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Review - Breaking Beautiful

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Breaking Beautiful
by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Publication: April 24, 2012
Pages: 354
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.

When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Jennifer Shaw Wolf has debuted with a heartbreakingly beautiful novel about love, death, and forgiveness. At first, it seems as though Allie just lost the perfect relationship. Allie and Trip were the perfect couple, and she was the golden girl who caught the heart of the local hottie as soon as she moved into town. Allie's despair appears to arise out of her heartache over losing Trip. However, mysteries and questions arise when Allie begins trying to live again and demons from her past come back to haunt her.

Allie is a bit of a weak heroine. Blake and her twin brother Andrew are forever looking after her, and her inability to stand up for herself puts the two boys through a number of difficult decisions. Even Andrew's girlfriend Caitlyn, a girl filled with vitality and a wild sense for fashion, has to step in for Allie at times to give her the push to stand up for herself. Nevertheless, I appreciate Allie as a character because all girls have a little bit of Allie in them--the desire to be loved, yet feeling unworthy of love; the desire to stand up for herself, yet lacking the confidence; and the desire to give back to loved ones, yet worrying that she'll hurt them instead.

There are different kinds of heroines in the world, and Allie expresses the characteristics of a girl who wants to love and be loved. She has made bad decisions in her lives, placing the ones who truly care about her in jeopardy. In the process, she has hurt, she has been hurt, and she has found love in the process: in romance, in family, and in friendship. Allie is surrounded by a cast of wonderful characters and a family that loves her, and she is threatened by some despicable villains. I am confused as to the intentions of the new detective in town, but overall he appears to be the kind of guy who gets his job done. Breaking Beautiful is the kind of book that you want to love, filled as it is with characters you want to cheer for, characters that you want to scold, and, yes, even characters that you want to hate.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
2 comments on "Review - Breaking Beautiful"
  1. Great review! I loved this book, and I think Allie was weak because of the abuse she'd suffered. That does a number on your self esteem. I think it was handled well, though. She wasn't like Bella Swan at least, haha.

    1. Yeah, the reasons for Bella's insecurities weren't really well described. It was hard to imagine them.


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