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.
My thoughts: This book has been recommended to me by a friend. We started reading it at the same time and decided to compare notes in the end so here's what I think.
I really liked this book. Making Faces is a story about friendship, love, loss, pain and forgiveness. This is the story of a group of friends and how their lives change after high school.
Ambrose Young is good looking, intelligent, the champion of the school's wrestling team. He's the kind of boy all the girls want.
Fern Taylor has always been the ugly duckling. She always blended in the background, hiding behind Bailey, her cousin, who suffers from the Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is condemned to live his life in a wheel chair.
She's always been in love with Ambrose but never had the courage to act on it so she watches him and secretly writes romance novels where the heroes resemble him in one way or another.
They're all waiting for high school to be over, making plans for the future but one day something happens and their lives will forever change.
The first 30% of the book was very slow. The author included flashbacks from Fern, Bailey's and Ambrose's pasts and it's a little confusing as we don't exactly know what the story is about and what brought them to remember those moments.
The “trigger” of the story are the 9/11 events and how the tragedy influences their choices and changes everyone's lives.
When high school is over, Ambrose decides to join the army and he convinces his best friends Paulie, Beans, Grant and Jesse to go with him. Their year in Iraq is almost over when something happens and Ambrose will never be the same again. He comes back but he's scarred, inside and out and the weight of loss and guilt is pressing on his shoulders. Fern never stopped loving him, and now, more than ever, she's determined to prove to him that outer beauty is not so important. Patiently, she coaxes him out from the shell he surrounded himself with and teaches him love and forgiveness.
All in all, the book was great. But I do think the author should have paid more attention. There were parts filled with useless details and others where I would've liked to know more. Another thing I didn't particularly like was the way she ended the story. It looks like she was in a hurry to finish it and didn't care about how it all came out. I don't like it when a story ends with what happens 10 years later with no detail on how the characters got there. It's frustrating because it leaves me wondering. Anyway, the writing style was good, the story captivating and the characters very interesting. I recommend this book and I'm looking forward to read more of Amy's novels.
If God made all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?Happy reading!