Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

I was fortunate to get a copy of Breaking Beautiful from Netgalley!

Breaking Beautiful

Publication Date
April 24th, 2012

Bloomsbury Children's Books
~ Walker Books for Young Readers ~

Available At


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.

Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

A haunting tale of re-discovering courage, overcoming fear, and finding hope.

Sometimes, reviews are really difficult to write. I'm stuck in what to sat about Breaking Beautiful, not because I didn't like it, but because I LOVED it and it's going to be hard to convey the proper emotions that were wrung from me as I read this book.

Allie induces pure compassion as I tried to piece together a shaky past. She's beyond damaged, but I was still able to see a little flicker of hope as the story continued on. The undeniable pain that Allie experiences drips out of the pages, wrapping cold, invisible hands around your heart. The characters are all flawed in their own ways, not from any lack of the author, but because they were supposed to be flawed. Nobody was perfect. They were all brought to life in an extremely life-like manner, reaching beyond the pages to convey a story that was focused on one individual, but wide enough to show the many facets, good and bad, of a population encompassed by a serious issue.  As I got to know each character I discovered that each of them represented a different side of our societies. I'm not going to go into specifics and to keep it short I'll say this, present in this novel are characters that do or don't have courage, characters that can or won't make a difference, characters that react or turn a blind eye, there are characters that are oblivious and characters that refuse to look further. They are all there in Breaking Beautiful, they all have something to add to the story and an array of emotions to evoke. These aren't flat, barely-there characters, these are characters that could quite literally get up and walk right out of your book.

The plot line is set-up in such a way that it allowed me to get a sense of things to come, but still kept the future twists to be a surprise. The flashbacks are integrated into the present time story adding a goosebump generating aspect that can't be ignored. I was propelled to different levels of suspicion that never went away until all was revealed. Jennifer Shaw Wolf writes with extreme perfection, capturing each minute detail, never skipping over the ugly. Any author that ensnares me into a story, has every single one of my emotions flying in such a way that my chest is vibrating, has exceeded their job. This is an author that has gone above and beyond to bring something so consequentially infecting to readers.

I wholeheartedly recommend Breaking Beautiful to every reader. This is a book that needs to be sitting on your shelf, ready to enjoy whenever you get the urge to revisit Allie and her courageous battle. An impactful read that will definitely touch the heart of many.


  1. Thanks for the review! Glad you liked the book so much, it sounds so good! I need to break into reading so more YA contemporary, so this looks like a good book to start with!

    1. Definitely a good book to start with. There's a lot of good YA Contemporary out there. Let me know if you need any recommendations.