Sunday, February 3, 2013

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Breaking Beautiful
Author: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Publication: April 24, 2012 (Read in Jan 2013)
By: Walker Children's Books
3 Stars

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.

I received this through the ARCycling Program. To find out more info or participate, click here.

What I Loved: The topic of abuse is never an easy one to cover but Wolf does a good job of showing the far reaching effects a victim's guilt (and distorted perception) can have. I enjoyed the relationship between Allie and Andrew and the way his condition is portrayed is unique and disspells a lot of misconceptions. Blake was my favorite. His strength and patience with Allie combined with his genuine concern for her was heart-achingly beautiful. 

What Left Me Wanting: Too many people in this story either witnessed the abuse or saw the signs but chose to ignore them and that irritated me. It's a small town where everyone seems to have their nose in everyone else's business and I have a difficult time believing that something like that would really go unnoticed. (I had a friend who lived nine hours and several states away who was involved in an abusive relationship and I was able to decipher what was going on without ever seeing physical evidence.)  
I also figured out half way through who was responsible for Trip's death which was kind of a letdown.

Final Verdict: Worth the read, if for no other reason then to learn the signs of abuse.

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