Breaking Beautiful

Breaking Beautiful - Jennifer Shaw Wolf Jennifer Shaw Wolf's "Breaking Beautiful" unfolded like a film playing before my eyes as I read it. It's a combination of a story of grief, abuse, death, romance, mystery, and coming of age. Despite many moments where I felt the narrative and mystery drew out for a little longer than I'd anticipated, it was a good story. It reminded me a little of Kristina McBride's "One Moment" - only it took on the subject of a tragic death from a more immediate perspective in a small town community.Allie is a young woman who goes through the motions because her boyfriend, Trip, was killed in an accident that she can't remember much about. All despite inquisitions made by a detective looking into Trip's cause of death, and gossip that she might've played a role in it. Allie isn't sure of the turth and has to deal with fragments of memories, both of Trip's relationship with her as well as the gradual recollection of that horrible night. However, Allie grieves not from Trip's death as much as the measure that she was a victim of abuse at his hands, and many people won't let her release her former involvement with Trip that easily. There are jealous girls that provoke her, former friends of Trip's that deem her ungrateful for what he provided her, intimidation at the hands of Trip's father, among other factors. On the bright side, Allie has the support of her childhood best friend Blake - who has a rather dark past himself, and her twin brother Andrew.I really liked the focus of Blake and Allie's developing relationship, as well as the relationship between Allie and her brother. It's quite a road that Allie has to take in order to realize the truth of what happened that night, and to realize that Trip can no longer hurt her. I think the pacing of the novel was the major factor that kept me from liking it more because it takes a while for the mystery to unravel, and once it does, it's predictable. I'd say that the mystery could've been revealed sooner and some of the events could've still been just as potent. Even so, the way this novel deals with its respective subject matter is engaging. I wouldn't necessarily say realistic because there are some elements behind that night that did seem a bit out of sorts, but for what Wolf was able to craft in this story, and the way her narrative engaged me from beginning to end with this novel, I have to give her due credit. An immersive, engaging read.Overall score: 3.5/5Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Bloomsbury/Walker Books for Young Readers.