ARC REVIEW: Making Faces – by Amy Harmon

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Title: Making Faces
Author: Amy Harmon

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: October 12th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Finished reading: January 28th 2017
Pages: 405
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“I don’t think we get answers to every question. We don’t get all the whys. But I think when we look back to the end of our lives, if we do the best we can, and we will see that the things we begged God to take from us, the things we cursed him for, the things that made us turn our backs on him, are the things that were the biggest blessings, the biggest opportunities for growth.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Spencer Hill Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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It’s been over two weeks since I finished reading Making Faces and I still find it difficult to put my thoughts properly on paper. It doesn’t happen all that often, but Amy Harmon was able to give me another book hang over with this little masterpiece. I’m ashamed to admit I have only recently discovered her work, but I’ve already become addicted to her lovely prose and diverse plots. Making Faces is no exception. I had already heard great things about this book and I basically broke down the request button as soon as I saw it was available at Netgalley. All the raving reviews were absolutely right: this story is simply brilliant. I fell in love with both the characters, writing style and plot and this story will definitely stay with me for quite some time. Sure, some of it might be a little cheesy if you think about it critically. But if you have characters like Fern, Bailey and Ambrose, it is really easy to put those thoughts aside. I loved the war veteran elements as well; it’s such an important topic and definitely deserves more attention, especially as they are often misunderstood by society. As you might have guessed already, I simply adored Making Faces and I can definitely recommend it to any contemporary fan. I promise you that you will fall in love with the characters and their story! This new edition published by Spencer Hill Press later this month has some nifty bonus content as well.

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Ambrose Young’s looks and talent have made him really popular during his high school years. He isn’t just tall, muscular and good at sports, he also seems to have walked right off the cover of one of those romance novels. Fern Taylor should know, because she has been reading them since she was thirteen. Fern has had a crush on him for years, but she isn’t exactly the ‘prettiest’ girl in town and she doesn’t think Ambrose would ever look at her that way. But life isn’t just about physical attraction and works in funny ways. After the 9/11 attacks, Ambrose and his four friends decide to join the cause and were sent off to war. Only one comes back… And the whole town struggles to deal with the loss; each in their own way.

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I kind of feel I’m not doing the story justice with this summary, but I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot… This line in the blurb describes the general idea behind Making Faces beautifully though: “a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us“. It’s contemporary romance with a healthy dose of realistic fiction, a cup of tears and mixed with lovely characters and a very important topic. I basically loved everything about it and this story has confirmed Amy Harmon is one of my new favorite authors.


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #122 – February 1st

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness; I’ve been wanting to read another of his books for ages now and I’m glad I finally decided to pick one up. It’s not as mindblowingly good as I thought it would be so far though… I’m also reading Missing by Monty Marsden, a pending Netgalley ARC I wasn’t able to read before the publish date last December. Lastly, I’ve started a new audiobook: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. So far it’s without doubt interesting, although it’s going to take me some time because the file is HUGE (18+ hours…)

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I was able to finish since last week is Stake-out by Lily Luchesi, a paranormal fantasy story with vampires I ended up enjoying a lot better than I thought I would given I’m normally allergic to fanged characters. There were a bunch of other supernatural creatures as well and I liked the whole clash between ‘real’ world and supernatural.
* I then finished Blink by K.L. Slater, which was BRILLIANT. I was already looking forward to this psychological thriller, but boy this one is definitely a treat. Basically I was on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to figure out what was going on, and I ended up being SO wrong about everything. Excellent prose, excellent plot and plot twists, excellent use of suspense, excellent character development… The main characters maybe are not all that likeable, but I didn’t care. I loved every single minute of this story anyway. Also the ‘paralyzed’ chapters are without doubt intriguing and add an extra original touch…
* And just when I didn’t think it could get better, I was presented with another title that would give me a book hangover. I had already heard great things about Making Faces by Amy Harmon, and that’s why I basically broke down the request button as soon as I saw it at Netgalley. All the raving reviews were right: this story is a little masterpiece. I fell in love with both the characters, writing style and plot, and this story will definitely stay with me for quite some time. Sure, some of it might be a little cheesy. But if you have characters like Fern, Bailey and Ambrose, it’s really easy to forgive the story for it. I LOVED the war veteran elements as well; it’s such an important topic and definitely deserves more attention.
* The last book I picked up on a whim after browsing my kindle: The Wrong Side Of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne. It turned out to be a bittersweet read after all the immigration chaos that is going on right now in the US IRL… I did appreciate the immigration elements in the story, but it took me a while to really connect to the main characters and it all just felt a bit too cheesy for me. Not a bad read, but maybe not exactly for me.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The first book I’m picking up next is another pending Netgalley ARC: The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, which is due to be published next week. I also want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, as well as the ARC Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #121 – January 25th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading two pending ARCs… The first is Blink by K.L. Slater, which I will continue as soon as I finish the other one: Stake-out by Lily Luchesi. I’m normally not a fan of vampire stories, but I’m enjoying this one a lot better than I thought I would. Scary vampires and vampire/creature hunters without it being fluffy? Definitely positive for me! Also, since I haven’t been making progress with Little Women due to a mountain of pending ARCs, I’ve decided to put it on hold and no longer mention it until I have made serious progress again.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* First up is the YA Spring/Summer edition of Buzz Books which I downloaded on a whim. I won’t be reviewing this one on my blog, but this edition shows that we have some great YA books to look forward to this year! I’ve already had the pleasure to read The One Memory Of Flora Banks by Emily Barr, which is in one word BRILLIANT. Other titles that stood out for me after reading the previews were Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh, Future Threat by Elizabeth Briggs, Roar by Cora Carmack, This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack, How To Be A Supervillian by Michael Fry and Rebels Like Us by Liz Reinhardt. What a great selection of promising stories from a variety of different genres!
* I then decided to finally pick up my copy of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken as part of the #beatthebacklist challenge. I’m still ashamed it took me over TWO years to pick up this copy, although it looks like I have been punished enough because I have been missing out on a great story. The plot might not be all that original, but the writing style is great and I liked the character (minus a few small complaints). I will definitely pick up at least book two next month!
* The next book I finished was Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell, which I read over at RivetedLit for free. It was a close call, since I finished it on the last day the book was available… When I first started reading it, I was more than excited about this Peter Pan retelling, but as things advanced and the Neverland revamped worldbuilding was revealed things fell a little flat for me. It might be the hint at a love triangle, it might be the whiney character, but I didn’t enjoy Unhooked as much as I thought I would. The ending was not that satisfying either.
* The last book I finished since last week is Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt, which is actually the second book in the Detective Eden Berrisford series. I enjoyed this psychological thriller so much better than the first book! The main character Eden has started to warm up to me, although now some problems in her private life have been revealed she does look more like the cliche detective character. Still, the case in Don’t Look Behind You felt just so much more intriguing than the first book and the whole abuse topic is without doubt a very important one. The story reads like a train and the writing style is very enjoyable to read; the amount of plot twists just right. I will definitely be looking forward to the next installment of this series!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two Netgalley ARCs: Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer and Making Faces by Amy Harmon.  I have one of Harmon‘s other novels on my January TBR, but I’ve decided to read this one first since it’s an ARC and all. I also want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult…  And my newest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.