Book Review: Breaking Beautiful

Breaking Beautiful CoverBook: Breaing Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Published April 2012|Published by Bloomsbury

E-book|Purchased from the Nook store|270 pages

Series? No

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Goodreads|Barnes And Noble|Amazon|Jennifer Shaw Wolf’s Website

Goodreads Summary: 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.

Breaking Beautiful…what to say about Breaking Beautiful?  I liked Breaking Beautiful and how she doesn’t remember what happened the night of the accident.  I thought the cover was beautiful and it’s really interesting- plus, it does go well the book!

Allie was interesting, and you can see how much her relationship with Blake affected her.  You can still see how much of a hold he has on her, because even though he’s now dead, she still doesn’t talk about the abuse.  I liked seeing her remember what happened the night of the accident and how she remembered Trip.  Wolf does a great job at weaving the past and present and I didn’t sense any predictability…until the end, of course.  The ending was an odd mix of abruptness and predictability, and didn’t quite fit with the rest of the book.

I have mixed feelings about her relationship with Blake.  She’s still dealing with her own issues, and while I can understand her going right to Blake, the thing I don’t get is why he has such strong feelings for her, even though she’s ignored him for several years.  Her parents seemed pretty distant- and not just because of the way Trip was isolating Allie.  Her father I can understand, seeing as how he was in the military, but her mother seemed really distant and too interested in making sure Allie and Trip were together, and that Allie stayed true to Trip’s memory after the accident.

One thing I thought was really weird was how the investigation was dropped and then opened up again.  Like all options weren’t explored the first time around, which you’d think the police would do.  Maybe it’s because she didn’t remember what happened, but we don’t really get a lot on that initial investigation.  And Trip’s dad had a little too much pull.  Why wait to have the case opened up again, when he could have pressured the police to keep it open?

I was slightly surprised by how well Shaw dealt with the abuse.  I thought it was done really well, and while Allie’s relationship with Blake leaned towards the predictable, Lifetime movie/Nicholas Sparks book end of things, it was still handled better than I expected (even if I do have mixed feelings about it).  I liked that we slowly learned about their relationship as the book progressed and that we see their relationship after Trip died.

Final Thoughts:

I liked Breaking Beautiful.  There were things that didn’t quite make sense, but there were also things I really liked.  Breaking Beautiful gets 3 stars.


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