Book Summary: After a car accident, Allie narrowly survives and is stuck trying to figure out what happened that night and how she survived while her boyfriend, Trip died. She struggles with this fact but, after her parent’s suggestion, returns to school only to be suspended after a ‘fight’ that wasn’t exactly her fault. Rumors and suspicions about her part in the accident infect the small town. Matters worsen when a detective comes to town to reopen the case. Her relationship with her friend, Blake, grows stronger during this time, as he seems to be the only one on her side when everyone else is against her. Her twin brother, Andrew, and his girlfriend Caitlyn also play a part in her support system. The reader learns about Trip and how he treated Allie in flashbacks and recollections from the past. Allie experiences ups and downs, struggling with her will to live after the accident and in the face of such negativity. She manages to persevere until she finds the answers she needs and learns that she is worthy of love and happiness.
APA Reference of Book: Wolf, J. S. (2012). Breaking beautiful. New York, NY: Walker Publishing.
Impressions: I enjoyed Allie’s character and I liked the mystery of what happened the night of the accident. Trip was an awful boyfriend and the accident was justice for his abuse of Allie. Her relationship with her brother was interesting and I wish there were more moments between the two of them. The blooming romance between Allie and Blake was obvious, and I wish the author had left that friendship as a friendship, especially after everything she had gone through. As someone with a disability, I found it refreshing to read Andrew’s character. He was more than his cerebral palsy. I also appreciated the way the author showed the aftermath of abuse. Trip clearly had a lasting impact on Allie, who was clearly not okay and still affected by him after his passing. The descriptions of her facial expressions, her discomfort when people were upset with her, and the flinching and other fear-based movement when people moved a certain way around her were red flags that will hopefully allow readers to recognize them in their friends and family.
Professional Review: “On the night of Allie’s 18th birthday, she and her boyfriend, Trip, get into a horrible car accident. Trip drives over a cliff and dies, and although Allie survives, her memory of the night is patchy. She refuses counseling, but when a detective comes to her small Northwest town to reopen the investigation, her dark memories of Trip’s abuse and the fateful night resurface (“Everyone thinks I have survivor’s guilt. What would they say if they knew what was really inside?”). Allie feels attacked from all angles: at school she’s resented by Trip’s friends, and at home she’s smothered by her parents and her concerned twin brother, who has cerebral palsy. Her only ally is her childhood friend and crush Blake, whose troubled past makes him a suspect in the accident that killed Trip. When Allie receives threatening notes written in Trip’s handwriting, she is finally forced to confront her memories. Wolf’s debut impressively weaves Allie’s chilling memories with present-day drama. Part romance, part mystery, this solid outing offers a persuasive portrait of guilt and recovery.”– Publisher’s Weekly
Breaking Beautiful [Review of the book Breaking Beautiful]. (2012, March 5). Publisher’s Weekly. Retrieved from https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-8027-2352-9
Library Uses: This book would be good in a display of book featuring characters with disabilities.