Review: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Breaking BeautifulBreaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Page Count: 354
Published by: Walker Childrens

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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:

Breaking Beautiful is a wonderfully emotional book. It is a dramatic contemporary story with a very dark mystery involved. It deals with a tough subject, but is handled by the author with such care. The story grabbed my attention from the beginning. It is mostly believable and truly heartbreaking, and at times intense and emotional.

I thought most of the story was amazing. I loved the way the details are revealed as the story progressed. We didn't get all of the pertinent facts upfront, instead we are fed bits and pieces until the overall picture is revealed.

The protagonist, Allie, is portrayed as a weak character after her ordeal with Trip. She ends up being scared of remembering, scared of admitting the truth, and scared to move on with her life. Her own self worth is decided by what those around her think of her. The entire town perceived Trip as a good person and everyone had expectations of how Allie should mourn Trip. This sort of behavior added to the drama, but it didn't really help me feel anything more than annoyance at the narrow mindedness. However, there were several related instances where Allie displayed more strength than I thought she had - I wanted to applaud her decision to take charge of her own life.

Many other characters play important roles in Allie's story. Her overprotective parents, her ultra-sensitive and very perceptive twin brother, her dependable friend Blake, Trip's over bearing parents, even the irrationally cruel kids at school. Her mother's unwavering (and misplaced) allegiance and gratitude to Trip's parents for her employment grated on me.

I wasn't overly fond of the ending. I felt a little cheated out of Allie's recovery. After spending so much time with Allie and all of the angst and drama of her situation, I would have loved to follow Allie as she healed and learned to deal with her issues, and not be told about her recovery process after the fact.

Breaking Beautiful deals with some very serious issues. I thought it was very well written and I loved reading along as the mystery unfolded. I highly recommend Breaking Beautiful to fans of dramatic contemporary stories.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


  1. Great review! Sounds like sad but great book. :)

  2. Oh no... I hate when I feel cheated at the ending, but this sounds like it will be a great pick when I'm looking for a sad read.

  3. I have heard great things about this book and I can't wait to read it!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  4. I feel this book is extremely important to society. I also think that maybe the recovery wasn't showcased because everyone deals with these things differently. There is no right or wrong way to deal with healing from abuse. This novel has the power to be highly influential, so it's best to keep some details to a minimum. At least that's my opinion. I could be totally off-base :). Anyway, great review!! I'm glad you enjoyed Breaking Beautiful too! :)

  5. Thank you for the review! The cover put me off on Breaking Beautiful, but it sounds like will be a great suspenseful read. I think I might pick it up soon!

  6. thanks for the riview,,,while iam reading your riview make me cant wait to reading this books..putting it in my TBR list...



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