Monday, April 16, 2012

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Breaking Beautiful
Breaking Beautiful 
by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

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 Thoughts 
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out why parts of it felt like I’d read it before. This book is (very) similar to Stampler’s WHERE IT BEGAN only minus the overly annoying “me, me, me” of Gabby. The biggest similarity is how anything bad that could have happened, actually did happen to Ally.

The thing is, I think, I’d have enjoyed her Allie’s story more, had she had more guts. She didn’t; she seemed to expect things to get fixed by others. All the while she’s depressed and waiting and crying and moaning. I get it, of course, after everything that’s happened: (view spoiler)[abusive boyfriend being the first; followed closely by absent parents and a mother too focused on an outward appearance of familial bliss; then followed by school dramarama of girl on the fringe with her own personal mean girl/ ‘HS Queen.’ Plus, a reformed bad boy. (hide spoiler)])

So, a girl who can’t quite remember her accident but recalls with clarity everything that had gone on before it: I liked it, but was never completely engaged by the story. I felt sorry for her, but didn’t quite understand some of the choices made. And even though the mystery flowed; those flashes into her past having emphasized just how bad things then how clueless everyone could be, some other parts read unnecessary:

Take Hannah and her gang. Could anyone really be so self-involved and react so acidly? It felt so needlessly dramatic. And small minded. Or take the role of ‘small town mind set’ and how afraid the same had Ally in telling all. I didn’t buy it; Nope, I didn’t get it. The cluelessness of some of the people in her life bugged me a lot too.

All those things aside there was something in this one that I actually loved, in a ‘why isn’t my twin brother like that?’ kind of way. The side story of her and her brother was sweet. I was relieved by his presence as the main positive in her life. He brought in the much needed “safe place” into this one.

Thanks Netgalley


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