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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (Walker Publishing, April 2012)

From Jennifer Shaw Wolf's website
I can still see his face, the way he tilted his head. How excited he was for me to see the gift. The pain spreads from the back of my head, cuts across my right temple and curls around the smaller scar above my eye. 
I’m saving something special to give you on your birthday.
My whole head throbs.
It hurts too much to remember.

  Allie can’t remember the night her boyfriend, Trip died.
She knows they were driving on the cliff road.
That Trip lost control.   
That she woke up later broken and bruised. 
That somehow, she survived. 
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? 

Audience: YA (clean)
Genre: YA contemporary, thriller
Length: 368 pgs.

Rating: *** 1/2

Review: Another book that I have really struggled with trying to rate it. It is so well written, so powerful, so emotional, it deserves more than 3 1/2 stars. But this is my blog where I post my opinions about things, and this book just wasn't for me. Issue books are hard for me--I can't take a step back. I know that they are important. I know they need to be out there. It's just that I shouldn't read them. I'm too tenderhearted.
It's a testament, however, to the fantastic writing and to the back-cover matter that I bought it anyway. I knew I wouldn't like it because it does deal with abuse, but I was so driven to know what happened that I had to read it. That's also why it should probably have more stars. Dang good writing.
I will admit to being a bit frustrated with Allie and how much and how long she holds things in. I suppose that's because I don't truly understand and that's okay. Again, powerful book.

Content: Rated 1-5, 1 being minor instances, 5 being text is saturated
Violence: 2 (Instances of violence are recounted throughout, but it's not graphic)
Language: 1
Sex: 0 (There is kissing)

Try this Do you like powerful, YA books? Try MIND GAMES by Kiersten White
Check out Jennifer Shaw Wolf's blog.

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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