Top 10 Books From 2017 (So Far)

I’ve read 80 books so far this year and many of them have become all time favorites. I’ve read some amazing books and I thought I would pick my top 10 I’ve read in 2017 (so far) and share them with you.

(In no particular order)

 

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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There’s nothing about The Star-Touched Queen that I didn’t love. I read the whole book in one day and I’m so excited to start A Crown of Wishes soon. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I kind of want to buy an ebook of it so I can take it with me everywhere and reread my favorite scenes.
I don’t often rave about a book to the point I’m annoying everyone around me but I haven’t stopped talking about The Star-Touched Queen. I highly recommend it.

 

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Warcross by Marie Lu

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

Expected publication: September 12th 2017

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Warcross was such a wild ride. I loved it from page one and I couldn’t put it down. It’s been a very long time since I read an entire book in one sitting but Warcross is so amazing, I needed to know how it ended.
The plot of this book is thrilling, unique, and fast paced. The characters are complex, very well written, and diverse. There was some great plot twists and even though I tried to predict where things were going, I couldn’t.

Warcross was absolutely stunning and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s definitely a top favorite for 2017 and my new favorite from Marie Lu.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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If you read one book in 2017, read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

The Hate U Give is ground breaking, unique, heartbreaking, and honest. It gives a much needed voice to people who haven’t been heard.
The characters are well written and complex. Starr has shown me a perspective I haven’t seen before and I will always appreciate new perspectives.  I could go on and on about The Hate U Give but my main point is that you need to read this book. This isn’t just a book for teens, this is a book for everyone. And this is one of the most important books I have ever read and everyone should experience it.

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Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE
When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

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Retribution Rails was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved everything about it and I’m undoubtedly going to be rereading it soon. If you’re looking for something fresh, creative, and extremely entertaining, I highly recommend Retribution Rails.

 

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The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

the princess saves herself in this one is a collection of poetry about resilience. It is about writing your own ending.

From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration.

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I don’t read poetry often (okay this is only the forth poetry book I’ve read) so I can’t really judge this book compared to other poetry books but I did really loved it.
The Princess Saves Herself in this One is kind of a memoir-ish collection of poems and I really appreciate how Amanda was so open with her poems. A few poems resonated very deeply with me in a way I wasn’t expecting when I started this book.
I think a lot of the poems in The Princess Saves Herself in this One will be relatable to many readers and gives a voice to some issues that aren’t always represented in literature and other platforms of media.

 

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Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

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Allegedly is so incredibly well written and has such diverse and complex characters. I couldn’t relate to Mary but I felt like I could connect to her in a weird way. I’ve never been through any of the things that she has but I felt connected to her. I think it was the fantastic writing that made an unrelatable character seem like she could be the reader’s best friend.
This book had me in tears one chapter and screeching at the top of my lungs the next. It was such a roller coaster of emotions the entire book and I loved every second of it.

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Making Faces by Amy Harmon

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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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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City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

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I loved this book so much. It was such a wild ride and I never wanted it to end. This book has everything. Diversity, character development, an amazing setting, a great cast of characters, and a thrilling plot. I can’t think of one bad thing about City of Saints and Thieves and I can’t recommend it enough.

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The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon

“There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.”

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.

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The Queen and the Cure was amazing. I loved everything about it. It was perfect. Amy creates such amazing characters with a well written plot. The world building is extraordinary and I’ve fallen in love with the fairytale-like setting that Amy has crafted.

Kjell is such a complex, flawed, and wonderful character. I could go on and on about him but I implore you to read this book to experience his story for yourself.
I was not expecting to love Sasha as much as I did. She’s such a well written, empowering character and I loved getting to know her.

If you haven’t read The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, you should. You need to read these books. If I could only read one series for the rest of my life, I’d probably pick this series.

 

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One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

A collection of essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada, “a land of ice and casual racism,” by the cultural observer, Scaachi Koul.

In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding (as an Indian woman), to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrant parents and bled down a generation. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of color, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, ethnic stereotypes and her father’s creeping mortality–all as she tries to find her feet in the world.

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I’m so glad I picked this book up.
I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but this is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve ever read. I loved it from the very first page and I never wanted to put it down. I thought it was incredibly funny and a few of the stories Scaachi told had me laughing out loud.
There was also a good deal of serious stories about Scaachi’s experiences as an Indian women with immigrant parents. I really appreciate the opportunity to read about Scaachi’s perspective and for her voice to be heard.
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter is very unique and sincere. It’s one of the best books I’ve read and I absolutely loved it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to pick up a non-fiction read.

 

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending one of my favorite series’ of all time.

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The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

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I had seen The Bird and the Sword randomly on Amazon and the Kindle copy was less than $5 so I bought it not knowing what it was about or seeing any reviews. I went in completely blind and not really expecting much. But this book blew. Me. Away.
I loved it from the first page and I could barely put this book down. I read it in less than 24 hours and I wanted to reread it the second I finished it.
I loved everything about this book. The plot, the writing, the characters were all incredible. The characters were beautifully flawed and had some amazing and realistic development.
I’m rarely as emotionally invested in books as I was with The Bird and The Sword but I was basically shrieking the entire time I was reading this book.

The Bird and The Sword is one of the best books that I’ve ever read and is one of my all time favorites. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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The Queen and the Cure (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #2) by Amy Harmon

“There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.”

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.

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The Queen and the Cure was amazing. I loved everything about it. It was perfect. Amy creates such amazing characters with a well written plot. The world building is extraordinary and I’ve fallen in love with the fairytale-like setting that Amy has crafted.

Kjell is such a complex, flawed, and wonderful character. I could go on and on about him but I implore you to read this book to experience his story for yourself.
I was not expecting to love Sasha as much as I did. She’s such a well written, empowering character and I loved getting to know her.

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Review: The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon

34845313The Queen and the Cure (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #2) by Amy Harmon

Published May 9th 2017

“There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.”

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.

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An ARC of this book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review

Dear Amy Harmon, why must you shatter my soul like this?

If you’ve been following me on any of my social media since August, you’ve probably seen how much I’m obsessed with The Bird and The Sword. That book is everything I want in a book and more. I’ve read it six times since August and I’ll still reread my favorite parts whenever I’m sad.
So you can imagine how I lost my mind when I heard there was going to be another book in the series. A book with a focus on Kjell, one of the most infuriating and well written characters I’ve ever read about. I knew I was going to fall in love with this book. I knew I was going to drown in the ocean of feels that Amy had created. And I did drown in the feels.

The Queen and the Cure was amazing. I loved everything about it. It was perfect. Amy creates such amazing characters with a well written plot. The world building is extraordinary and I’ve fallen in love with the fairytale-like setting that Amy has crafted.

Kjell is such a complex, flawed, and wonderful character. I could go on and on about him but I implore you to read this book to experience his story for yourself.
I was not expecting to love Sasha as much as I did. She’s such a well written, empowering character and I loved getting to know her.

Overall, if you haven’t read The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, you should. You need to read these books. If I could only read one series for the rest of my life, I’d probably pick this series.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending a newfound favorite of mine.

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Making Faces by Amy Harmon

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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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.

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: 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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