Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Title:  Breaking Beautiful
Author: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense- YA
Series: -
Main Characters: Allie
Release Date: April 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: g-rated

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:

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.

My Review:
This book was highly emotional and suspenseful. It's written in such a way that I simply could not put it down. 

The book opens 4 weeks after Allie's accident and Trip's death with her family trying to get her out of bed. She is dealing with a crippling depression which at first you think is simply because of Trip's death, but as the story unfolds, you realize there is much more to this story. And the story definitely unfolds. Allie doesn't remember the night of the crash. Every time she thinks about it, the horrible scarring on her face and head throbs. She knows there are things that she simply doesn't want to remember.

But the book unfolds as pieces of Allie and Trip's relationship are revealed and she slowly starts to remember bits and pieces from that night. You get just tiny bits at a time. The bits you see combined with the town's attitude towards Allie are just awful. Allie broke my heart over and over throughout this book, but this is truly a train-wreck that you can't look away from. Her rock through it all is Blake, who has been her best friend in this small town since she was 4 or 5. Even though she treated him awfully in the two years that she dated Trip, he is the one person to stand by her, no matter what the town says. I really loved Blake's character and Allie's twin brother, Andrew.

This is a small town at its worst and Allie definitely takes the brunt of it. It's painful to read how they all treat her, even her own mother with her glowing attitude towards Trip and her scathing attitude towards Blake. It's painful to know that her mother never realized she was going through this horrible abuse. Who did realize was Andrew, Allie's twin brother, who is crippled by cerebral palsey. He knew (or at least sensed the abuse since Allie never told a single soul) but was too physically impaired to help fix things. Then there's Allie's dad who just retired from the Army, but has missed most of the last two years of Allie's life because of Army deployments and assignments.

What is so amazing about this book is the way that it's written. You never know what truly happened that night until the very end. It's really brilliant the way the author wrote this so that you get bits and pieces along the way. HIGHLY SUSPENSEFUL and TOTALLY RIVETING. I honestly did not put this book down once I started reading it.  That being said though, this is not a happy book. Don't get me wrong, it ends well, but watching Allie go through it all is almost painful and is most definitely heartbreaking. This is a book about abuse and there is no doubt that Allie was a victim of it for two years. It's affected her...deeply....and it will affect you as a reader. But I do recommend it. It was an amazing read. Just don't expect to want to go out and have a party after you finish it.

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