Thursday, November 14, 2013

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.


Once I started reading Making Faces I couldn't put it down. It captured and pulled me in and there was no stopping it. Amy's writing and story telling is beautiful and heart wrenching. I knew going in that I would be crying but oh my word, I didn't know it would gut me and have me crying so hard that I started laughing. *When I cry hard, like really really hard, I start to laugh not because I find humor in what made me cry it's just that my emotions get that strong.*

Ambrose is the star wrestler at his school and home town. When 9/11 happens and Flight 93 goes down not that far from where he lives, he makes the decision to join the military. One night Ambrose and his group of friends goes to see the impact zone. He reveals to them that he is signing up and soon his friends are following him. One day while out on a normal patrol with his friends from back home, something goes terribly wrong and only Ambrose is left alive. *Reading this part of the book is very hard to read because the parents reactions and emotions are so strong and real.*

When Ambrose returns back home he keeps to himself. Not allowing visitors and always making sure that when he does venture out, it is during the night so that nobody can see what he has become. One night Fern bumps into Ambrose and from there things change.

Fern has had a crush on Ambrose for years. She is not the type to care about looks (even though she does notice how handsome Ambrose is) but one who cares how what is on the inside. She sees and knows the good that is in him. She helps Ambrose to be the person that he use to be by being herself. She first starts by leaving messages on a board and waits for his answer. One day when he writes something that hurts her, she decides to leave him alone and let him be but as always he comes to her rescue and things are good between them.

*The messages that they write together are beautiful and witty. One of the best things I loved about this book*

Bailey, Ferns cousin and best friend also helps Ambrose come out of his shell. His dream as a child was to become the greatest wrestler that ever lived but that dream was cut short when he was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. Bailey has to be one of my all time favorite characters out of the hundreds of books that I have read so far. He is young but so wise, caring, loving, loyal and so damn hilarious. He doesn't let Ambrose get away with a pity party just because he was injured in a war. Bailey's life is restricted in a wheel chair. He can longer run, walk, reach or grab things like he use to before he was diagnosed but he doesn't let that stop him from living life and enjoying all that it has to offer.

For me, Bailey was the story. Yes, what happened to Ambrose was devastating and the relationship between Ambrose and Fern was beautiful to watch but it was Bailey who took the spotlight.

Making Faces is so much more than a love story. It's about survival, loyalty and most importantly...friendship. 

My favorites qoutes are: 

**“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’d 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.

** “True beauty, the kind that doesn't fade or wash off, takes time. It takes incredible endurance. It is the slow drip that creates the stalactite, the shaking of the Earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that breaks up the rocks and smooths the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would have otherwise never existed. And so we endure. We have faith that there is purpose. We hope for things we can't see. We believe there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent, our bodies can't contain it.” 

**“Everybody is a main character to someone”

**“I wrote your name across my heart
     So I would not forget.
    The way I felt when you were born
    Before we'd even met

    I wrote your name across my heart
   So your heart beats with mine
   And when I miss you most I trace
  Each loop and every line

   I wrote your name across my heart,
  So we could be together
  So I could hold you close to me
  And keep you there forever.”

**“There are times when you just need to acknowledge the shit … You just need to acknowledge it. Face the shit … Accept the truth in it. Own it, wallow in it, become one with the shit.”

**“Nobody or Nowhere? Fern: I'd rather be nobody at home than somebody somewhere else.
Ambrose: I'd rather be nowhere. Being nobody when you're expected to be somebody gets old.
Fern: How would you know? Have you been nobody?
Ambrose: Everybody who is somebody becomes nobody the moment they fail.”

**“I would rather be lost with you than alone without you.”

**“I keep thinking that maybe you and I could take a road trip and tell all the girls we meet along the way that we’re both vets. You’ve got a messed up face and my war wounds have put me in this chair. You think they’d believe it? Maybe then I could get some action. Problem is, how am I going to get a handful of tit if I can’t lift my arms?”

**“You can’t have an animal in here, Sheen.”
“I’m in a wheelchair, man. You gonna tell me I can’t have my seeing-eye cat with me? Actually, it can be your seeing-eye cat, since you’re blind and all. One of the perks to being a pathetic figure is that I tend to get what I want.”

**“Because terrible things happen to everyone, Brosey. We're all just so caught up in our own crap that we don't see the shit everyone else is wading through” I might have gone a little bit overboard with my favorite quotes but I couldn't just choose two or three.
Amy Harmon, you have a fan for life. I will be starting A Different Blue shortly and I am hoping that you don't make me cry my own tears again but I think you just might. It's okay. Still fan for life right here.

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