Novel Of The Week: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Today I wanted to showed you a comparison between the US and Italian cover of the novel Making Faces by Amy Harmon
On the left the US one, on the right the Italian's, which is the most eye catching of the two, but after reading the book, the scene on it makes no sense at all PLUS the Italian title is "You're my sun even at night" it's aweful...thank God the novel is a whole other story!

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Fern Taylor is Hanna Lake's pastor's daughter, goes to the local high school and to the most of her schoolmates, she's invisible. She's neither tall nor pretty, very shy and has fiery curly red hair. When she's not with her cousin Bailey, she's dreaming about being one of her 
Harmony novels' heroines. Likewise every other girl in her school, Fern has a crush on Ambrose Young. He is, unlike her, tall, popular, good looking and is in various sport's clubs, but his real talent is in Olympic fight. 

Ambrose would have never notice Fern, if it wasn't for Fern's love notes, pretending to be her best friend Rita, who asked her to write them in her behalf since Fern was better than her in this kind of things. Ambrose eventually found it out and never looked at Fern the same way he used to...

But then 9/11 happened and left all America in pain...and that's why Ambrose decides to enlist in the army, even if he has a scholarship in sports for the Penn State University and a bright future ahead. After graduation, he and his 4 closest friends start their training and then are sent in Iraq.

Fern is heartsore and worried about their decision, but the night before their departure Ambrose kisses her, apologizing for his behaviour during the entire year...Fern says she'll write to him, which she actually did...if it wasn't that she'd never send those letters. 
Plus she has her cousin Bailey to take care of: he suffers of muscular dystrophy and is forced to live on a wheelchair, but it did not dampen his love for life and his desire for joking and laughing.
And her friend Rita...she married a very despicable man, but Fern hopes he'll change after marriage.

After less than a year, Ambrose comes back home...he and his friends had an accident, where he was the only survivor, but not unscathed: half of his face is covered with burns and scars. Ambrose feels responsible for the death of his friends and does everything he can to avoid contact with anyone in town.

Only Fern (who was still in love with him) and Bailey tried their best to make Ambrose go through this hard time and thanks to their perseverance, he slowly starts living his life again and thinking positively about his future...

What I liked
I pictured Fern like a "real" Merida (from Disney's movie The Brave), but only physically: she has red curly hair, that always escape from the hairdbands. The similarities end there: she's shy (frankly a little bit too much!), optimistic and kind. She and her cousing Bailey's characters are well-managed and I adore all their references to the Bible and Shakespeare during the story. 
And the use of flashbacks is very appropriate and helps the reader understand also the secondary character's emotions and thoughts.

What I did not like
First I didn't like the names'choice: during the first 5/10 pages I couldn't understand who was the girl and the boy. Some parts are "boring" and the ending is a bit too hasty, but as a whole I liked this story.

My Vote: 8½ /10

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