Author: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Cover Judge: I like it! And I'm pretty sure it was her husband that did the cover photography? AwesomeQuote Choice: Quite true.
Source: For Review
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 honestly didn't expect to love this book as much as I did but I was so surprised at how masterfully Wolf portrayed this sad, bittersweet story.
Breaking Beautiful revolves around Allie and the fact her boyfriend has just recently died in a car accident. The problem is: she was in the car as well but she has absolutely no memory of that night. People keep questioning her but she honestly has no idea what happened and if she does, she's blocking it out. More and more comes to the surface was you realize Allie and Trip's relationship was far, far less than perfect (i.e terrifying) and Blake, her old best friend before her life became consumed by Trip, reappears in her life. Allie was such a broken character done so well, in my opinion. Wolf managed to portray a girl not only plagued by insecurity from an abusive relationship but also just a teenage girl trying to make her way through the world. Allie's mixture of confusion, depression, and relief that follow Trip's death rang true to me even though I've obviously never been in that situation before.
My one problem was probably that this book suffered from STMEM-itis (small towns make me mad). I really don't like books with THESE kinds of small towns. You know the ones I'm talking about: the entire place is full of jerks, everyone knows everything or thinks they know everyone, everyone is so damn judgemental. I seriously just wanted to slap everyone in the face. Allie's mom, James, Trip's dad, Hannah! The only people that weren't main characters that I liked was Angie because she was fun albeit ditsy and tactless and Caitlyn, because she was lovely.
Considering Trip is dead, you only see him through flashbacks. And it's not like Trip is portrayed immediately in a negative light; actually, on the contrary. You see sweet Trip, you see good memories, and then you see this dark storm raging and Trip slowly but surely becomes this twisted, awful person and I absolutely hated him with every fiber of my being. Abusive relationships are something very touchy to write about and Wolf just had an honesty to her that I appreciated. I wanted to shake Allie for being with him for so long but I saw the loneliness in Allie and why she was so willing to stay with him.
Blake was a sweetheart, seriously. Their ensuing relationship was endearing and slow, a build-up I was happy for amongst the terrible parts. Overall, it's a dramatic and honest debut contemporary that I definitely recommend.
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