Publication Date: Oct 12th 2013
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.
I put off writing this review for a bit after reading Making Faces, in the hopes that I could find a way to express how much I adored this book, and how beautiful this story was. Well, here I am, after stewing on it for quite some time and I'm convinced that no review I could write could come close to doing this book justice. I won't go into the plot very much at all, because you should just jump in head first and experience this awesomeness for yourself, so this review will probably turn into an Amy Harmon love fest!
If God made all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?
Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see?Does he curl the hair upon my head 'til it rebels in wild defiance?Does he close the ears of a deaf man to make him more reliant?Is the way I look a coincidence or just a twist of fate?If he made me this way, is it okay, to blame him for the things I hate?For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror,For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear.Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can't see?If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?
This is a story about unconditional friendship and love, about acceptance, and about loss. The writing is impeccable and it is 100% impossible to put down. I laughed, I cried (horrible, ugly tears), I had my heart broken and put back together again, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Amy Harmon has become one of my absolute favorite authors and I will read anything and everything she writes at this point. Her stories are so special and so uniquely her, that you can't find anything like them anywhere else. What a talent she has.
"Thank you for making even ugly things beautiful. Amen"
I'm a HUGE fan of two of Amy's other books-- Running Barefoot and A Different Blue-- and this author struck gold AGAIN with Making Faces. I've said before that Amy Harmon has a way of creating stories and characters that crawl deep inside you and wreak havoc on your heart. This, too, is true for this novel. Again, she has written a beautiful, powerful, incredibly moving story, full of characters that you will fall in love with and who will stay with you long after the book is through. This author has a way of making even the supporting characters seem like main characters. And one supporting character in particular is one of my favorites in any book, ever. This story really touched me and I can't wait to re-read it over and over again.
"I can't stand it. It hurts so bad that I want to die too." "I know," he repeated softly, his voice steady. And Fern knew he did. He understood, maybe better than anyone else could. "How did you know I needed you?" Fern whispered in broken tones. "Because I needed you," Ambrose confessed."
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Read an Excerpt from Making Faces!
He didn’t know how to make her understand that she was so much more than just pretty. So he leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers. Very carefully. Not like the other night when he’d been scared and impulsive, and smacked her head against the wall in his attempt to kiss her. He kissed her now to tell her how he felt. He pulled away almost immediately, not giving himself a chance to linger and lose his head. He wanted to show her he valued her, not that he wanted to rip her clothes off. And he wasn’t sure when it came right down to it that she wanted to be kissed by an ugly SOB. She was the kind of girl that would kiss him because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings. The thought filled him with despair.
She let out a frustrated sigh and sat up, running her hands through her hair. It flowed through her fingers and down her back, and he wished he could bury his own hands in it, bury his face in the heavy locks and breathe her in. But he’d obviously upset her.
“I’m sorry, Fern. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“Why?” she snapped, startling him enough that he winced. “Why are you sorry?”
“Because you’re upset.”
“I’m upset because you pulled away! You’re so careful. And it’s frustrating!”
Ambrose was taken back by her honesty, and he smiled, instantly flattered. But the smile faded as he tried to explain himself.
“You’re so small, Fern. Delicate. And all of this is new to you. I’m afraid I’m going to come on too strong. And if I break you or hurt you, I won’t survive that, Fern. I won’t survive it.” That thought was worse than walking away from her and he shuddered inwardly. He wouldn’t survive it. He had already hurt too many. Lost too many.
Fern knelt in front of him, and her chin wobbled and her eyes were wide with emotion. Her voice was adamant as she held his face between her hands, and when he tried to pull away so she wouldn’t feel his scars, she hung on, forcing his gaze.
“Ambrose Young! I have waited my whole life for you to want me. If you don’t hold me tight I won’t believe you mean it, and that’s worse than never being held at all. You better make me believe you mean it, Ambrose, or you will most definitely break me.”
“I don’t want to hurt you, Fern,” he whispered hoarsely.
“Then don’t,” she whispered back, trusting him. But there were lots of ways to cause pain. And Ambrose knew he was capable of hurting her in a thousand ways.
Ambrose stopped trying to pull his face away, surrendering to the way it felt to be touched. He hadn’t allowed anyone to touch him for a long time. Her hands were small, like the rest of her, but the emotions they stirred in him were enormous, gigantic, all-consuming. She made him shake, made him quake inside, vibrate like the tracks under an on-coming train.
Her hands left his face and traveled down the sides of his neck. One side smooth, the other riddled with divots and scars and rippled where the skin had been damaged. She didn’t pull away, but felt each mark, memorized each wound. And then she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his neck, just below his jaw. And then again on the other side, on the side that bore no scars, letting him know that the kiss wasn’t about sympathy but desire. It was a caress. And his control broke.
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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 coming October 20, Making Faces.
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