Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Breaking Beautiful
 **Received book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

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:  I am sure that I will probably one of the only ones who didn't care for this book so much but I have to give my honest opinion.  It wasn't that it was a bad book, it was pretty good but the main character drove me crazy!  There were SO many times I wanted to smack her.  
The story starts with Allie recovering from a car accident that killed her boyfriend and left her scarred.  Everyone is asking her what happened but she has no memory of anything that led up to the accident.  She only knows what people have told her:  her boyfriend's truck went over the cliff into the ocean and she someone made it out of the truck before it went over.  Some say that Trip (her boyfriend) pushed her out to save her while others say she jumped.  
Allie hasn't been back to school yet and is obviously very depressed.  Her parents and her twin brother (who suffers from Cerebral Palsy) finally make her go back and she is surrounded by friends that she never had before the accident.  Now she has to figure out who her real friends are and what really happened that tragic night.
Allie was so weak in my opinion!  Throughout the story we see snip-its of her relationship with Trip and we find out that Trip is not really the golden boy everyone thinks he is.  Sure, he comes from the wealthiest family in town and he is super popular but underneath all that is a violent streak.  What I didn't like about this book was that even though Trip and Allie were together for only a year (maybe a little more) and still in high school, everyone was acting like Allie was some widow and her husband of YEARS had died.  Even Allie!  She couldn't talk to other boys because what would "other people" think?  She couldn't date anyone else or be happy or have any fun because the people in town might think it was too soon.  Excuse me?  It's sad yes but she was a teenager!  There is no set amount of "mourning" time.  It was really ridiculous.  Allie also annoyed me with how she blamed herself for everything.  Towards the end of the book, Allie makes a decision that is so terribly weak and I almost quit reading the book altogether.  However, after a short break, I picked it up again and finished it.  I was mad at how inconsiderate Allie was and how she put Blake is so much danger but it worked out.
I loved Blake.  He was Allie's friend from when they were little and Allie would visit her grandma.  After Allie's family moves to Pacific Cliffs and Allie starts to date Trip, her relationship with Blake ends.  Now that Trip is gone, she turns to Blake to help her get through school but of course, only in secret because no one can know she might have a friend and be happy.  Blake was a rebel and a bad boy but deep down he was caring and protective.  
Andrew is Allie's twin brother.  He suffers from Cerebral Palsy from lack of oxygen when they were born (of course, Allie blames herself for this).  He doesn't feel sorry for himself however and makes the best out of school and what he is able to do.  He gets a girlfriend and is not shy about going to school dances or anything.  He is just happy.  He loves his sister very much and really tries to protect her and keep her safe.  
Caitlyn is Andrew's girlfriend and I enjoyed her eccentric personality.  She was quirky and likes Andrew despite his handicap.  She helps take care of him and makes sure he has fun at parties and dances.  I loved her sense of style and how she just really didn't care what others thought.  I thought that Allie could learn a lot from her!
The story touches on some very serious subjects and deals with them pretty well.  I just got tired of the self-blame, self-pity and secrecy.  I also got tired of how everyone in town thought Allie (an 18-year-old girl) should be in mourning for a long time.  It just seemed ridiculous.  The person behind all the notes Allie gets is odd too.  I can't say much because I don't want to tell you who it was but really?  I didn't understand why this person would go to all this trouble and why they would care.  It was strange.  
So, this wasn't my favorite and I won't be rushing out to buy it (or even buy it at all) but it wasn't horrible.  It was a book that dealt with a lot and was a somewhat fast read.


  1. I liked your honest review of this book. I haven't read it- but the cover intrigues me. I like the colors and the red shoe. Thanks for sharing!


  2. I'm a huge fan of honest reviews! I think giving your true thoughts on a book—however critical they might be—is much more helpful than insincere gushing. That being said, it's too bad you didn't like this book. The author's my friend's SIL, so I'm anxious to read this one and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll like it!