Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

27237358Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Published October 12th 2013

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 little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

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Dig my grave because this book killed me.

I read one of Amy’s other books, The Bird and the Sword last year and it became a favorite of mine right away. Like, I read The Bird and the Sword three times in a month. I’m obsessed with that book.
I was hesitant to pick up another book by Amy because I didn’t want to hype myself up so much that I let myself down. The Bird and the Sword is very big shoes to fill and I didn’t want to be disappointed because I got my expectations sky high. However, I shouldn’t have siked myself out. Making Faces is absolutely incredible and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Making Faces has all the feels. I laughed, I cried, I had every emotion possible. This book has left a permanent imprint on my life.

The characters in this book are complex, well written, and each of them will teach you something.
Fern has bright red hair and was never highly favored in high school. She wasn’t outwardly pretty and she didn’t have a lot of friends besides her cousin, Bailey. Fern had some amazing character development even though it was subtle. She was an amazing character from the moment she was introduced so for her to have character development and become even better, I thought that was outstanding. Fern loves to read and write romance and there one poem she wrote towards the beginning of the book that has really stuck with me. It resonated with me very deeply and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
Bailey is Fern’s cousin and best friend. He has muscle dystrophy, which is a disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle. For most of the book, Bailey is in a wheelchair and Fern cares of him and helps him a lot. There’s some flash back chapters so we get the chance to see how Bailey’s disease has affected his life and how it’s changed him as a person. Bailey is a one of a kind character. He’s extremely witty, caring, and is fully aware of his future. His voice in this novel is unique and I promise you’ll love him if you read this book.
Ambrose is a star athlete and he’s friends with Fern and Bailey. Ambrose doesn’t take a lot of notice of Fern and he’s caught up in his wrestling. His mother is near the towers during 9/11 and it’s not long after that he and his four best friends decide to enlist in the military. As the
synopsis says, “five young men go off to war, and only one comes back”. Making Faces deals a lot with Ambrose’s PTSD, guilt, and pain. I felt like representation of Ambrose’s condition was very well done and much needed.

Overall, this book is nothing short of perfect. It’s complex, has outstanding characters, and diverse. Amy Harmon is such an incredible writer and even though I’ve only read two of her books, I’m so glad I have discovered her books. Both books that I’ve read have made a massive impact on my life and I’ll never forget them. Making Faces is a book that comes along once in a life time and I’m so glad I read it. I highly recommend reading Making Faces.

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Review: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

16288155The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Published April 28th 2013

Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.

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I really liked the first half of this book but the second half seemed to drag on and on.
I thought the concept and plot was really cool. I loved the Irish folklore aspect of this book. The writing style was pretty good and it was fairly fast paced.
I wasn’t really a fan of Ethan and Allison’s relationship though. It never went anywhere, there was no development, and it was just kind of boring. For being a New Adult book, I expected a lot more.
The Forgotten Ones was a fun, short read but not quite what I was expecting.

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Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

14061955 Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 4th 2013

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
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I was a bit apprehensive starting Siege and Storm. I was told it was an “okay” filler book between Shadow and Bone and Ruin and Rising. I have to say I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed the writing (as most of you can tell I’ve been on a very big Bardugo Binge) as well as the story line. A lot of threads being woven together for the conclusion of this series.

The pace of this book is absolutely perfect if this is considered a “filler” book. Although the Darkling isn’t very present in this book, he’s very much-so a big part of this plot/story, especially in this book. The suspense and the tie between The Darkling and The Sun Summoner are absolutely amazing.

Also, I feel like I hate Alina and Mal, or maybe it’s just Mal that annoys me. I think I boarded the Alina and Nikolai ship. I have to say that I’m loving more and more of the characters like Tolya and Temar. They’re two great pillars in this book series and I can’t get enough of them!

I think this book did a great job of setting up for Ruin and Rising and if Leigh Bardugo’s writing is anything like the last book, Ruin and Rising seems quite promising (spoiler alert : I already read Ruin and Rising and it’s great…review to come).