Searching For Beautiful

( 21 )


Before it happened…

Brynn had a group of best friends, a boyfriend who loved her, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And then…she had none.

After it happened…

Everything was lost. The boy she now knew never loved her. The friends who felt she betrayed their trust. The new life just beginning to grow inside her.

Brynn believes her future is as empty as her body ...

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Searching For Beautiful

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Before it happened…

Brynn had a group of best friends, a boyfriend who loved her, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And then…she had none.

After it happened…

Everything was lost. The boy she now knew never loved her. The friends who felt she betrayed their trust. The new life just beginning to grow inside her.

Brynn believes her future is as empty as her body until Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of. But letting someone in isn’t as easy as it seems.


Can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781622661480
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Series: Entangled Teen Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 447,499
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nyrae Dawn is also the author of the bestselling The Games series, including Charade. She is also the co-author of Out of Play with Jolene Perry. She lives in California with her husband and children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Another 5 star review for Nyrae Dawn Let me just say I am a hug

    Another 5 star review for Nyrae Dawn

    Let me just say I am a huge fan of Dawn's writing and she has always done such a marvelous job writing broken characters. Well she does it yet again. Most of her books that I have read are in the NA genre and this one is more YA/teen so the steamy is not their but the feelings and chemistry of the characters certainly is.

    The story is told from Brynn's POV. She is a 16 year old girl who has had her world torn apart at home, at school, and everywhere in between. Brynn is simply a young girl who closed herself off from her friends after tragedy strikes only to let someone else in. Unfortunately, that someone else only makes matters worse for Brynn and she has to deal with even more heartache. You would think her friends would be there to help, but they are too upset with Brynn and her choices. She finds herself closing off, existing but not living.

    Then along comes Christian, the boy she thought she loved in seventh grade. He is back and living right next door. She develops a beautiful relationship with his mother and she even makes another new friend along the way. But it is with Christian's help that she finds her way back and despite all her reservations, she eventually opens herself up to love again.

    This story was wonderful. Dawn always does such a great job of immersing you in the story. Rather than just reading what is happening, you really feel as if you are experiencing the story with the characters. Initially I did have a little problem with the alternating between past and present and getting confused a little about what happened when, but then I did get used to the flow. It is a sweet story about healing and finding your way back after something which really could have been devastating.

    I loved this story and I think teenagers and parent's alike would benefit from reading it. Dawn as always does an amazing job!!!

    Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Deeply emotional and absolutely lovely, Searching for Beautiful

    Deeply emotional and absolutely lovely, Searching for Beautiful was a wonderful YA read. I really liked this book and I really enjoyed reading it.

    Brynn was a lovely heroine. After her mother's death, she pulled away from her friends and closed herself off, only to get pulled into a dependent relationship with a manipulative older guy. And, to top it off, it all came crumbling down on her. She definitely didn't have an easy time. But, she grew up over the course of the book and found the strength to deal with it all and move on...eventually. There were times when she was a bit shrewish, but I understood why she was, so it didn't bother me to much. Overall, I really liked her.

    Christian was wonderful. He was very sweet and realistic. There are a lot of books where the heroine kind of uses the hero as a punching bag and, yet, the poor fool keeps coming back. Christian wasn't a pushover. He was loyal and willing to stand by Brynn, but he was also not going to force his presence when he kept being pushed away. I liked that about him. He was sweet and understanding, but not willing to make excuses when there weren't any. Basically, he acted like a real person. I really liked that and I definitely adored him.

    The romance was sweet. It progressed slowly, as Brynn found her say through all her demons. I thought it was sweet how Christian was there for her and helped her move one. They were lovely together.

    The plot was good. My main problem with this book was that it took a several chapters before I was fully drawn in. The transitions from past to present were a little shaky at first, before I got used to them. But, once the plot really kicked off, I was hooked. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely.

    Searching for Beautiful was a wonderful YA read. It was sweet, emotional, and an enjoyable read. YA romance lovers, you'll want to check this book out.

    *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    I was so lucky to be offered an ARC of this one. Searching for B

    I was so lucky to be offered an ARC of this one. Searching for Beautiful is a truly heart felts story of Brynn, who overcomes traumas in her life. Brynn is giong through a lot. After the first tragedy, she has withdraws from her friends who, in my opinion were not very good to her. She ends up finding a special someone who makes her feel loved again. That the whole in her chest is a little smaller. Unfortunatly that relationship ends terriblely and only adds to the burden on Brynn's heart. Her home, heart, and relationships are broken. How will she overcome this? Can her relationships be repared? 

    I was quite upset with Brynn's friends. After everything she had been through for them to act like the did was awful. I think Brynn described it the best. She talked about how in movies people make fun of you or call you bad names but, its far worse when they ignore you completely. Like you don't even exist. She was alone after everything. That is just terrible. I don't know how her freinds could even think about doing that. Even if Brynn shut down afterwards. Who wouldn't!? Her poor Dad didn't know how to handle the situation and it's understandable. Brynn had no support system and I felt so bad for her!

    Christian was her savior. They may not have realized it right away but, they saved each other. Him and his Mom. He never pushed her and called her out when she need to be. Even when Brynn was scared and didn't know if she could do it, Christian was there. There relationship progressed slowly. No instalove here. It was perfect and felt right!

    I really loved this book. It was a story of overcoming terrible tragedies in a young life. Brynn fought hard to overcome her challenges. This is a beautiful story and I would highly recommend it. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2014

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and Netgalley.)
    16-year-old Bryn expects her boyfriend Jason to support her when she tells him that she’s pregnant; so to be told to have an abortion, and for him to question the father of the baby really shocks her.
    Unfortunately Bryn then miscarries, but still has no support from her boyfriend and friends as they all seemingly turn against her.
    Why isn’t Jason supportive? And how long will it take Bryn to get over losing her baby?

    This was an okay story, but I lost interest.

    Bryn was an okay character. What she was going through was obviously difficult for her, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her with regards to the way her friend and Jason treated her. I didn’t really love her though, and found it a bit hard to connect to her.

    The storyline was alright, even though it didn’t go quite the way I expected, but unfortunately I just lost interest. I just couldn’t connect with Bryn, and didn’t feel invested in the story.
    I was interested to find out what had happened to her mum and how she had died, but that was about it really. The romance didn’t really interest me either, and I just got bored.
    The ending was okay, and fairly happy, but I really wasn’t interested by that point.
    Overall; okay story about death and bullying,
    6 out of 10.

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  • Posted April 5, 2014

    A true to life story about friendship, family, and love. I rece

    A true to life story about friendship, family, and love.

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.

    I've heard wonderful things about Nyrae Dawn's writing and even own a few books by her. Now, I know you think I'm going to say I was disappointed, but I was actually very pleased with this book. Despite the 2 star rating, I actually loved this book. I gave it two stars because I felt the story line was good, but the issues weren't solved until the very end, making the book feel rushed.

    However, the story was well written, good character development, and had good description. It could sometimes get a little to much, but I didn't mind it usually.

    Brynn is a strong main character but could be incredibly stubborn at times. I totally understand how she thought Jason loved her. But I also thought it was stupid when she would never tell anyone that she talked to Jason or saw him, but I still understand. I just disliked the fact that she thought her father hated her so much when it was obvious all he wanted was her to be okay and safe.

    Christian was my definite favourite character, but he to felt unfinished. I understand that he can bounce back and all, but then you discover he has anger management problems. I'm pretty sure that makes him contradict himself cause he can be so calm but has anger problems too. Aside from that, he was a good character and Nyrae did a great job developing him from grade 7, to grade 10.

    Overall, I enjoyed the story and found it very touching and sweet. It was definitely not a light fluff book, and for some people it can hit home, but that person wasn't me. I know some people that would fall in love with this book from top to bottom, but that's not me. However, I still did enjoy the book and feel that lots of people are going to love it.

    Rating: 6.9/10
    Parental Rating: 14+

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  • Posted March 15, 2014

    Young love is meant to be dramatic, I think, but for Bryn it is

    Young love is meant to be dramatic, I think, but for Bryn it is just over the top exhausting. Searching for Beautiful is an wide-open view of a 16 year old girl's heart, especially after it is broken by more than one love crisis. When my daughter is a teenager, I think I might have her read this when she thinks she's old enough for true love. Nyrae Dawn presents Bryn's situation in such a way that a young girl can really see a stereotypical way that a girl who's found herself "in trouble" might feel. The book waffles back and forth between flashbacks, which made it a bit difficult for me to stay in the moment. I also wasn't thrilled about Christian's appearance so suddenly; I felt that Bryn had some issues to work out on her own. Still, the message of emotional healing is heard loud and clear through this story.
    I received this book to review. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

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  • Posted March 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I love Nyrae Dawn books.  They deal with emotional, real things

    I love Nyrae Dawn books.  They deal with emotional, real things and have characters that get to me.  

    I just didn't feel that way this time.  I had a hard time connecting to Brynn.  She's 16 but her character felt more like my 13 year old students.  I didn't like Jason at all.  I didn't like her friends.  I felt sorry for her dad.  

    The story was hard to accept.  Problems were fixed to easily.  I had a hard time with the flow of befoe and after chapters that took us back and forth between "the incident".  

    This makes me very sad but I just didn't like it.

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  • Posted March 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Searching for Beautiful is an amazing story - it's a story that

    Searching for Beautiful is an amazing story - it's a story that could come straight from real life. Brynn has found herself in a horrible spot. Lied to by a much older boy, lieing to her friends, and losing something more precious than anything she has ever known. She shuts down and pushes everyone everyone away. She begins to doubt that anyone will ever believe her again and decides to swear off boys forever. 

    When a blast from the past shows up next door with problems of his own. Now, this may have a boy meets girl storyline, but I don't know that I would call it a romance. It's a story about Brynn finding herself and her life again - trying to remember who she was before everything happened and get it back. 

    This book is full of very subtle life lessons and one or two not so subtle ones. Brynn is a great character - amazingly flawed and she knows it. Christian has a bit of arrogance in him, but it sort of makes him more charming (most of the time). Each character has such a unique and different personality and life that they are easy to relate to and fall in love with. 

    The book has a mostly happy ending in a very surprising way. This is one that will stay on my mind for awhile. 

    *This book was received in exchange for an honest review* 

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  • Posted March 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I adore reading books that made me feel. This book brought me to

    I adore reading books that made me feel. This book brought me to tears at certain parts of the story. Searching for Beautiful is a book about Brynn, what happened to her (lost her mother, betrayed by boyfriend, lost her friends etc) and how she slowly regain her life thanks to new friends and getting back old ones. However, everything wasn't easy for Brynn.

    I love how Dawn shows us the present and the past in the book. It mainly focuses on the present with glimpses into Brynn's past about her mother and boyfriend and how everything ate at her. The present focuses on the struggles that Brynn faced in school and at home. Like I said, this book brought me to tears, especially about Brynn's breakdown. She's a tough character, strong but innocent, brave enough to make that first step. I can totally relate to what she was feeling and Dawn's words are filled with Brynn's feelings. They made Brynn felt real to me. Her neighbour, Christine, came back after disappearing for several years. He was with his own problems as well but it was really sweet to read how he urged Brynn. I also adore Christian's mother. Gosh, she's such a unique character on her own!

    I enjoyed reading Searching for Beautiful and losing myself in Dawn's words. I'll definitely be reading other book by her! Highly recommended!

    Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted March 8, 2014

    Review Originally Posted At: The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger 3.5

    Review Originally Posted At: The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger


    I've read a few of Nyrae Dawn's NA novels and recall thoroughly enjoying them, so when I was approached with the opportunity to review her new YA novel, I jumped all over it! What I loved so much about Searching For Beautiful was how unexpectedly deep it was. There are some tough issues addressed in this book and as a result of that, this story really hits you on an emotional level.

    The biggest flaw Searching For Beautiful had in my opinion was its slow beginning. I had a real hard time getting into the story and connecting with the main character Brynn. We are introduced to Brynn during a time where she is at a very emotionally drained place. Periodic flashbacks allow us to see what has lead her to this point, but the darkness that overwhelmingly takes over her present was hard to ignore. However, that all being said, as Brynn starts facing her issues and healing, I started getting into the plot. As Brynn begins embracing life again, I began embracing her story.

    Searching For Beautiful really is a novel about moving forward, growing, and allowing yourself to open up to others.....but that doesn't mean there isn't a little bit of romance thrown into the mix as well. Christian is the boy Brynn first ever danced with and has now suddenly made an appearance back into her life after unexpectedly leaving years ago. What I enjoyed so much about Brynn and Christian's relationship is despite the fact there was always an underlying attraction there for one another, they started off as friends and evolved into a couple. Christian provides that sweet, supporting friendship Brynn so desperately needed and he pushes her to not let her past define her. In addition to all of that, he's able to understand what Brynn is going through because he has issues of his own. His odd love for gummy bears just makes him that much more perfect!

    Overall, Searching For Beautiful ain't no light and fluffy read, but its intensity and "light at the end of the tunnel" ending leaves you feeling a sort of completeness. It wasn't the easiest novel to get into but I enjoyed taking this journey with Brynn. 

    *Copy was received in exchange for an honest review*

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Sometimes I forget what its like being a teenager. Where we are

    Sometimes I forget what its like being a teenager. Where we are so emotional with no logic. For Brynn she just lost her mom and wants no needs to feel loved and beautiful. She wants what her parents have so the minute someone calls her his beautiful she melts and falls 'in love'. This need is so strong she doesn't see how things actually are and hides this new part of her life.

    Then the unthinkable happens and she gets pregnant to only have the truth slap her in the face. With this truth comes the ugliness of what she thought was the love of her life as well as with her friends and dad.

    Brynn doesn't know how to handle all of this as most YA 's don't so she pushes people away and runs and hides until her junior high crush resurfaces back in her life as her new neighbor.

    Christian has dealt with his own issues and just moves forward and expects the same from everyone (typical boy). He has always liked Brynn and sees the potential in her but his approach is not what she needs.

    As Christian and Brynn figure out their own lives they become friends and a little more but this journey wasn't about Brynn truly finding the love of her life but finding the beauty and love in herself.

    You truly can't love anyone else until you can love yourself. Once Brynn is able to see her own beautiful she is able to move forward and live each day in the present and see what happens.

    Nyrae Dawn is truly one of my favorites and this book is different than her other books but it had a beautiful message and was well done. I think all YA should read this story for the importance of loving themselves and finding true beauty. With this everyone is more capable of living life know matter what is thrown your way.

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Well-Written and could be an inspiration for YA readers going th

    Well-Written and could be an inspiration for YA readers going thru a rough spell

    First of all, please know that this read wasn't my normal genre. I thought it would be more of a romance than it was. There was romance... but it's not primarily a romance. Unfortunately, I'm not really a fan of the subject. That said, it was a good read. It was well-written and the sentences flowed.

    Brynn had a wonderful family with a mother that the other kids envied. Brynn loved to spend time with her friends. She had a boyfriend and she was a talented potter. One fateful day she had an argument with her mother and walked away. When she returned and tried to open the door, she found her mother's body blocking the door. Her mother had died of a stroke. Brynn's world would never be the same.

    She fell out with her friends, her schoolwork suffered, she couldn't even get near her pottery equipment and fell in what-she-thought-was-love with an older man who took advantage of her. Her reputation suffered and her father no longer trusted her. 

    I found much of the story to be sad.. but I think that's because I have a different perspective than a young adult would. Brynn didn't seem to know how to dig herself out of the hole she'd dug. I wanted to shake her. But.. never fear... there is a light at the end of the tunnel so keep reading. There are lessons to be learned here for YA. I can believe that this book could inspire YA who are going thru a rough time. It's just not the best read for a older woman like me.

    So... please don't hold this review against the book... it's coming from the view of an older woman.

    3 1/2 stars!

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    When it comes to Nyrae¿s books, I¿ve come to expect certain thin

    When it comes to Nyrae’s books, I’ve come to expect certain things from them. First there is Nyrae’s brilliant writing. She has this way of telling a story in a beautiful, honest, gripping way. Next there is the characters that are realistic and flawed in the most spectacular ways. And then there is a sense of peace, hope, and happiness I get at the end of each book. She has this way of tearing your heart out throughout the course of the book but somehow manages to piece it back together by the end. Searching for Beautiful, while it may be different from any other Nyrae Dawn book I have ever read before, had all of these characteristics and so much more.

    Brynn’s story is one that I think everyone should read. It will likely break your heart but regardless, it is an important message, one that Nyrae portrays beautifully. Nyrae split this story up into “Before” sections an “Now” sections so we got to see the person Brynn used to be and the way Brynn is now. Hearing about how vibrant and care-free she was when her mom was around to how lost her and her dad became after her mom’s death, then how dependent she was on Jason, a boy who had bad news written all over him but she failed to see, and finally to how broken, scared, and lonely she was when she was left without her mom, without Jason, and without anyone to rely on but herself.

    Brynn’s problems only seemed to be doubling with every turn of the page and she was slowly unraveling, which is why I was so grateful when Christian entered in all of his advice-giving, friend-being, candy-chewing, guitar-playing glory. Christian was there for Brynn when it felt like no one else was. He was there to listen and give her advice when she needed it most. What I liked most about Christian was not these other great qualities he had but it was because he was not always likable. Now I know that sentence might come as a shock to you but allow me to explain. Christian can sometimes be judgmental and harsh, he sometimes says things to Brynn without thinking of how she will take it, and his temper gets in the way a few times. So why is it that I like this most about him? IT MAKES HIM REAL! I loved that Christian seemed so incredibly realistic. Guys, well people in general, don’t always say or do the right thing, they aren’t always overly kind and thoughtful but at the end of the day, a good friend tries their best to be there for someone else and this people is exactly what Christian is, a good friend to Brynn.

    I also really appreciated the characters of Brenda, Christian’s mom and Emery, a girl who Brynn meets at the community center. Brenda is such a loving, kind, supportive person. This is the first person that Brynn really talks to after her life falls apart. No one could ever take the place of her mother but I think Brynn was in desperate need of a mother figure of some sort and Brenda helped fill that void. As for Emery, she was a good friend for Brynn when Brynn’s friends weren’t there for her. Like Christian, she was a flawed character but despite these flaws, she was honest and there for Brynn when Brynn needed her.

    Even though Christian, Brenda, and Emery were there for Brynn, this story isn’t really about leaning on people when life gives you piles and piles of lemons. It’s more about learning to be strong, realizing you are more than your mistakes, and seeing just how amazing, beautiful, and strong you really are. This is a lesson that Brynn learns throughout the course of Searching for Beautiful with some help from these other awesome characters yes, but mostly, it is a lesson she learns on her own. This is why this book was so different from any other Nyrae book I’ve read before. Usually there is a beautiful romance involved and for this book, the romance didn’t really take the lead. It was more of a story of a girl learning to love herself, flaws, mistakes, and all.

    Do you see what I mean now? Searching for Beautiful is a story we should ALL read.

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    3 stars. An enjoyable read. I haven¿t read many books my Nyrae

    3 stars. An enjoyable read.

    I haven’t read many books my Nyrae Dawn, but the few I have, I have simple adored. Now, I was very excited about this one. I knew it
    wasn’t like my usual reads (the subject something I tend to stay away from), but I just really wanted to give it a try. 

    Now I did enjoy the story, but, sadly, I didn’t love it. Nyrae did a wonderful job with the pace and buildup of her story and plot. But I just
    couldn’t really connect with the characters on certain levels. And I felt she did handle the darker situations well. The building of the story
    was decent. And I felt like the book was told very simply, as in detail. 

    The characters were interesting. I just couldn’t really fall for them and some kind of ticked me off. Brynn, poor girl, is just having a tough
    year. A lot happens to her and in turn, her whole life shifts. I really felt for her, what she had to go through, I couldn't imagine. And I felt
    she did handle certain aspects of it all well. Her character growth was noticeable, though a bit slow though, but there nonetheless.

    I was really happy when Christian entered the story. I really liked his character. Like Brynn, he has his faults. What I liked about him is
    that he just didn’t give a crap about certain things, especially when it came to the rumors of Brynn. I also liked that Brynn and Christian
    were once friends before he moved away. That, to me, brought in a nice dynamic to their growing relationship and also brought in a nice
    backstory with the two.

    I’m gonna be honest, Brynn’s friends pissed me off. That whole situation just didn’t sit right with me and I felt that they didn’t process or
    handle things like friends should have. This is my opinion, of course.

    What Brynn goes through was really heartbreaking. I also felt that she could of handle certain situations that came up better. But again,
    she is a young girl and she displayed a lot of naivety throughout the book. She did grow quite a bit by the end of the story, which I was
    happy to see. I also felt that Christian was a great balance to her. When Christian moves back and when Brynn reconnects with him
    and his mother that seemed to give Brynn the pieces she needed to move on with her life. 

    Searching for Beautiful was a story about a girl learning to re-love and overcoming horrible events in her life. Though I didn’t love the
    story, I did enjoy it. It was nicely told and did present some nice characters. I would definitely recommend this one to readers who love
    heartbreaking situations where characters have to learn to overcome them. 

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    Posted March 4, 2014



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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I have previously read, and loved some of Nyrae's work, so when

    I have previously read, and loved some of Nyrae's work, so when I saw Searching For Beautiful I added it to my goodreads to-read list. When I got offered a copy of the book to review it had to be one of the easiest and quickest 'yes' I've ever replied with.

    Within minutes of making a start on Searching For Beautiful I had a very strong opinion on Jason, he is an ass, and after his first few sentences to Brynn I wanted to slap him. He is a selfish, self-centred ass.

    Searching For Beautiful is split into Before and After. Before takes place before the incident with Jason, while After is the aftermath of the situation. Before, Brynn had friends, her Mum, and a boyfriend who loved her like her dad loves her Mum. After she has lost her Mum, her boyfriend, her friends, and her relationship with her Dad is in tatters.

    The protagonist in Searching For Beautiful is Brynn, who I felt so sorry for. I wanted to wrap her up in cotton wool and keep her safe from everything around her. Thanks to Jason, she is abandoned by her friends who should have stuck by her and listened to her side of the story before making judgements, her classmates and school mates are all talking about her behind her back, and she has no-one who she feels she can turn to.
    One person who doesn't judge Brynn is Christian, a neighbour who left and came back. I liked how he tries to help Brynn, even though they don't initially get off to a good start, and helps her find belief in herself again, and the confidence to pick herself up. Yes this friendship has it's ups and downs, but it's real in every single way, and while Christian is helping Brynn, she is also helping him.
    Emery is a new friend that is in a similar situation to what Brynn was, and while Brynn doesn't exactly make Emery feel welcome, she sticks with Brynn, even if it is just sitting next to each other, or letting Emery talk while Brynn listens. This is another friendship I enjoyed getting to see develop, and while there were some moments I wish Brynn had acted sooner, I did like seeing how far they have both come at the end of the book.

    I don't want to say too much about Searching For Beautiful as I don't want to give away details of what happens in the pages or what happens to make Brynn's life so sad, but I do know that this is possibly my favourite book so far that I have read of Nyrae's, I vaguely remember crying a little near the end of the book. Searching For Beautiful really makes you think about how judgemental people can be, how quick they are to listen to only one side of a story and take that as the final decision. Brynn had no support after suffering a huge loss, no-one to talk to that she thought had her back, a stranger had to be the person she opens up to, and while I know this situation makes Searching For Beautiful  work, it also makes you think of what happens every day in the world, and I hope I come out of reading this book with that in mind, and wait before making judgements myself.

    *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Searching For Beautiful is one of those books that, while emoti

    Searching For Beautiful is one of those books that, while emotionally difficult to read, has such a beautiful message of hope behind it. Nyrae Dawn isn't afraid to tackle some very heavy topics, and I feel she did so very tactfully and appropriately. I really like that Dawn alternates between Brynn's life Before and Now. It is very telling of who she is now compared to the girl she used to be and I feel it was important to see the drastic difference in her personality and spirit.

    Everyone wants to be loved and Brynn De Luca is no exception. After a devastating loss has turned Brynn's life upside down, she seeks comfort in the arms of a guy who says he'll be there for her and that he understands what she's going through. At 16, Brynn is still so young and thinks what her and Jason have is true love. He calls her beautiful and makes her feel special- what girl doesn't long for that? She has always been a romantic at heart and I love how much she idolizes her parents' love for one another. Too often we read about teenagers who are ostracized from their parents or whose parents are not around or involved. Brynn is very fortunate to be able to bear witness to what love truly is and know what it is supposed to look like. However, because of Brynn's naivety, she doesn't see Jason for the person he truly is and when she finds out some life-altering news he shows his true colors and they are quite ugly.

    I hated Jason. So so much. He spins everything around on her- making her feel as she is the one to blame for what happened. He destroys her self-worth and poisons her mind with his toxic words. I seriously wanted to junk punch him. I feel like he took advantage of a grieving girl and used that grief to create a hero complex for himself.

    I definitely had a hard time with Brynn's best friends. They are upset that she pushed them away afterwards and now they won't even bother with her because they think she lied to them about not knowing who Jason really was. Going back to school is difficult for Brynn, as the rumors run rampant and kids stay away from her, treating her as an outcast. She is lonely and misses her friends and is struggling with who she is supposed to be now. Her relationship with her father is strained and she finds herself wishing he would be the man she used to know before.

    Christian and Brenda were the absolute bright spots in Brynn's life. Brynn thought she loved Christian back in seventh grade and after finally getting her special dance with him at the school dance, he moved away. Now, he has returned and he is the only one who pays any attention to her. He tries to incorporate her back into their group, but she is still so shell-shocked over everything that she can't. She ends up hurting his feelings several times before she finally grasps that he is just what she needs to make it through. His mom Brenda is warm and comforting and accepts Brynn with no reservations. She gives her the attention and motherly affection that she so desperately craves and misses.

    I love how easy-going Christian is with her. Every time he called her Bryntastic my heart melted a little bit! He has some of his own issues, but he doesn't let his anger for what happened with his sister drag him down or keep him from living his life. He pushes and challenges Brynn in just the way she needs and I really admired him for that. He remembers the girl she used to be and he works to help remind her.

    "I wanted to see your smile again. Because you're beautiful when you smile and you've lost it, too. I want you to conquer this because what the hell is the purpose in it all, if the first girl I ever danced with loses her smile?"

    Overall, I really enjoyed the message of hope, forgiveness, and self-discovery that Searching For Beautiful offers its readers. However, I felt kind of meh while reading. While I could appreciate its beauty, I just didn't feel immersed in the storyline like I would have liked. With that being said, it was still a very enjoyable read and I am glad I picked it up for review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    Initially, I was very hesitant about this. From the blurb, it lo

    Initially, I was very hesitant about this. From the blurb, it looked like yet another YA where a girl meets a boy who makes her life complete… Although Searching For Beautiful did have traces of that, it was more a story of self-realisation. Christian does help Brynn get her life back on track, but not in an obsessive, needy way; and just as much help comes from Brynn’s father and female friends.

    Brynn was an interesting character. She had a tendency towards self-pity, and she did wallow in her grief a lot, but her friends were quick to call her out on it. There isn’t a quick fix to the kind of situation that Brynn finds herself in, and the book doesn’t try to preach that; it shows the time after grief as a slow, awkward process of healing, but made more bearable by the people we surround ourselves with.

    Brynn’s friends and family played a big part in her story, which was a huge saving grace where Christian was concerned. Without them, he would have been another hot boy love interest who manages to fix the broken female protagonist, but he had plenty of his own messes that needed sorting out, and while he did help her, he was also thoughtless and insensitive; and I liked that a lot. Brynn’s memories of her mum also have a huge influence on her, as well as the absence of her friends and her strained relationship with her dad—the whole story didn’t revolve around Brynn’s time with Christian.

    Admittedly, I would have liked it even better without any romance in, because my heart is that of a crusty withered cave troll, but I still liked Searching For Beautiful. It was a sweet read—not truly heart-crushing or soul-stomping, but a good solid story well told with real and sympathetic characters.   

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Searching for Beautiful is a YA book with all the classical elem

    Searching for Beautiful is a YA book with all the classical elements of the genre, an anguished teenager girl, the sweet boy, tears and drama. However, the author achieves to create a book that is more than a simple story about redemption, forgiveness, friendship, grief, moving on and love.

    To be totally honest, somewhere around page sixty of my copy I was about to dump this book because of the constant reminder of her suffering and self-pity. But I decided to keep reading and it turned out to be a good story. When I finally could relate with Brynn and understand some of her choices I was able to enjoy the story. Basically the blurb summarized it perfectly, after a tragic event in Brynn’s life she makes some choices that leave her alone and sad. Then, little by little she picks up the pieces of her life with the help of the boy next door.

    Brynn is a bit selfish and really self-centered at first but once I realized that most teenagers believe they are the center of the universe, I started to comprehend Brynn and her actions. It’s true that most of the time I wanted to punch her for not talking to someone and it was annoying to see her wallowing in her own pain. But again, teenagers feel with more intensity and every bad thing seems like the end of the world.

    Jason is the perfect villain. I know most people will hate him but let’s be honest, there are hundreds of guys like him out there and I think he can be a great warning for all the readers. Still, I couldn’t find the justification of Brynn not knowing who he was convincing enough.

    Christian was the sweet boy she needed as support and as an anchor. My favorite thing about him is that he is not perfect; he is a bit temperamental for moments. There were other characters, for example Brynn’s father, Brenda and Emery. Each one, despite having a small part on the story, has an important role from a different position.

    The story has some jumps into the past, this allow us to see what happened before and see the evolution of Brynn and the story. The language is simple but engaging and easy to follow. There are long internal conversations and arguments while Brynn is figuring out who she can trust and how to heal.

    Mainly what convinced me to continue reading the book was the message the author tries to deliver. Life is not easy and there is no right or wrong in how to live it. We are supposed to make mistakes in our lives, is how we face the consequences what is important. Each person deals with the hard times in their own way and we shouldn’t be judging others for how they choose to manage the pain and suffering, we cannot expect for all to be as strong as some people.

    Overall, this is a really good YA book. If you like the genre I’m sure you will like it because it has the growing up issues you expect, the sweet romance and the teenager drama you want. For me it was a good read, the general theme as I said in the previous paragraph was excellent but the first part of the book was slow and it took a while to find the story appealing.

    *** I received an ecopy from the publisher in exchange of an honest review. ***

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013



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