Making Faces by Amy Harmon
Published February 21, 2017 by Spencer Hill Press
Genres Romance, Young Adult
Making Faces by Amy Harmon was originally self-published by the author on Amazon in 2013 and is now being re-released by Spencer Hill Press in both digital and paperback formats. The Amazon links take you to the existing Kindle editions, as the paperback additions will not be available until February 21. The Book Depository link will take you to the pre-order page for the paperback being released on February 14.
This story starts off in high school and is told from many different perspectives, but I would say the 3 main characters are Ambrose, Fern and Bailey. The story begins during their senior year in high school and then spans the 4 or so years after the graduate. Ambrose is not only the high school wrestling star, but he is very good looking, beautiful even. Some cal his Hercules because of his large muscular body and shoulder length hair he refuses to cut. And in a town where wrestling is taken very seriously, he is the town hero, expected to head off to Penn State after graduation to wrestle. Fern has spent high school feeling invisible to most people, with her bright red curly hair, freckles, glasses and braces. She spends most of her time with her cousin and best friend Bailey, who has been confined to a wheelchair since around the age of 11 due to muscular dystrophy. Fern loves reading romance novels and even writes her own. She has been in love with Ambrose Young since she was 10 years old, but he doesn’t seem to see her in the same way. And with Bailey’s dad as the wrestling coach, she spends a great deal of time near him. Ambrose does the unthinkable towards the end of high school and decides to not only join the military, but convinces his friends to join with him. The year is 2002 and September 11, 2001 rattled Ambrose to his core and pushed him to decide on a different path forward after high school. Their unit is shipped out to Iraq and he is the only one who returns after his convey comes is hit by an IED. Ambrose returns damaged, physically and emotionally, but that hasn’t changed Fern’s love for him and she is determined to prove it to him. This is a story of love, loss, family, friendship and moving forward.
I really loved this story. This is the second book by Amy Harmon that I have read this month and I am loving her writing. First I have to say that I wouldn’t categorize this book as new adult because it does begin in high school and although there are intimate scenes, there really aren’t any sex scenes in the book, not that I would categorize as new adult. I really loved all three of the main characters. Fern is funny, loving and creative. Although she is insecure about her appearance during high school, by the time Ambrose returns, she she is a beautiful woman, although she doesn’t see it herself. I also really loved Bailey’s character, not only is he hilarious and speaks whatever comes into his mind, but he is also positive and optimistic even though he is wheelchair bound and completely dependent on other people. Although Ambrose is the golden boy during high school, he never seems cocky, he actually acts in the opposite manner although he is the town hero. He treats everyone around him with kindness and respect. When he returns from Iraq, he is very different and hides himself away from everyone he knows, embarrassed and guilt ridden. This book does move at a steady pace except for a few chapters right about half way through. Otherwise, I loved this book. I loved the story and I love the characters. I also loved that Fern’s father is a Pastor and the author includes scripture throughout the book. I rarely ever hear the mention of any religion in young adult or new adult books and it was a very nice change.
If you haven’t read Amy Harmon, I highly recommend you do and I highly recommend you start with this book! Thank you to the publisher, Spencer Hill Press, for sending me a review copy of this book before it is re-released!