“If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?”
This book blew me away!! It was beautifully written and deeply moving, with a very powerful message about true beauty, silver linings, and second chances. A poignant and unconventional tale about heroism, courage, love, loss, friendship, and self-acceptance. Absolutely breathtaking! 5 stars!!
Every once in a while a book comes a long that, from the moment I first hear about it, takes over my mind and heart and doesn’t let go until I’ve read it, lived it and immersed myself in the story. Making Faces was such a book. I read the blurb and shivers just went right through me and I immediately knew that this book was a must-read.
“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 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.”
See?? Tell me that doesn’t make you want to drop everything and read this?!
Once I started reading, I could not put this book down and it kept me riveted to the page until I finished at 4AM. It captivated me from start to finish and stayed with my heart long after I had turned the last page.
The heroine, Fern, had been in love with Ambrose from the time they were kids. Problem was, he barely knew she existed – at least, not in the way she wanted. He was the school’s star athlete and she was just a shy, forgettable girl who never imaged that anyone as handsome as him would ever take notice of her.
“If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?”
When Ambrose enlisted following the crushing events of 9/11, he left with four of his best friends but was the only one to come home alive and even so, a part of him wished he’d died with them. Broken, permanently wounded, and guilt-ridden he hid himself from the world. But it was the love of a quiet but fiercely strong girl that helped bring him back to life and learn that there is always a silver lining and that everyone deserved a second chance.
“I used to be afraid of going to hell. But now that I’m here, hell doesn’t seem so bad.”
“Sometimes you can’t take your life back. Sometimes it’s dead and buried and you can only make a new life.”
Part of what struck me about this book was that it felt completely ‘different’ than anything else I’d read. Unique. Fresh. This was not a story I’d already read twenty times and despite the fact that it did carry some well-known themes, it’s delivery was heartfelt and original.
It’s more than just a romance too (in fact, there is no graphic sex in it) and it’s just as much about friendship as it is about love. I don’t want to spoil things for you but the balance between all the different elements of this story were perfect. Many parts were so heart breaking that I just read with tears pouring down my face, while others filled me with such happiness that I’d read pages on end with a huge smile.
“How did you know I needed you?”
“Because I needed you too.”
The book brought out emotion after emotion from me. It’s such a strong, character driven story and it’s the kind where every single section has a little message or life lesson or something that just makes you take a step back and think about it for a minute. It’s not only beautifully written but it’s also very well crafted and even the simplest of phrases carry rich, multi-layered meaning.
Everything about this story is somehow connected. As a result of it taking place over so many years, we got to see how little seemingly insignificant details came into play later on in a powerful, life-changing way.
“We all fit together to create this experience we call life. None of us can see the part we play or the way it all turns out. Maybe the miracles that we see are just the tip of the iceberg. And maybe we just don’t recognize the blessings that come as a result of terrible things.”
It brought up so many questions and things to ponder… Why was someone born a certain way? Why did someone survive? Was there a grand design? Or was it all just random chance handed out by the universe?
There is so much more to the story that I’ve decided not to talk about in my review because I didn’t know any more than I’ve told you at this point when I started reading and I absolutely loved the process of just watching the story unfold and not fully knowing what to expect. Just know that I do not have a single complaint about this book. Not one. Just trust me and read it. I promise you will not be disappointed.
By the end of the book, tears were streaming down my face – a true testament to the overwhelming emotions it pulled out of me. The ending, the last line in particular, was just perfect!!! Like I said…. breathtaking!
This is now one of my favorites of the year!
Everyone should read this book. This is the kind of unforgettable story that sinks into your heart and doesn’t let go. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
This is a standalone (complete with epilogue).
“If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?
Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see?
Does he curl the hair upon my head ‘til it rebels in wild defiance?
Does he close the ears of the deaf man to make him more reliant?
Is the way I look coincidence or just a twist of fate?
If he made me this way, is it okay, to blame him for the things I hate?
For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror,
For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear.
Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can’t see?
If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?”
Here’s my casting for Ambrose.
Gail Nichols says
I bought this book last night and stayed up until 2:00am reading it. I would not have stopped then except my kindle battery died(stupid battery) I went to bed to sleep but I couldn’t because I was so “Haunted” by the book I could not sleep. I got up to read more but I couldn’t because my battery was still down(Argh!!) I love this book. It will go on my “go to” shelf. In fact when I finish it I will probably do something I very rarely do with books I will go back to the beginning and re-read it.
I feel the same way. I definitely want to re-read this someday too. I think it’s the kind of book you’ll be able to appreciate just as much the second time around 🙂
I absolutely love your reviews and I usually agree with you. Actually, your review alone is what makes me one-click a book. Thank you so much for all your reviews. I have already bought this book and can’t wait to read it.
What a wonderful compliment, thank you!! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did 🙂
loved this book. still cant get it out of my mind 😉
Lee T says
I picked it up once I saw your comments while reading it. It was one of my favorite books of the year! Ironically the word that comes to mind is…beautiful..it was truly a beautiful story from start to finish.
Becky Nichols says
Thank you for the chance! I CAN NOT wait to read this =)
…. So it is seems that I can no longer be a silent observer on your blog…. I find myself wanting to share my thought more and more…not saying what everyone else has said doesn’t do it justice .. But… Anyway . MAKING FACES is one of the very few books that has brought tears to my eyes. Real heart breaking .. Sobs.. Body shaking .. Nose running .. Head pounding tears. This book broke my heart but healed it. It was so real! Probably the realest story I have read in forever.. It was pure .. Un diluted amazingly written … Witty.. Charming… It was everything a good book should be and I am putting this book up there, almost in the same realm as #bronzehorseman
Thanks for this recommendation
Finished this book at 7 am this morning. It’s been on my Kindle for a few weeks now. I was scared to start it, but after reading this review, I dove head first into this book and never came up for air. I was pulled under by Amy’s incredible writing. Making Faces was just so touching to read and realizing scars on the outside whether emotional or physical can’t change inner beauty when there is love within the heart. This was just amazing to read and I can’t wait to go read it again.
You may want to think about upping the rating on this one because it is truly close to being my favorite book of ALL TIME! Words can’t express how much this story consumed every single part of me. It’s been almost two weeks since I read it and I’m still obsessing over it.
thanks for the recommendation. this is a wonderful wonderful book! =)
Pula Byrd says
One of my favorite Amy Harmon books. I loved it so much!
Monik Guzman Viquez says
Thanks to this review I read this beautiful book! Now one of my favorites, thanks to you.
I have just started listening to the audio version of Making Faces. Two years after you wrote your review .i have never read a book, any book, that has moved me as much as the Amy Harmon’s have. I just finished her later books; The Law of Moses, and The Song of David. The second book is a stand alone, yet it’s better you read The Law of Moses first.
Hauntingly Beautiful. The author gives you every emotion. You melt into the story of Moses and Georgia, the Tag and Millie, in the most wonderful way. You will cry lots yet the Epilogues will be just right, in every way. I am up very late, but it must get to bed and refresh myself to finish Making Faces tomorrow. I hope you can review Amy Harmon’s later books too. They will blow you away 🙂
I’m not entirely sure what made me pick this book up, but I’m so glad I did. These three youngsters moved me in a such way I can’t begin to describe it. I fell in love with Fern (how could you not!!). Loving and caring for people was second nature to her. That’s who she was, she couldn’t help herself. Her relationship with her cousin is was what made this book special for me.
After reading this book, I came to your blog to see you if you wrote a review about. Needless to say I’m not surprised! Your review of this book took the words right out of my mouth.
Keep up the good work!