This was another book I picked up from the library. I knew right from the start that it was not the kind of genre I prefer to read, but I saw a lot of talk about, so I thought I'd indulge in my ever curious instincts and read it. It seemed interesting when I read that synopsis, and that was what convinced me to read Breaking Beautiful by Jeniffer Shaw Wolf.
Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident, including her memory of the event. 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 casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.
Right from the first page, you're introduced into a very depressing mindset of a teenage girl who's just lost her boyfriend, but she's not exactly sad because he died. For me, things took a while to build up and it was a bit on the boring side. The only thing that really kept me hooked was one question. 'What happened the night of the accident?' The whole book circles around that question. Cops ask it. Allie asks it. The people of the town ask it. But the answer isn't obviously, and I think that's what quality of it will keep readers hooked.
Allie was not my kind of character. I understand that her mind has been warped with this very dark and depressing cloud, but she never really tries to shake it off. Throughout the book, she has this internal battle with herself. In a way, she's glad that Trip is gone, but then she knows that the town would disapprove of that, so she stays quiet. She thinks that she should tell someone what really happened between her and Trip, but she doesn't. On one hand, she feels obligated as Trip's boyfriend to protect and hide his true character and on the other, she wants to vent about it and expose the truth about him. She very indecisive throughout the book, and it truly got on my nerves.
But yet that's understandable since she's depressed and this isn't my regular read. I had to constantly remind myself that not every character is going to be a strong and independent heroine, because there isn't always going to be. I had to keep an open mind about this book.
I have to say that Blake was my favorite character out of all of them. He was independent and strong. Both Allie and him have to suffer the daily bullying of high school life and he takes it in stride, not letting the other kids' side remarks get to him. He was actually full of surprises, and the only bad thing I found about him was that he troubled past that still affected him in the present time in this book.
I would recommend this book more as a book of awareness than anything else. Stuff like what happens in the book happen in the real world, and people should know it's not just some fairytale. These secrets could be hiding in your own household. It was more of a chilling understanding for me to accept.
So overall, it was an okay read that kept me hooked until the end. I gave Breaking Beautiful three out of five stars. I don't think I'd read this book more than once, sadly. But it's the truth about my own opinion.