Breaking Beautiful

( 52 )

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 ...

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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.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802723529
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 283,118
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    I feel this is a book teens will really enjoy. It has strong cha

    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.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Shaw Wolf has debuted with a heartbreakingly beautiful

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Breaking Beautiful

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Couldnt put it down, cant wait to read more from this author

    Couldnt put it down, cant wait to read more from this author

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Stunning

    I cannot begin to express how much I had been wanting to read Breaking Beautiful. After so much anticipation, it left me breathless and in tears. Jennifer Shaw Wolf wrote a stunning novel about love, loss, grief, shame, and abuse.

    Allie has lived an Army life. Her father was a sergeant major and frequently moved the family around. The only home she ever really knew was Pacific Cliffs, her grandma's home, her mom's home town, the place where her only friend lives. Upon her fathers retirement they moved back and Allie find herself in a relationship that ends with her broken and bruised, thinking little of herself. Now she must put together the pieces of the night he died, the night he went off the cliff.

    I loved this story. Allie grew from a girl who thought she was the cause of all problems to a girl who was slowly coming to realize that she never did anything wrong. She was broken and needed to trust again. Trip made her who she was. Blake reminded her of who she used to be. She was in control of who she would become.

    What first drew me to Breaking Beautiful was the kind of relationship Allie and Trip had and how she couldn't remember the night he died. Going in I knew this book would be an emotional roller coaster, but it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be. I found myself happy, sad, giddy, and crying the entire way though. Allie was like most people who have been abused. She was ashamed, felt guilty and thought little of herself. The plot was slow in the beginning, but quickly built to the mystery surrounding what really happened. As Allie slowly regained her memory, I became more entranced in the story line. In the end, I didn't know who would ultimately be responsible until it was finally revealed. Best of all, two unexpected twists!

    Overall, Breaking Beautiful was a wonderful read that kept me on the edge of my seat, dying to know how it would all end. I highly recommend this book!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Great

    Wonder ful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    A great first novel!

    A great first novel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    I hate it when

    I hate it when people wright gedefhvhbhvrxtvyhhgtr
    If you hate it to start wrighting it to! thanks!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Loved this book

    Great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Not recommended

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    good

    very good understanding

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    Loved it!!!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    Pretty good

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    natalia

    sounds sooooooo sad i see. :(

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    SOO GOOD

    So sad but soooooo good

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    Really 3.5 stars I was drawn to this book for the cover, especi

    Really 3.5 stars

    I was drawn to this book for the cover, especially the phrase on it: "Does time heal all wounds?" After reading the synopsis, I knew that this would be an emotional book, but I didn't realize just how many aspects of life this book would touch.

    Since the night of the car accident involving her and her boyfriend, Allie has mostly stayed in her room, hardly talking to her parents or her twin Andrew, merely tolerating her friend Blake's presence when he comes to deliver her homework for the day. But when a new detective is brought to town to continue the investigation and learn what really caused Trip's (Allie's boyfriend) death, Allie realizes that she will have to go on with life as best as she can. Slowly Allie starts to rebuild her life, dealing with the sympathy from her fellow students and trying to maintain the pretense that she is alright, but she still cannot escape her memories. She knows that Trip was abusive, but she doesn't know what exactly happened the night he died. As her memories gradually return, she begins to question not only her friends but also herself. And through the course of her journey, she finds that things are not always black and white...

    Breaking Beautiful does have an element of mystery and suspense, but what really makes this book are the characters. Although it was difficult to connect with Allie at first because she was so numb, as the story progressed, her thoughts and feelings became much more clear. I appreciated seeing the flashbacks of the night of the accident, as well as other times with Trip, as she came to remember them; these scenes really added to the story. I loved her relationship with Andrew; they were friends and tried to protect and care for each other rather than being simply bickering siblings. I also enjoyed Blake's character - who could help but fall for the tortured artist who clearly cared so much for Allie? He evoked almost as much sympathy as Allie, in his own way. Finally, I really liked Caitlyn's character and what she stood for. Throughout the book, Allie, Blake, Andrew, and Caitlyn could all be seen as victims in their own different ways, reminding us that everyone has their own burdens to bear and has to find their own ways to overcome them.

    This book may have dealt with heavy, serious topics, but there were moments of startling normalcy and lightheartedness scattered throughout the story that relieved the tension and allowed me to really connect with the characters. After finishing the book, I have to admit that I am conflicted about one detail of the ending. Even though I understand why things happened the way they did, I wonder what the consequences might have been of that decision.

    Breaking Beautiful is certainly a worthwhile read, full of meaning and important messages. I will look forward to reading more from Jennifer Shaw Wolf!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    Great!

    Loved this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    great read

    good book, kind of sad very well written, the end surprised me a little, I would recommend this book

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  • Posted July 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a very emotional story that didn't let me go, with

    This is a very emotional story that didn't let me go, with a main character that held my attention and a plot that uncovered piece by piece.
    Allie lost her boyfriend and is in mourning, but that is not all there is to the story. She's forgotten all the events leading up to his death, she doesn't know if she's responsible, her best friend is responsible, or a dark mysterious James is to blame. She isn't sure if she wants the memories to come back or not. Allie definitely got my sympathy, though I really wished she would have had the courage to come forward with the abuse sooner, but I've been in those shoes and I know the mindset, and I can only imagine if the person was dead and it might just seem like you're trying to tarnish his name.
    Blake is such a sweety and I was rooting for him right away. But again, with their blossoming romance that I wish would have started sooner in her life to save her lots of pain, with Trip just dying, I can see how she would be hesitant, and why she pushes him away like she does.
    I also love the character of her brother Andrew. He is so strong in all the right ways, he may have a disability, but he uses his brain and his huge heart for those he cares about. I think that their relationship is so touching and it makes me want to have a sibling. And Caitlyn is such a great addition, I love her quirkiness and how she is so at home with who she is. I love a character who can look past the surface and see the hearts of others, and really hold on to that.
    I really think the title is so appropriate, it is a sad book but in a beautiful kind of way... at least how everything turns into.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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