Breaking Beautiful

Breaking Beautiful

4.3 52
by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
     
 

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Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident-including her memory of the event. She doesn't remember driving on the cliff road. She doesn't recall jumping from the truck just before Trip lost control. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she's kept hidden

Overview

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident-including her memory of the event. She doesn't remember driving on the cliff road. She doesn't recall jumping from the truck just before Trip lost control. 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 quickly turns on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. As the threats begin and the survivor's guilt takes over, Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free?

Fans of dark contemporary stories will feel right at home in the hands of debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf as she takes them on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and ultimately, forgiveness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sara Megibow, Nelson Literary Agency. (Apr.)
VOYA - Marla K. Unruh
Allie just cannot handle school anymore—not since the accident that took her boyfriend Trip's life and left her with a gash in her head. Normally, she would be up and getting ready for school in the morning, but now she does not leave her room. First, her mother checks on her, then her twin brother in his wheelchair. She overhears her parents talking about a new investigation into the accident. Will she have to relive the whole thing? The scars left by the accident are not the only wounds she carries. There are also the bruises left by Trip. Shaw gets inside the head of a girl suffering guilt, loss, and relief at the death of her abusive boyfriend; and crafts a realistic journey through, not only recovery, but also the mine field of anger and blame from Trip's friends and family. Shaw's characters, both adult and teen, are well-drawn: Hannah, Trip's nasty-nice former girlfriend; Trip's overbearing father; Allie's concerned parents; and Blake, the loyal best friend since childhood. Allie's twin brother, Andrew, though confined to a wheelchair, also plays a dynamic and important part. With just-right pacing, the author pulls all the threads together for a surprising, but satisfying ending. Teenage girls, especially, will find this novel an illuminating story, but it is more than "chick lit." Any young person can identify with Allie's struggle. Reviewer: Marla K. Unruh
Children's Literature - Bonita Herold
Allie doesn't remember the accident, and she is not sure she wants to. She has a terrible secret to hide. Her dad has been an absentee parent due to military obligations, and her mom sees only what she wants. She can't turn to them for help. She won't even tell Andrew, her twin brother. She is too ashamed. Confined in a wheelchair, he would only feel frustrated at his inability to help. If she had spoken out from the beginning, maybe her senior year would be something to embrace, rather than dread. Blake would be her boyfriend, and the very popular Trip would not be dead. As it is, eyes watch her every move, waiting for her to mess up, haunting her. Everything is her fault. Wanting—no, needing—to unearth the mystery at the very root of the novel will force the reader to quickly turn the pages. This powerful tragedy/mystery/romance dealing with a young woman's self-imposed prison created by lies and confusion rivals the works of Sarah Dessen. That's no mean feat. While the main audience may be teenage girls, women of all ages will clamor for more novels by Wolf. Reviewer: Bonita Herold
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Eighteen-year-old Allie's life changes in an instant when her boyfriend, Trip Phillips, drives off a cliff in small-town Pacific Cliffs. Allie survives the wreck but wishes her secret would have died with him. She is haunted by the fact that Trip was physically and emotionally abusive. She can't remember that fatal night but is sure that the incident wasn't an accident. Maybe her twin brother was trying to protect her from Trip's abuse, or maybe it was her best friend, Blake. Regardless, the case is reopened as suspicious circumstances begin to emerge, and Allie must relive that night and find the courage to speak up about the abuse even though she fears that no one will believe her. Teens will be consumed by the mystery, and romantics will hope that Allie and Blake can make it even though it seems that the town is against them. The author has done a good job of helping readers understand the accident as it is told in flashbacks yet intertwined with present-day events. The story unfolds in a convincing manner; nothing is left open-ended, which leaves readers sure that Allie is no longer in turmoil, and that she has moved forward.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802723529
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
778,400
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

JENNIFER SHAW WOLF grew up in the tiny town in Idaho, where she milked cows, rode horses, went bridge jumping, and dragged main street. During her college years she was a DJ for a small campus radio station and graduated with a degree in broadcast communications. Her current hobbies include reading, video production, skiing, and running. Breaking Beautiful is her first book.
www.jennifershawwolf.com

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Breaking Beautiful 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A quick read that takes you through all emotions. You feel Allie's fear and embarrassement as an abused teenage girl trying to protect herself and those around her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldnt put it down, cant wait to read more from this author
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Shaw Wolf has debuted with a heartbreakingly beautiful novel about love, death, and forgiveness. At first, it seems as though Allie just lost the perfect relationship. Allie and Trip were the perfect couple, and she was the golden girl who caught the heart of the local hottie as soon as she moved into town. Allie's despair appears to arise out of her heartache over losing Trip. However, mysteries and questions arise when Allie begins trying to live again and demons from her past come back to haunt her. Allie is a bit of a weak heroine. Blake and her twin brother Andrew are forever looking after her, and her inability to stand up for herself puts the two boys through a number of difficult decisions. Even Andrew's girlfriend Caitlyn, a girl filled with vitality and a wild sense for fashion, has to step in for Allie at times to give her the push to stand up for herself. Nevertheless, I appreciate Allie as a character because all girls have a little bit of Allie in them--the desire to be loved, yet feeling unworthy of love; the desire to stand up for herself, yet lacking the confidence; and the desire to give back to loved ones, yet worrying that she'll hurt them instead. There are different kinds of heroines in the world, and Allie expresses the characteristics of a girl who wants to love and be loved. She has made bad decisions in her lives, placing the ones who truly care about her in jeopardy. In the process, she has hurt, she has been hurt, and she has found love in the process: in romance, in family, and in friendship. Allie is surrounded by a cast of wonderful characters and a family that loves her, and she is threatened by some despicable villains. I am confused as to the intentions of the new detective in town, but overall he appears to be the kind of guy who gets his job done. Breaking Beautiful is the kind of book that you want to love, filled as it is with characters you want to cheer for, characters that you want to scold, and, yes, even characters that you want to hate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonder ful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great first novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story was very slow in development, dragged on and on. No surprises as I guessed all of the "mystery" early on. Would not recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very good understanding
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully written and really addressed the sensitive topic of domestic violence in teenagers, which is a topic people don't like to discuss or believe happens. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I purchased this book, I never expected it to be one of the best books I have read in a long time. Such a beautiful story line with characters you can relate too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story but i almost put it down a number of times because the drama and angst were so intense and went on and on. I think it is time thst female characters were smarter!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So sad but soooooo good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel this is a book teens will really enjoy. It has strong characters, a great plot, and an issue that is more commonly dealt with today. However, it also kept me interested and guessing some things until the end.