Author: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Walker Childrens
Genre: YA contemporary, abuse, romance
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.Racquel's thoughts:
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 seriously applaud Jennifer Shaw Wolf for writing and publishing Breaking Beautiful, especially when the main character was physically (and even mentally) abused by her boyfriend. It's a very hard topic to venture to and she did it justice.
I have a few people close to me that have been beaten by their boyfriends and it's a devastating thing. But who can make judgment or even give accurate advice if you have never been in that situation before? It's so easy to say to an abused individual "Leave him! Stop this terrible relationship! You can do better, you don't deserve this!" but the actual doing and getting out of the relationship is the hard part for abused girls. Imagine trying to admit to yourself that you're even in an abusive relationship, it's humiliating and hard to accept. Especially if your boyfriend is of the hot and cold variety. Loving one moment then beating on you the next but he apologizes and says he'll never do it again. It's easy to fall in that trap and I don't even dare think that Allie, the main character, has a fraction of weakness in her bones. I say this because some people might read this book and say "Why didn't Allie just leave Trip from the beginning?! What a weakling!" but this is obviously coming from a person's limited perspective, like I said, there is a definite bold line between saying something and actually doing it and a person had no credibility in saying that if they have never been in the abused girl's shoes.
Now that I have established that, I would also like to point out that not only does Breaking Beautiful have a realistic main character that deals with traumatic events in a realistic way. It also has a nice murder mystery plot that wasn't predictable and memory loss to keep things interesting and I loved every bit of it. The flashbacks, Allie's gradual remembering and putting pieces of the puzzle together was enjoyable to read and I couldn't think of a better way that it could have been written. I also really adored Blake and Allie's twin brother, Andrew. They were very dynamic and it was easy to love them and get attached to them and if you know me, you know I love when family is present in books so seeing Allie's mom and dad take a role in the book made me die and go happen. Blake and Andrew were both characters I just wanted to hug forever. Especially seeing Blake get shunned by his peers and his family problems broke my heart but I loved how Allie gave him strength at the same time he gave her strength.
The only reason I didn't give this book 5 star is because I felt Allie's & Blake's relationship moved too quickly. I loved how we see them gain back their friendship in the beginning but then it took a jump too quickly to something more. Seeing them tread the ground of liking each other while learning to gain each others trust was really fun to read then the case of mild insta-love hit. But besides that, Breaking Beautiful did not disappoint!
Also fun fact, did you know what the photograph of the cover was taken by Jennifer Shaw Wolf's HUSBAND? how AWESOME! There is a whole blog post about it from Wolf HERE.
Rating: 4 hearts~ a book that tackles and does justice to a hard topic all the while making it enjoyable to read. I couldn't ask for more.
*taken from advance reader's copy, subjected to change*
The clock says 6:45, even though it's really 6:25.
Andrew beams. It's been a long time since he was in trouble. I think he likes it.