Title: Breaking Beautiful
Author: Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Publication Date: April 2012
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Allie’s life was turned upside down when her boyfriend was killed in a car accident. Somehow she survived, broken and slowly trying to get her life back together. Because while the entire town mourns the beautiful boy, Allie knows the truth. That under that beauty, was an ugly truth to the boy she loved.
So many emotions coursed through me as I read this book. An intense and emotional story about abuse, guilt and love, Breaking Beautiful does a brilliant job building a town and story where all the characters are a little misty, a little bit gray. Allie is a hard character to talk about. Of course, I felt for her situation, her guilt, her regret. Allie before the accident is easy to feel sorry for, to want to be friends with, to sympathize with. But through most of the story during present day Allie, after the accident Allie, Allie was hard for me to handle. Many times, I thought her decisions were so bad, I wanted to reach through the book and shake my head at her. It was going to be a slow process, but I would have liked to see a little more of a fire behind Allie, a rage, sharpness.
That said, I couldn’t put the book down. I wasn’t sure what had happened the day of the accident, but really wanted to know. James is truly creepy, and Trip’s father is also a storm waiting to explode. There is a real sense of danger and forward motion. I wasn’t sure why Allie couldn’t or chose not to, remember the day of the accident, but once it was revealed, it was worth waiting for.
Honestly, I put the book down and long after, I was still thinking about Breaking Beautiful.