Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blog Tour: 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 a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

5 star review by Nicole Lorenzo

Fern Taylor has been in love with Ambrose Young since they were small children. He is beautiful. Perfect. The hero and leading man in all her fantasies like the men in the romance novels she’s been reading since she was thirteen. The only problem is he doesn’t know she exists. Ambrose is the popular town athlete and everything that Fern is not. He could never see Fern as anything but the plain wallflower that she is.

“If God made all the faces, did he laugh when he made me?”

Fern is loving and loyal and nothing showcases that more than the way she cares for her best friend and Cousin Bailey who suffers from MS. But despite exchanging just a few words throughout the years Ambrose doesn’t see her, at least not in the way she wishes he would. Fern would do anything to have Ambrose notice her so when Fern’s gorgeous best friend Rita wants to write a love note to Ambrose, Fern helps her and she soon finds herself writing responses as Rita to all of Ambrose’s letters. Every line exchanged with Ambrose makes Fern fall in love with him more, but he has no idea that she is the girl behind the pen, and he’s not too happy when the lie is revealed.

“Could you belong to someone who didn’t want you? Fern decided it was possible because her heart was his, and whether or not he wanted it didn’t seem to make much difference.”

When the tragic events of September 11th hit a little too close to home for Ambrose, he makes a decision that will alter his life as well as those closest to him, forever. Ambrose, along with his closest friends are now fighting for the country’s freedom in Iraq. He finds himself thinking of Fern, who isn’t the normal depiction of beauty, yet he can’t seem to get her out of his mind. He makes a decision that when he gets home he would like to get to know her better. But a roadside bomb changes everything and Ambrose comes home from war a different man physically and emotionally.

“Ambrose knew what it felt like to be whole, to be perfect, to be Hercules. How cruel to suddenly fall from such heights. Life had given Ambrose another face and Fern wondered if he would ever be able to accept it.”

Immersed in guilt and sadness and embarrassed of his scars Ambrose hides away from the world. He only goes out at night, works in his father’s bakery and is perfectly content to never let anyone see him again. Then Fern starts working nights at the store where the bakery is housed. She starts writing on a white board to communicate with him and soon they are writing back and forth again and start spending time together. Ambrose realizes his feeling for Fern are intensifying but he refuses to act on them, knowing she deserves better than the broken man he has become. Ferns feeling have not changed, if anything the strength he has shown since he has returned has made her love him more

“I promised myself that if you came home I wouldn’t be afraid to tell you how I felt. But I’m still afraid. Because I can’t make you love me back.”

Fern makes Ambrose feel like he doesn’t have to hide and soon enough she starts to slowly break down his walls.

I'm not ashamed to be seen with you. I'm ashamed to be seen.

Despite his hesitance Ambrose falls slowly and quietly in love with Fern. Although he is still scared about what this could mean for both of them. He is also still fighting demons he has not shed since he came back from war, and he is slowly coming to terms with his loss.

“You make me feel safe, Fern. You make me forget. And when I kiss you I just want to keep kissing you. Everything else just falls away.”

Making faces is an amazingly emotional and touching story about finding the beauty within. The journey that these characters will take you on will stay with you for a very long time.  Friendship, loss, self-acceptance, love, doubt, anger, beauty….these are a common theme in this story that at one point or another each character struggles with. Each character had flaws, not one of them perfect. Fern struggles with feeling inconsequential and ugly, and the fear that Ambrose would never ever return her feelings. Ambrose suffered so much pain, guilt and loss and then he too is left feeling not worthy of love. Ferns cousin Bailey in my opinion is the glue to this whole story. I loved his character so much and his ability and need to just live each day to the fullest. He really wanted to be someone’s hero and in actuality he was a hero on more than one occasion to many characters in this book. He touched the lives of everyone he met and left a lasting impression on me as well. This is hands down my favorite book of the year!!! I took an emotional journey reading this that I won’t forget anytime soon. So grab your tissues, because you will definitely need them, and be prepared for beautifully written perfection!

“And so we endure. We have faith that there is a purpose. We hope for things we can’t see. We believe that there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent that our bodies can’t contain it."

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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1 comment:

  1. Fabulous review. I too loved this book ... surprised me on so many levels.


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