Breaking Beautiful

Breaking Beautiful

by Jennifer Shaw Wolf


View All Available Formats & Editions


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.

Product Details

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

About 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Breaking Beautiful 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 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.
BookSpot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Allie's small town of Pacific Cliff's is mourning the death of her boyfriend, its golden boy, Trip. Trip died in the accident that sent his truck plunging off the seaside cliff - Allie survived but with no memory of the night or the accident.Now, as she's recovered enough from her injuries to return to school nearly everyone seems to expect her to miss Trip as much as they do and in the same way. Only, while Allie might not be able to remember the night of the accident - the cotillion dance, the drive afterwards - she does remember the abuse she suffered at the hands of Trip. The abuse seemingly no one knew about.With a new detective in their sleepy town, there to reopen the investigation into Trip's death, will Allie be able to continue to keep her secrets? And will she ever remember what happened the night of the accident? Will she even want to?Breaking Beautiful is so much more than a story about a girl who can't remember something. Or a girl with secrets. Jennifer Shaw Wolf's debut is full of complex characters - from Allie to her brother Andrew, her childhood friend Blake, even some of the more minor school friends/foes - who have their own complicated pasts and presents that play into their motivation. It's a book that doesn't take things lightly and it doesn't let readers into the story lightly. We meet Allie after she's already survived the accident and is struggling with how to remember Trip, her abusive boyfriend who's died rather tragically.With a military father she's been the new girl all her life, but now they're in her mother's hometown, where everyone knows everyone, something Allie always thought she'd be grateful for. Except that now, with Trip's death, she's seeing the darker side of that. Allie doesn't act the way everyone wants/expects her to and things quickly get very hard for her. The way that Wolf writes this is gripping, painful, and full of tension. While you do, at times, want to tell Allie something to do, there's never a surefire fix.Her only ray of possible hope is her old friend, Blake. She'd left him behind recently but he seems to still be willing to be there for her. And he was, maybe, the only person in town who didn't love Trip.Breaking Beautiful's plot packed so much more of a punch (literally and figuratively, I suppose) than I anticipated - I loved it.A mystery, a romance, as well as a great look at friendship, family relationships and personal struggles, Breaking Beautiful is full of twists and turns right up until the end. You'll feel for the characters - even those you aren't sure have the best intentions - and hope everything turns out okay for all of them.
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure what to expect when I began this story but what I found was a compelling contemporary story about abuse from the victim's point of view. It was also a story about rebuilding a life after tragedy.Allie is trying to get over the death of her boyfriend and get over the injuries she suffered. She has large gaps in her memory about the night she was hurt and Trip died. But what the rest of the world doesn't know is that, along with the grief Allie is feeling, she is also feeling relief that Trip is no longer around to abuse her. Trip was the handsome, rich, athletic golden boy of his high school. Allie was the newcomer to town who had already been in seven schools because her father was career military. When she saw him, she was dazzled that someone so wonderful would be interested in her. Of course, Hannah George, Trip's former girlfriend, cheerleader, and the most influential girl in school, is jealous and makes things hard for Allie at school. Gradually things start to go wrong and the cycle of abuse, apology, and presents begins. Allie doesn't tell because she doesn't think anyone would believe her and, besides, she is convinced it is her fault. If she were less clumsy or more able to be what Trip needs, he wouldn't hit her. She can't tell her twin brother Andrew about it. He has problems of his own with his cerebral palsy. She can't tell her mother because her mother is encouraging her to go out with Trip and she works for Trip's father. She can't tell her father because he hasn't been around much because of his military career. Then there is Blake Evans. Blake, Andrew and Allie have known each other since they were kids. Andrew and Allie used to spend time each summer in the town visiting their grandmother. But Blake has problems of his own. He is the son of a girl who ran away with a school teacher and returned a couple of years later with a drug problem and with him. She dumped him on his grandmother and disappeared only to reappear every few years just in time to mess up his life again. Most recently, his mom took Blake to Reno to live with her and a new husband but, after the marriage fell apart, Blake got into trouble and spend some time in juvenile detention for breaking and entering. That means that he has the reputation in town as a juvie and is an outcast in school himself. This was a very engaging story. It is filled with tension. When an investigator hired by Trip's father comes to town, a lot of pressure is put an Allie to try to reconstruct those last hours with Trip while still maintaining her secrets about how he treated her. It is also the story of moving on after a tragedy and finding out who really cares for her. I liked how the relationship between Blake and Allie plays out. I recommend this one to readers of contemporary fiction. I enjoyed it very much.
thehidingspot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think I have an unhealthy interest in characters that suffer from memory loss. Seriously. From the moment I read the description of Breaking Beautiful - and saw the foreboding cover - I knew I'd have to read it. I didn't have a choice; it demanded my attention.While it was this one detail, the amnesia, that drew me to Breaking Beautiful, it was actually the abusive relationship that Allie keeps so carefully hidden that kept me transfixed. Having been in a couple rather unhealthy relationships myself, my heart broke for Allie. I think it's often hard for people to understand why someone would stay in an abusive relationship, and perhaps you can never fully understand if you haven't experienced it for yourself (and you should be happy of that!), but Shaw handles the subject with careful hand. She gives an honest, sensitive portrayal of an abusive relationship, showing that abusive relationships are not starkly black and white for those intimately involved.The presence of amnesia in a novel's description often signals mystery, which is true of Breaking Beautiful. For most the novel, I really wasn't focused on what happened the night Trip died. I was much more interested in Allie, her story before Trip died, and the fallout of the accident. Gradually, as Allie regained her memories and a romance developed with her best friend, Blake, I remembered that what happened the night of the accident was actually quite important. Assuming Trip didn't kill himself, somebody helped cause his untimely demise... and quite a few characters had motive. Still, I had no idea what happened that night and discovered the truth right along with Allie, which was quite powerful.I highly recommend Breaking Beautiful to fans of dramatic contemporary YA. Shaw's debut isn't cute and bubbly, though it does have definite light woven into the dark themes and issues. There is a heaviness to this book's content, but it is, ultimately, a hopeful story. I look forward to more from this author!
Melanie_McCullough on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So far this year I've read two books this year about girls, car crashes, memory loss, and a night they would rather forget. This is definitely the better of the two. Not that the other was bad. It wasn't. It was great. I gave it four stars. But Breaking Beautiful falls into the category of books that remind me what literature could be and should be. It made me remember why I love to read and busted me out of a slump that was threatening my ever-growing TBR pile. I didn't want to read before I picked up Breaking Beautiful. I was tired of being disappointed or just feeling meh about a book. Now, I'm excited. I know that somewhere in that large stack of books is another story that I don't want to miss out on. I'll continue to read the blah of the book world if it means I might find another gem like Breaking Beautiful.We're told early on that Allie's boyfriend Trip was an abuser. Through pieces of her scattered memory we see the kind of pain he inflicted upon her and we see how each incident breaks her spirit--her sense of self-worth--a little bit more. To say that I was glad Trip was dead at the onset would be an understatement. I was thrilled. But just because the abuser is out of the picture does not mean that the affects of his abuse disappear. Allie still flinches when someone touches her and wears sweaters to cover the bruises.She still has trouble trusting, well, anyone. Even her parents. Even her childhood best friend Blake, who, it's clear, would do just about anything for her. I absolutely adored Blake. I wanted so much for he and Allie to be together. Allie wants it too. At first, she's afraid of what people will think. That perhaps they'll think she moved on from Trip too quickly. What she gets is a town full of people who come to believe that she and Blake are somehow responsible for Trip's death. It's fear of losing or hurting Blake, more than anything else, that finally convinces Allie that she has to face what happened the night Trip died and finally tell the whole truth about their relationship.Breaking Beautiful is absolutely incredible. It will hook you from the first paragraph and it just gets better from there. When this book was anywhere near me, I was reading it. And when it wasn't, I was thinking about it. Jennifer Shaw Wolf does an incredible job of injecting suspense and mystery, giving us tiny snippets of Allie's relationship with Trip and the night of the accident. Just enough to keep the reader guessing and tearing through the pages. Jennifer Shaw Wolf is a debut author with some serious talent. I've been stalking her blog and I know that she has another book in the works called Shards of Glass. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
AngelaFristoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Breaking Beautiful! Not the easiest thing to say when it's about an abusive relationship, especially one that is told looking back. For me what made the story so interesting were the characters and the mystery of what really happened.Allie seemed so realistic to me. With every glimpse into her relationship with Trip I wanted to scream at her for not leaving him and for not telling anyone, but Shaw Wolf counters that with the lack of control Allie felt not just with her relationship with Trip but also with her parents. Her reasoning may not have been logical, but it was real. Her friend Blake was one of those characters that seemed to border on too perfect, but as the story progresses he shows his flaws and it gives him a more human side. He is a nice foil to Trip. While Trip is perceived as the local good boy by just about everyone other than Allie, Blake is seen as the bad boy. Pretty much the opposite of who they really were.Despite Trip not being in the alive during the story, he was a pivotal character and his rapid and frequent mood swings that Allie lets the reader experience are scary and sad. He is like many abusers, capable of being two completely different people. The mystery of his death was actually one I was hoping would not be solved, because it would cause someone else to be hurt. Shaw Wolfe does an excellent job of making the reader question, through Allie's own conflicting emotions, whether they believe Trip's death was deserved, or if, no matter what kind of a person he was, he didn't deserve to die.Breaking Beautiful was an amazing debut novel and Jennifer Shaw Wolf is definitely an author I look forward to reading again.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is so intense! I mean, once I started the book and really got into the story line, I was hooked. What I loved most about this book is the great story line. We have missing clues, a relationship that is not what it is as well as a unsolved murder. While this plot line builds and builds to an exploding ending, the reader also get each part of the demise that has happened. With each new memory coming back fast, the reader slowly learns the truth of what happen that night.The characters of the book are well written. I think that with everything that has happen to Allie her feelings and action are justifiable. I can't imagine anyone else acting differently then what Allie went through. Allie dealt with so many conflicted emotions it was hard not to step into her shoes.There are two kinds of love in the book that simply blew me away. The love of a friendship spawning into something more and a sibling love that bring in so much loyalty. The way the story is written mixed in with amazing views of what happen, I loved it.Breaking Beautiful is an dazzling story. It scorns the reader with burning curiosity of what happen that night, leading with breads crumbs to an great ending. Rich in plot and emotions, Breaking Beautiful is fantastic!
ahandfulofconfetti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Breaking Beautiful was the first book dealing with abusive relationships that I've read. The subject matter always made me leery, because it could so easily be done incorrectly. But I liked the fact that this book involved a mystery: Allie's boyfriend, Trip, is dead, and Allie can't remember what happened that night. She is automatically looked at with suspicion because she survived and he did not. It doesn't help that Trip is seen as a perfect boyfriend, and was extremely popular in their small town. (It also doesn't help that his father is loaded and single-handedly brought tourism back to the town, rejuvenating it.) But the reader - and Allie - are aware of the darker side of Trip: the fact that, when he got angry - which was quite often - he'd take that anger out on Allie. Allie is afraid to say anything, though, because she doesn't want people to know what Trip did, mostly because she fears that they'd never believe her (and that it would just make her look even more guilty regarding his death). Allie spends much of this book afraid: afraid to remember, afraid to tell anyone the truth, afraid of what others think about her. The book encompasses Allie's journey as she tries to move on, and also her growth as a character.One other thing I loved about this book was Allie's relationship with her twin brother, Andrew, who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. Allie tries so had to protect Andrew, because she feels like he isn't as strong as she is, but in truth it was Andrew who was the strongest character in the story. I loved seeing their little talks, the flashbacks to when he tried to help her with Trip, and just their little day-to-day conversations and the way they lived their lives and interacted with each other. This was a really great sibling relationship, and was probably one of the strengths of the book. I also thoroughly enjoyed Blake, and the way we got to see what his and Allie's relationship looked like prior to her meeting Trip. I also loved the fact that, to Blake, Andrew was just another person and wasn't anything strange or different because of his disability (and I ADORED Caitlyn, the girl Andrew starts dating during the book). Blake was such a great character: fully developed, with interesting an interesting back story, who's dealing with a number of things that no one knows about. He's aware of what others think about him, and doesn't care. The only person he cares about is Allie, and I give him so much credit for never giving up on her, even when she treated him horribly. I liked the slow development of his relationship with her, his little insights into what she's thinking, and how he just really cared about her from the very beginning. Their relationship was so well-developed that by the time they were "together" it was just perfect, including Allie's insecurities and worries about what the relationship might imply to others.The abuse was dealt with in a really realistic way: you see the flashbacks to what Trip did to Allie (aside from the accident that killed him), you hear her inner monologues in which she puts herself down, and you see her reactions when people raise a hand to her (even if they're not going to hit her), or get angry with her. Her whole personality screams, "I've been abused," and it's kind of amazing that no one realized what was going on. There were so many lines that just really spoke to me: "I glance around out of habit, to see if anyone is watching before I approach [Blake]," (10%), "[Trip would] get mad if I had something to do that didn't involve him," (14%), "With Trip around, I was isolated from the rest of the school, but I was isolated with him for company. Now I'm just alone," (34%). And then there was the box of her mementos that absolutely screamed "this is what an abusive relationship looks like!" You had the apology letters - "I'm sorry, I'll never do it again, please forgive me, I didn't mean it, etc," and the expensive gift
jacindahinten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was hoping to read Breaking Beautiful and find it to be beautiful. That didn¿t happen. I found it to be kind of broken.I know the above couple of sentences sound a bit harsh. I couldn¿t connect with Breaking Beautiful in anyway¿well maybe one way. I will get to it. Let¿s start off with the protagonist Allie. I didn¿t feel sorry for her in the slightest. This sounds rather horrible of me since her boyfriend just died and this boyfriend was also physically abusing her. I eye-rolled SO many times. I was screaming at Allie in my head to just tell the flipping truth already! She just kept digging herself into deeper holes¿it didn¿t make any sense to me. If she didn¿t do these things, I guess we wouldn¿t¿ have a story though.Allie¿s parents I couldn¿t stand. Allie¿s mom seems to be so wrapped up in outward appearances and how her and her family are perceived in town, she doesn¿t seem to notice what has been happening to her daughter and that her daughter is struggling. Maybe I wasn¿t supposed to like them¿I¿m not totally sure. I do know that they weren¿t the ¿smother you with love¿ parent types.I was one-third of the way into Breaking Beautiful and I kept wondering when SOMETHING was going to happen. Just anything. It took a bit longer after that point for the author to start moving the story forward. As you can tell, this story had a bit of a slow start for me.The one and only thing I found enjoyable in this story were two characters: Andrew & Caitlyn. Andrew is Allie¿s twin brother and I fell in love with him from the start. I also loved Caitlyn when she was introduced later in the story¿I won¿t tell you for what reasons. She¿s very accepting and is a super sweet, nice, and loving girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read devoured it in 2 days. Writing style is good couldn't put it down a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very good understanding
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago