Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

There comes a first for a lot of things and this is one of those.  I finally had a chance to watch the dreams and hard work come about for one of my close friends from high school, Jennifer Shaw Wolf.  Jenni, as I knew her in high school, was a great friend of mine.  We actually hung out in a small group of friends who shared a lot of hilarious, good times.  As she can attest, we spent many a weekend dragging main--which makes me laugh and smile now.  Would parents let their kids do that now with gas prices sky high and crazies out and about?  Who knows, but we sure had a fun time!

Anyway, I'm so excited to get to share Jenni's novel here on my blog.  Thanks for sending over a great book Jenni.  I'm so proud of you!

Synopsis:  From Goodreads, "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."

Review:  In a time when teen novels are filled with pretty girls, magical powers, and popular crowds, Jennifer Shaw Wolf's novel captures a group of teens that feel more like the norm.  Allie, our main character, is flawed by the sadness and pain she carries after the loss of her boyfriend Trip.  She has a brother, Andrew, who has a disability that only draws the siblings closer together.  And Blake is the so-called "bad boy" in the story who proves to be more than what one sees.  Their story unfolds with a mystery that flashes back and forth between the present and the past, revealing even more about that fateful night when Trip died.

Since I'm not usually a mystery fan, I held my breath, and was nicely rewarded.  This is just a good story, with good writing.  I found myself flipping pages for the mere fact that I wanted to get to the heart of what really happened the night that turned every one's life upside down.  Allie is vulnerable, scared, angry, and frustrated, and yet her kindness towards the people she cares about seems to know no bounds.  It's interesting to see where that kindness takes her and how that affects her story.

In short, I really enjoyed Breaking Beautiful, with its character development, interesting relationships, and twisting plot lines.  The story is one that needs to be out there to open up the dialogue for anyone in an abusive relationship, and it is told in an interesting way.  What more can you ask for?  

Now, for the GIVEAWAY!  Enter below for a chance to win a hardback, signed copy of the novel.  The giveaway will run until 9/6 at midnight.  Good luck!


  1. You must be excited for and proud of your friend. :)

  2. This book sounds good! I hope I win. :)

  3. Jennifer Shaw Wolf is my friend's sister-in-law, so I was excited to hear about this one, too. I'd love to win it. Thanks for the chance!