MAKING FACES by Amy Harmon-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 15, 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.
REVIEW: Making Faces is a stand alone, contemporary young to new adult storyline that twists the tales of Beauty and the Beast with Cyrano De Bergerac. Five life long friends go off to war in the Middle East but only one returns and in that return there is not only the guilt of surviving but the loss of beauty, of friendship and direction.
The storyline premise follows five friends whose deaths and injuries impact a small town and where one brave young woman has the ability to persevere when others are lost in a world of hurt and grief. Fern Taylor has always accepted that she would never be pretty enough to ‘get the boy’ but when said boy loses his beauty to a road side bomb, Fern is the first person who is willing to see past the scars and see the beauty underneath. Fern has loved Ambrose since she was a young child and it is Fern’s belief in Ambrose that will help the wounded warrior face his oncoming battles head on.
Making Faces is also a story about physical appearances and succeeding in life. When everyone is willing to dismiss the handicapped young boy and the plain looking girl, it is the strength in these two people who will pull together a town when four of their own are lost to the war.
Amy Harmon has gathered a collection of characters from any town, anywhere and brought them together in a story that will open your mind to the reality of the physical appearance and what lies beneath. Not only do the beautiful climb higher but they also fall harder. A pretty face can only get you so far in life and at times there is evil waiting around the corner.
“If God makes all 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 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 own pleasure, for a reason I can’t see?
If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?”
This poem is a particular poignant passage in Making Faces written by our heroine Fern. Her best friend is the most beautiful girl in school and even Fern’s family cannot help but make comparisons between the two friends. Growing up Fern struggled with her appearance and as an adult, she had a difficult time accepting that someone like Ambrose Young could love someone like Fern Taylor. Fern is the ugly duckling who turned into the beautiful swan but it was a beautiful Ambrose that fell for the little duckling years before.
Making Faces is a heartbreaking storyline of war and tragedy; death and loss; friendship and lovers; beauty and the beast. But as we all know from the fairy tale, Beauty saw beneath the mask where Beast kept his secrets and pain carefully hidden, and in Making Faces-Beauty will see beneath Beast’s war ravaged and scarred exterior, lies a beautiful man, with a beautiful heart, whose only sin was to be someone he could respect and accept at the end of the day.
There is no sex, no graphic violence and no foul language. It is a story about loss-the loss of friends; of lovers; of beauty; and of self.
Reviewed by Sandy