulnerability showed how much love you had for Ambrose. I think you were a great representation of how every dad's pure love is towards their kids (biological or not).

Dear Bailey,
You are the reason why I've been an emotional mess the whole time I was reading the book and even after. I hated you for that. But just like what Ambrose said, you really can't stay angry to the people who said they love you. Oh no, wait, you didn't say you love me. But I love you. And that's kind of the same thing. Many times in this book I wish I had some magic powers to creep inside the story and just high five you then hug you. You were awesome! You were not afraid to say your insecurities but you manage to make light of everything. And for that I admire you and how tough you have been. You were the light in this book. And when the light went out, everything became dark and sad. Dark is fine but sad is not. Sad is not even the right word. Sad does not even measure what I truly felt. What is the word that means 10000x sad? Wretched? Yes, I think that's it. I was wretched. Thank you for reminding me to live every day as if it's my last. To live fully.

Dear Ambrose,
I love a hot guy. So a hot guy who can quote Shakespeare and Hamlet? Jackpot! I guess what I really wanna say is that I blame you and Bailey for reducing me into a blubbering puddle of emotional mess. That scene at the church? God, did you know how many times I had to pause my reading because I was crying too much? You were depicted as a very strong, macho man type of character in this book. So that scene in the church with you speaking, I just lost it and I broke down. I love you and I love how you love Fern and Bailey.

Dear Fern,
I see myself more in you. How you love romance novels, how you escape in reading those books, and yes, how we fall for that one beautiful boy and how that insecurity we feel that we are not pretty enough for him. I got you. Oh boy, do I get you. You have big heart though. And cliche or not beauty on the inside is what really matters in the end. I love how tight your bond was with Bailey, how you took care of him, how you loved him unconditionally. Plenty of times I was crying for you because I felt how hurt you were. Especially in the beginning when your love was unrequited. But just like Bailey, you too are a strong character. And I think I cheered for you in the end as well. If I had pom poms I would've done the whole cheering shebang but you know, I just cheered you on my mind. Haha! The making faces game by the way is the best!

Dear Amy,
I know you're not one of the characters but you wrote this so I'm writing this too for you. What have you done to me?! I don't think I have cried that much in a book. Seriously! My pillow's a mess because it's tear-streaked. My eyes are all red and puffy for too much crying. Even writing this review had me crying. I had to stop several times while reading your book because it was just too much. Your book wrecked me. And in a beautiful way. You wrote a story about love, family and friendship so beautifully and in a way I will never forget. And I wanna thank you for that. Every year I've been on the hunt for that book that will just take me away and just suck me in and make me feel all the highs and lows and Making Faces was all that and more. So thank you. You owe me tons of Kleenex though.

Here's my Making Faces playlist:
Wake Me Up (Ed Sheeran)
Lost And Found (Kim Taylor)
Brave (Sara Bareilles)


I was thinking of putting just one song for this book. And that's Wake Me Up. The first line of the song reminds me of Ambrose. I decided though to add Lost and Found because the the mood of that song fits the story, and Brave for some positivity.

And oh, by the way, in case I wasn't clear enough, this book is highly recommended. This is the kind of book you want everyone to read because you want them to feel the emotions you felt when you read it. This wasn't just a great read, this was an experience. And you want everybody else to not just read Making Faces but experience them.



About the Author 

Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called "What I Know" - also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Running Barefoot, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue and Making Faces. 
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