Author: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publication Date: April 24th 2012
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?
Jennifer Shaw Wolf's debut novel Breaking Beautiful hits all the marks. I was immediately drawn into Allie life and the mystery of what happen the night her boyfriend Trip died.
The first thing that grabbed me was the mystery of what happen on the night that Trip died. Throughout the book we are kept guessing as to what happen, just getting small glimpses as Allie remembers some small detail. I thought it was done really well. There is enough going on besides the mystery that keep it interesting as we wait to find out what happened. Allie is dealing with the whispers and stares, as well as reliving the abuse from Trip. Helping her along is her past best friend Blake. As Allie and Blake spend more and more time together, she realizes how much she really cares for him. Breaking Beautiful has great pacing. The intensity level crept higher and higher as the story was unfolding, ending in a satisfying conclusion.
Breaking Beautiful has some really great characters. A lot of Allie's emotions are very believable. She goes through plenty in the book and though some decisions she made were a little aggravating, I think my age (pass my YA years) and experience contribute to the annoyances in her behavior. Blake is kind of hard to get to know in the beginning but by the end you know so much about who he is, not from Ms. Wolf telling us but from her showing us. Andrew, Allie's twin brother who has Cerebral Palsy and is in a wheel chair is also a big part of Breaking Beautiful. The relationship Allie and Andrew share is perfect. I love the moments between them.
Congratulations to Ms. Shaw on a great debut novel. Definitely recommended!
Goodreads rating: 4 Stars