Publication date: October 12th 2013
My rating: 5 stars
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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 was a compelling, beautiful story of love, loss, and the beauty of a person found underneath the superficial, exterior layers.
Fern Taylor loved Ambrose Young from an early age, idolizing him at the beginning, but falling for his soul in high school. Ambrose is everything a town hero could be: gorgeous, captain of the wrestling team, athletically gifted, and nice underneath it all. Fern, however, is the perfect example of an ugly duckling albeit with a heart of gold, running around with her beloved cousin and best friend, Bailey, a boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Instead of being a depressing figure, Bailey is filled with positivity and a humorous outlook on life.
In the aftermath of 9/11 Ambrose chooses to go off to war with his four best friends instead of taking the wresting scholarship offered and going to college. Ambrose comes back broken and battered, but Fern and Bailey won’t let him hide in his shell for long.
I’m not going to elaborate on the plot, I’m just going to say that this is one of the most beautiful NA stories I’ve read. The writing is gorgeous without being distracting or disrupting plot flow. The story was completely riveting to me! The romance was a slow burn, super sweet, heartfelt, but it wasn’t just about the romance. Friendship, loyalty, family, mortality, and the beauty that is within were at the heart of the moving tale.
“I think people are like that. When you really look at them, you stop seeing a perfect nose or straight teeth. You stop seeing the acne scar or the simple in the chin. Those things start to blur, and suddenly you see them, the colors, the life inside the shell, and beauty takes on a whole new meaning.”
This is a self-published gem! I’ll definitely be picking up more Amy Harmon for sure, and soon! I listened to the story and Rob Shapiro does an excellent job of both male and female voices. Total recommend!