Wow. After my last Apocalypsies read was such a disappointment, I was a little worried that my streak of awesome reads from those guys might be over. Well, most assuredly not. Breaking Beautiful captured my interest right from the beginning, and the continued to suck me more and more. Although the cover didn't capture my interest, I am impressed, now having read the book, with how much more accurate it is than most. Good job, Bloomsbury!
Breaking Beautiful is another one of those books that falls into the 'wonderful but so depressing it will feel like you're being eviscerated emotionally' category. I've been reading a lot of these lately, and apparently I love them, even though as a younger reader I mostly only liked happy books. I do not want to think too much about what this change in my tastes says about me.
Allie definitely doesn't handle things the way she should have. Sometimes I wanted to cry and ask her what she was thinking. BUT there is no way I could not feel completely sympathetic towards her. She behaved the way she did because she went through so much emotional and physical abuse. In no way will I judge her for not reacting a certain way. ALL of my rage goes to Trip and to all of the people who suspected what was going on and didn't say anything. Not to get all preachy, but seriously, ladies, do not let anyone do this to you. Or gents, too. No one deserves to be abused, and, if you suspect it, do something...carefully.
What made this book work, I think, was definitely Allie's character. In her every word and thought, you can feel the specter of Trip hanging over her head. Memories of him flit constantly through her head, judging her and terrifying her, continuing to hurt her in the only way he now can. His influence on her is so obvious; this is why we can relate to her so well, and feel with her.
Jennifer Shaw Wolf definitely made me tear up. This is a beautifully written book on an incredibly dark topic. If reading about abuse doesn't interest you, there's also a murder mystery. This book is beautiful, as suggested by the title, and excruciating. I highly recommend it to those who like dark YA stories with depth.