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Searching for Beautiful

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Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

304 pages, Paperback

First published March 4, 2014

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About the author

Nyrae Dawn

27 books3,939 followers
I am a compulsive reader and writer who loves YA fiction.

I love nothing more than writing about young adults. There is something so fresh and fun about it. You can pretty much always find me with a book in my hand or open document in front of me.

I live in Southern California with my husband and two children.

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5 stars
206 (23%)
4 stars
294 (33%)
3 stars
263 (29%)
2 stars
95 (10%)
1 star
31 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 159 reviews
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,675 followers
February 15, 2014
DNF at 45%

To say that this book is not for me is an understatement. I think it’s one thing to feel and another to feel to a point where it becomes the breaking factor for you to not want to read anymore. In this case, the latter rings true for me as the book drove me over the edge and I still get angry thinking about it. A friend who had read this book already messaged me asking what went wrong since she enjoyed it so much and this was my reply (which will now serve as my review).

“Honestly? The lack of any kind of self-reflection and character development on Brynn’s part was the biggest turnoff. A female lead who, in fact, does not lead; instead is portrayed as one of the most vapid, weak heroines I’ve ever read. What makes the YA/NA genres appealing to me are that these books are defined by a time of self-development: the characters explore their own chasm between adolescence and adulthood. Which begs the question: where is that discovery here? How can there even be any kind of development when Brynn repeats the same mistakes over and over again? Caving into the demands of others, wrongfully misjudging others, and when it all crashes down on her, she hides away only to start the cycle all over again.”

When Brynn sees her tormentor beckoning to her?

She goes to him. (and berates herself for doing so afterwards)

When Brynn sees her friends reaching out to her?

She scurries away. (and bemoans her actions afterwards)

When the hero makes an effort to be Brynn’s friend?

She wrongfully throws accusations at him (and hates herself afterwards)

I did feel for her and what she went through, but the book shouldn’t just be all about Brynn wallowing in a pool of self-pity and “what if” questions. She constantly thinks about changing, taking action and not letting her past get to her. Then DO IT. TAKE action. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. But no. At least not in the 45% I read.

In one word she is WEAK and not enough motivation for me to continue with the book.

P.S. And the constant references to finding a love as great as her parents' love made me want to puke. I can't count the number of sentences that had this line: "Just like Mom and Dad..." Absolutely no originality and the cause of all her downfalls.

ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for AJ.
2,871 reviews932 followers
February 23, 2015
Nyrae Dawn always has tackled some really tough issues in bringing us the story of a very broken teenager struggling to find herself again.

Brynn was your average 16 year old girl. With a happy home life, she had a great relationship with her parents, fantastic friends, a boyfriend, a passion for making pottery, and she wanted nothing more than to find a love as epic as the one her parents shared.

But her life is completely shattered when, reeling from the sudden death of her beloved mother, she is swept off her feet by Jason, who is charming, seductive, and fills her life with the love she so desperately wants, only to end up betraying her in the worst way imaginable when she tells him she is pregnant… only hours before she suffers a heartbreaking miscarriage.

Months later and Brynn is still languishing at rock bottom. She has lost her friends, her father doesn’t know how to relate to her, and she feels utterly and completely alone, unable to find her way out of her suffering.

When her first crush moves back into town – into the house next door, no less – it proves to be the catalyst for Brynn to start getting herself back together.

“He was nice when most people aren’t and I was horrible to him because as it turns out, it’s scarier to deal with someone treating me normally than being ignored.”

Christian is all kinds of awesome. He is dealing with his own issues, but his charisma, intelligence and wit constantly shine through. He has a genuine desire to help Brynn move on from her demons, and I loved his attitude, and the way he went about being there for her.

“Life’s too short to spend it trying to make everyone else happy.”

And their history adds that extra element of sweetness to their relationship

“Did you ever think, Bryntastic, that I might want to be friends?” he whispers close, so close to me I feel his breath on my neck … “That I remember the girl who used to love laughing? Who used to blush all the time? The first girl I ever danced with?”

I love the relationship between these two. Obviously, they have some history – it’s minor, but it’s still important – but he is such an amazing friend. I love how they were able to open up to each other, and the way that he helped Brynn start to claim her life back. And, of course, the teasing and banter was fantastic.

“I can’t believe my music isn’t inspiring you. Guys who play guitar are supposed to be hot, right? I know I find hotness inspiring.”

While dealing with very serious subject matter, this is a very YA book. Brynn is 16, and is trying to deal with everything that life has thrown at her, with all of the added emotion turmoil that comes with being a teenager.

“It’s amazing sometimes how much easier things are if someone takes the choice out of your hands. I’m sixteen. I don’t want to worry about the big stuff. I have time for that later.”

^^^ Love that quote! A lot of YA books features teenagers acting like adults, but here we have a normal teenager dealing with adult situations and trying to her best to find her way through the turmoil. I’ve seen comments from readers who are annoyed with Brynn and the way she handles things. Yes, she’s emotional, yes, she makes silly decisions, and yes, she wallows in her misery, but again, she’s only 16! She’s not yet equipped to deal with all that is she is forced to confront. She has endured so much, pretty much on her own. You can see her yearning for somebody to be there for her, to help her deal with her pain, and after losing so much and being betrayed so viciously, she shut herself down and just didn’t know how to recover. I could completely empathise with how she was feeling.

It takes her a while to start to pull herself together, but you can see it happening bit by bit, and I thought it was a beautiful progression.

“I need a friend. I think I want that to be you. Can we start over?”

I thought this was a really well written book. Brynn’s journey is hard, but ultimately very sweet, and I love the strength that she shows throughout. I also love the relationships that she develops to help on her way – not only with Christian, but Emory and Brenda are also fabulous, and I love the part that they play in her recovery. After the intensity of most of the book, I thought the ending felt a little rushed, and I would like to have seen a bit more of the resolution, but the ending is still a happy one, leaving the story on a positive, but very realistic note.

I really enjoyed it - 3.5 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,772 reviews1,472 followers
Shelved as 'considering'
July 29, 2013
Cover reveal, BLURB, EXCERPT!!!

From Nyrae's BLOG <3

Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?


Christian looks at me. I wait for a smart-aleck reply or a smile but get neither. Just his blue eyes sucking me in like a whirlpool. “That’s what I thought you would say. So you just have to keep fighting for it. Keep fighting to get it back.”

My eyes won’t leave his and his won’t leave mine. And he’s cute. God, he’s so cute, I just want to focus on his cuteness. I want that to be all that matters. When his hand comes up and cups my cheek, I gasp. He brushes his thumb under my eye and licks his lips and I’m frozen and on fire and close to having a heart attack and anxious all at the same time.

Slowly, he leans forward and I know he’s giving me time. And my heart is leaping and I want to feel his lips. This is Christian. The boy who asked me to dance. The boy I ran to my mom about and told her that I loved. And now he’s my friend. The first person who has made me feel normal since everything happened.

But I’m so scared. Scared of messing it up. Scared he’ll decide he doesn’t want me. Scared of losing him. Of getting hurt.

He gets closer and I smell his sweet, sugary scent. See his mouth and wet lips and that hair I want to touch.

See the one person besides Emery who I have. The one person I can’t lose. “Wait,” I say and Christian stops moving. He’s still close. So very, very close that his lips are only an inch away from mine. “I’m scared,” I admit.

“I won’t hurt you.”

And I swear a part of me believes him. Maybe all of me. But how do I know if that’s the right decision or not?

He runs his hand down my face and touches my hair. Love that he’s not nervous to do it the way I am with him and I watch his fingers, brown against my red hair.

“Go out with me, Bryntastic. Let’s go do something this weekend. Don’t keep running. I won’t even try to kiss you again unless you tell me to. Or I’ll wait for you to do it. Just let go. Live.”

His words are what I want. I want them so badly and they sound so perfect that it’s hard not to just scream, “Yes!” right now. “Why?” I ask him. “Why are you so nice to me?”

I love his strength. Love that he doesn’t even hesitate before saying, “Because you were my first crush. Because I used to watch you conqueror anything and used to listen to you laugh with your friends. You were happy and I loved your smile. Because I had to work up the courage to ask you to dance and I did, and then I left and the one thing I missed was that smile. I watched my sister lose hers and watched my family fall apart and when I came back here? I wanted to see your smile again. Because you’re beautiful when you smile and you’ve lost it now. I want you to conquer this because what the hell is the purpose in it all if the first girl I ever danced with loses her smile?”

I don’t realize I’m crying until Christian wipes my tears. “You think I’m beautiful?”

Profile Image for Valerie.
887 reviews383 followers
November 28, 2014
I love Nyrae Dawn books. They deal with emotional, real things and have characters that get to me.

I just didn't feel that way this time. I had a hard time connecting to Brynn. She's 16 but her character felt more like my 13 year old students. I didn't like Jason at all. I didn't like her friends. I felt sorry for her dad.

The story was hard to accept. Problems were fixed to easily. I had a hard time with the flow of befoe and after chapters that took us back and forth between "the incident".

This makes me very sad but I just didn't like it.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,001 reviews369 followers
February 13, 2014
4.5 Stars!
I love Nyrae's writing, she is just such a great author with heartfelt stories that are so filled with hope and promise. I couldn't resist her books even if I tried, which I would never do because the girl is on my auto buy list but still, you get the idea.

Her writing, her characters, her messages, all beautiful. All wonderful and all ones you don't want to miss out on.

There are very few authors that are my go to authors when I know I will get exactly what I want when I want it and she is one of them. Let me tell you, the woman can write. Her books are so full of goodness, yes sadness too but most of all goodness.

Her characters are broken but strong. They find themselves, usually with the help of others along the way, but who doesn't need help now and then? We all need those around us that pull us through some tough times and lift us up and her characters are wonderful for that. They are real and true and feel like people we already know and love. They remind us of the goodness that still exists in the world and when those characters finally find their inner strength, it is just beautiful.

This story is no exception, it is all of those things above and so much more. Always so much more. You really can't describe it but you can feel it and breathe is and let it into your hearts where Nyrae's characters and messages will forever live.

Her books are ones that you just have to experience for yourself and I love her because of it. She is always so true to her characters as she breathes life into them, she loves them and cares for them and even though she isn't always nice to them, putting them through the things she does, she always give them a happily ever after in the end and I love that about her stories. How good always prevails and hope is always present.
Profile Image for Anncleire.
1,287 reviews99 followers
June 3, 2015
Real vote: 2,5

Ringrazio immensamente Entangled Publishing per avermi regalato l’opportunità di leggere questo libro in anteprima in cambio della mia onesta opinione.

Recensione anche sul mio blog:

“Searching for beautiful” è uno young adult uscito dalla fantasia di Nyrae Dawn che ho sempre apprezzato molto per il suo modo di scrivere e… ok ho iniziato a leggere new adult con lei & Abbi Glines e le sono molto affezionata. Avevo accettato di leggere e recensire questo libro, perché molto attirata dalla trama e dalla cover *shame on me… i’m a cover slut* e sono molto, molto, molto delusa da questa storia. Ho faticato a finirla e ho odiato Brynn dal primo momento.

Prima, Brynn aveva un gruppo di migliori amici, un ragazzo amorevole e un talento crescente per modellare la creta. Aveva una vita. E dopo… non ne ha nessuna. Quando Brynn ha perso il suo ragazzo che non l’ha mai amata, gli amici che credono che lei abbia tradito la loro fiducia, e una nuova vita che ha appena iniziato a crescere dentro di lei, la ragazza penda che il suo futuro è vuoto come il suo corpo. Ma poi Christian, il ragazzo della porta accanto, inizia a farsi vivo. Suonando la sua chitarra e spingendola a creare la sua arte ancora una volta. Incontra dei nuovi amici al locare community center e in più riesce a farsi guardare negli occhi da suo padre di nuovo, o quasi. Ma può Brynn aprire il suo cuore per trovare veramente nella sua vita la propria bellezza, quando vivere significa per il dopo significa lasciare andare il prima?

Mi dispiace immensamente, perché credo proprio che la Dawn ci sia fare, con caratterizzazioni vincenti e anche in questo caso è riuscita a tratteggiare una ragazzina che si lascia sedurre dalla possibilità di scappare dal marasma emotivo che la investe, gettandosi a capofitto in una situazione più grande di lei. Ma il continuo andare indietro tra passato e presente, il suo continuo piangersi addosso, quella sensazione di sconfitta che si percepisce ad ogni ostacolo mi hanno lasciato con l’amaro in bocca. E si Brynn deve affrontare le conseguenze delle sue scelte e della vita che lotta contro di lei, ma in un certo senso vive in una bolla, egoisticamente concentrata solo su sé stessa, manca di empatia, di coraggio, di voglia di fare e si piega di fronte a quello che le riserva la sua esistenza. E sono stanca di leggere di personaggi che si piangono addosso, che non riescono a concentrarsi su quello che di buono hanno nella loro vita. È facile affermare che la vita fa schifo, ma di certo è molto più difficile fare qualcosa per migliorare la situazione, per vivere più serenamente in un mondo che si combutta contro di te, ma alla fine è pieno di cose per cui lottare, per cui trovare la forza di reagire. Brynn passa da una situazione familiare in cui era tutto praticamente perfetto a una in cui tutto va a rotoli, dimenticandosi di cosa la fa stare bene. E Brynn è come una tronco d’albero in un fiume, che scorre con la corrente trasporta verso l’oblio, senza fermarsi sufficientemente a remare. Una ragazza come tante forse, che improvvisamente si ritrova da sola, a causa della sua mancanza di spina dorsale. E non fa altro che lamentarsi, e accusare chi la circonda, in un fiume di autocommiserazione.
L’unico vero elemento positivo di tutta la storia è proprio Christian, un ragazzo che si ritrova a fare i conti con la sua rabbia e la sua sofferenza e invece di chiudersi a riccio prova davvero a cambiare le cose. Sicuro, intraprendente, generoso è una vera ventata fresca, capace di smuovere Brynn dalla sua apatia. Sempre con una manciata di caramelle a portata di mano, con la sua chitarra che salta fuori nei momenti più inconcepibili è quell’elemento che dona un minimo di verve alla storia, anche quando vorresti sbattere Brynn contro un muro.
L’ambientazione è quella tipica di una cittadina di periferia, con i suoi modi sconclusionati, i suoi pregiudizi il suo modo di condannare senza riserbo per scelte sbagliate e il suo modo di giustificare le sue stelle più brillanti anche se si comportano da perfetti idioti.

Il particolare da non dimenticare? Un vestito rosso…

Una storia irritante, che si perde nei meandri di molti errori che la porta a recriminare le sue scelte e la sua vita. Una vicenda che non lascia niente, neanche la possibilità del cambiamento. Brynn annaspa e se riesce a ricostruire la sua vita è solo merito di Christian, e diciamocelo, se non riesci a essere l’artefice della tua rinascita, sei spacciata.
Buona lettura guys!
Profile Image for Deniz.
1,145 reviews100 followers
March 9, 2014
This is one of the most beautiful books I've read. I mean I think my love for Dawn's writing is kinda a well known fact. I would read anything she writes. But while I like her spunky hot male Characters, she managed to surprise me with Searching for Beautiful with her beautiful and thoughtful prose, but more so, by breaking my heart over and over, then leaving me speechless!

Ever since I finished Searching for Beautiful, I am pondering on how to write this review.  It is definitely the most beautiful book I've read in 2014. And the most beautiful up to date from Dawn. So I feel totally unequipped to convey the beauty of it. So after weeks of thinking, weeks of wondering, I decided to just plunge in and stumble probably very clumsily through this review.
Please forgive me Nyrae, I doubt I will be able to make your writing justice. But that's why your write the book and I read them.

The prose is as I said, in my opinion the most beautiful of any of Dawns books, so far. I love her writing, so I was sure this was not going to be an issue. But boy was I surprised. It's way more poetic, way deeper than many of her previous books - and yeah I know I said it already a million times, more beautiful.

This is a Young Adult book by the way and before Searching for Beautiful I would have told you, I prefer Dawn's New Adult books. Now, well I gotta say, I just love Dawn's books.
Another big difference than most of her other books, this is written solely from Brynn's POV. No male POV- and I adore those, so at the beginning I thought I would miss it. Well I would love to get Christians POV, just cause I do adore Dawn's guy POVs - but it honestly the book would have lost something, it would have distracted from Brynn. While this novel could be type cast as a romance with it's usual dramas and angst this is way more; it's Brynn's journey of learning her own value, her way to healing after messing up big time and her way of getting over loss.
And that's what touched me so deeply. Every woman or girl could be in Brynn's place.

"Before I actually fell for him, I never would have been the girl to fall for lies. I can't help but wonder if all girls think that. If they all think I'm stupid because they don't believe it can happen to them. It can."

The characters are broken but strong, so the kind I like. They also real and true, though at times lost- they are finding their way- and finding each other on that way. They remind us of loyalty, friendship but also that it is ok to mess up- we all do - and that there are always people there to help us when we do.

"Because you're making a hard decision, one that people might not understand, but you're doing it because you know it's best for her. I think my mother wouldhave said that's what being a mom is about. That kind of love. Doing what's right for someone else, even though it will hurt you."

The story line is well paced. It starts at a devastating new point in Brynn's life. A huge life changing occurrence and then it goes on with the story and flash backs. Dawn's skills in her craft are beautifully shown off with this. I think it drove several point home even more. I love the plot until nearly at the end, and while I do like the end. Yes, it was gushy and sweet- I was a tad bit disappointed by the last part of the book, and that's exactly why this isn't a 5Star book for me. While 85% of this, is heartbreaking and thought provoking the last bit felt to rushed, to easily rapped up. And in fact Brynn felt a bit to preachy. It felt too much like a teenage advise book or what would come out of a youth counselors mouth - rather than teenage Brynn. Though I do think the message Dawn was trying to give with it, it really important! And this is one of the best books I read this year.  Just somehow this left me wanting, Brynn's rapid change kinda left me inflated rather than elate me.

I think every library should stock this book! Every parent should buy it for their teenage daughters. It's a must read for all girls out there! Dawn did break my heart simply because this could be each and every girl out there, in some parts I saw myself, in others girls I know.

The most beautiful book of 2014! Heartfelt, heartbreaking and true!


Profile Image for *P.
1,535 reviews28 followers
February 14, 2014
Another 5 star review for Nyrae Dawn

Let me just say I am a huge fan of Dawn's writing and she has always done such a marvelous job writing broken characters. Well she does it yet again. Most of her books that I have read are in the NA genre and this one is more YA/teen so the steamy is not their but the feelings and chemistry of the characters certainly is.

The story is told from Brynn's POV. She is a 16 year old girl who has had her world torn apart at home, at school, and everywhere in between. Brynn is simply a young girl who closed herself off from her friends after tragedy strikes only to let someone else in. Unfortunately, that someone else only makes matters worse for Brynn and she has to deal with even more heartache. You would think her friends would be there to help, but they are too upset with Brynn and her choices. She finds herself closing off, existing but not living.

Then along comes Christian, the boy she thought she loved in seventh grade. He is back and living right next door. She develops a beautiful relationship with his mother and she even makes another new friend along the way. But it is with Christian's help that she finds her way back and despite all her reservations, she eventually opens herself up to love again.

This story was wonderful. Dawn always does such a great job of immersing you in the story. Rather than just reading what is happening, you really feel as if you are experiencing the story with the characters. Initially I did have a little problem with the alternating between past and present and getting confused a little about what happened when, but then I did get used to the flow. It is a sweet story about healing and finding your way back after something which really could have been devastating.

I loved this story and I think teenagers and parent's alike would benefit from reading it. Dawn as always does an amazing job!!!

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for — Massiel.
244 reviews1,141 followers
May 14, 2015
Ame este libro.

Fue solamente increíble, tengo que decir que al leer la sinopsis pensaba en el típico instalove, puro drama, además de situaciones estúpidas pero me ha sorprendido demasiado.

Lo que más me gusto de todo fue el inicio: rápido, motivador, y más que nada sorprendente. Estaba leyendo todo este libro mientras escuchaba a Yiruma, lo que hizo solamente que sufriera más con todo lo que pasaba.

La forma de narrar me encanto en mil y una maneras, en la forma en la que iba de presente a pasado me gusto demasiado, no se exagera ni extiende demasiado. Además tiene el perfecto toque para continuar leyendo e intriga para estar bastante emocionado, no hay nada de drama fueron unas de las cosas que más me sorprendieron del libro, las situaciones son realistas con resultados realistas, las actitudes de los personajes es más que increíble porque se asemejan a la realidad de todo.

«Ellas van de eso a hablar de la fiesta de Ian y que ropa estarán usando y, oh, Brynn, creo que deberías usar esto, y yo asiento cuando debo y respondo cuando se supone que debo hacerlo, pero de alguna manera las palabras me dejan sintiéndome más y más vacía por dentro.»

Otra cosa que me encanto de este libro es cómo te puedes meter en la piel de la protagonista -Brynn-, cómo puedes identificarte con ella en algunos aspectos, y cómo pueden llegar a hacer las cosas si solamente te callas.

“—Sé que es difícil, pero no saltes de nuevo. Si decides estar ahí, tienes que hacerlo todo el camino.”
Profile Image for Heather andrews.
9,520 reviews149 followers
February 8, 2014
I love Nyrae's writing she's just one of those authors whose books I always read no matter what the content in the book is. I can tell you right now Jason, I didn't like him he was a complete scum bag, "I was right, Red. Wouldn't it have been easier just to listen to me? We still could have been together, you know. And now you're alone, aren't you? That's what you get for betraying me." Christian he has a good heart about him and I loved him for it, "I try to stand but Christian grabs my wrist and mumbles 'sh**' under his breath. "Let's just ignore that part of the conversation. It's been a bad day." Sometimes it takes someone whose always there to get through to you, someone you least expected, and for Brynn that's Christian, he brings out the sauciness in her, "you were right the other day, Christian. I wasn't fighting. I've completely given up on everything since I lost mom and I'm not doing that anymore. I'm taking my life back." This book was emotionally empowering and I enjoyed every minute of the book.
175 reviews6 followers
February 12, 2014
This book is fantastic! It deals with some powerful issues in a sensitive but not overdone way? I highly recommend this to YA readers everywhere! The characters are believeable and love able and you cry one minute and laughter he next as you read. The readers leaves the story feeling affirmed about the power of love, strength, family and friendship.
Profile Image for Paola.
221 reviews36 followers
August 28, 2022
No puedo expresar lo mucho que me encanto el libro es hermoso!
Profile Image for Lenore Kosinski.
2,318 reviews52 followers
March 28, 2023

3.5 stars — This one was okay. Probably a better book for actual teens instead of us weird adults who like to read YA.

I feel like I just wanted more…it was all just kind of basic? I genuinely don’t know how to describe it other than to say that I just didn’t feel the connection that I wanted to.

I definitely felt emotions, don’t get me wrong. There’s a scene with her Dad near the end that was heartwrenching. But for the things that Brynn was going through, I guess I expected to feel something more. Part of the problem is that Brynn is a good example of a teenager, and that can be frustrating to read as an adult (hence why I think it will resonate better with actual teens). She assumes things about her family and friends that are pretty irrational but I can see how they make sense at the age she is. She’s pretty wrapped up in what’s going on with her, and it’s hard to blame her. And it’s not just her — all the teens in this book behave…well…like teens. Each not having great moments of empathizing with one another and seeing how their own actions were hurtful. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood for that much realism.

Yeah. Not sure what else to say. Again, it wasn’t a bad read, just wasn’t what I was looking for either.
Profile Image for Lindy.
797 reviews200 followers
March 3, 2014
My Thoughts:

Nyrae Dawn is a very talented author. I have read and treasured every book in her Charade Series, and was excited to read Searching for Beautiful. However, it should be said that the Charade Series and Searching for Beautiful are vastly different reads. Searching for Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn, was a profound story full of depth, and meaning. It's about the pains and struggles of growing up, as well as dealing with very painful losses. This story was very slow paced, well-developed, and touching. My heart broke for the main character, 16 year old Brynn, as she told us her story, and flashed between her past and present.

Brynn had an amazing relationship with both of her parents. She had such a wonderful mother that she was the envy of all of her friends. Her father was loving and supportive. She has grown up with her best friends, Ellie, and Diana, and the three of them had always been inseparable. She had a typical on and off, long term relationship, with her boyfriend, Ian, and a very happy life. Then, tragedy struck, and Brynn's life was turned upside down. She gave up pottery, a hobby that she was passionate about, stopped hanging out and talking with her best friend's and boyfriend, and completely withdrew into herself. She was then taken advantage of by an older guy, who lied about his age, and made her feel loved when she needed it most. He used her for sex, and she became pregnant. Her life spiraled even more out of control when he told her to abort the baby, and her friend's wanted nothing to do with her anymore. Brynn was left alone and heartbroken. Then, Christian Medina, her childhood crush, moved next door and began to break down her walls.

I absolutely adored Christian! He was so patient, caring, and compassionate towards Brynn. He was a fun person, who found a way to pull her out of herself, when no one else could. Christian was good looking with his blue eyes, longish dark hair, and had a sparkling and very charming personality. Yet, it was his big heart that drew me to his character. He had faced his own trials and tribulations, and was very persistent, when it came to pursuing a friendship with Brynn. He offered an unconditional friendship, wisdom from his own experiences, and was always willing to listen. His mother, Brenda, was a great source of comfort to Brynn, and I loved her character as well. Ellie and Diana really got under my skin, and I did not think that they were good friends to Brynn. The "not believing Brynn," shunning her, and their selfishness, frustrated me. Jason, the man who impregnated Brynn, made me angriest of all. The way he took advantage of her innocence and used her was abominable! I liked how Brynn was able to help her new friend Emery. Emery was pregnant and dealing with a very unhealthy relationship. Brynn managed to use her experience and growth to help her new friend.

Bynn's story was heartbreaking. Her feelings of extreme sadness, loneliness, and guilt were palpable throughout the entire story. Ms. Dawn nailed the teen voice, and this story was painfully realistic, filled with trials and tribulations that we go through in life. Whenever Brynn reflected on her past, there was such happiness, innocence, love, and a wonderful childhood. Then, when she reflected post tragedy, we saw a completely different person. She made some huge mistakes along the way but that's part of growing up. She learned many life lessons, and the tremendous growth that she experienced throughout this story, took her from a child to an adult. This was about her journey and I believe many teenagers will be able to identify with different aspects in this story. Whether they identify with her tragic loss, best friend's shunning her, memories of first love, being naive, or finding the strength to take control of their life, and find their own beautiful, there's something for everyone.

My Rating:

Searching for Beautiful was a meaningful read with depth, tragedy, and life lessons. It was slower in pace, while we experienced a lot of Brynn's memories and thoughts. I believe this was necessary for Ms. Dawn to bring us such a well developed story and main character. If you are looking for a fun, easy read, this is not it. if you are looking for a story of substance, and depth, that will pull on your heartstrings, then I recommend this story. I give Searching for Beautiful, by Nyrae Dawn, 4 Poignant, Emotional, True to Life Stars!

My Favorite Quotes:

"It's so easy, so easy to lock yourself up. To push people away because you think the pain isn't as much if you don't have to acknowledge it, but that's not true. It makes the hurt a million times worse not to share it with those who care about you. And there's always someone, I think." (eARC, Loc. 2989)


"It's funny how life moves in a complete circle sometimes. There might be lots of bumps in the road and maybe even a few cliffs, but it's a journey, and sometimes it can bring you to the most wonderful places." (eARC, Loc. 3160)


*To Read More Book Reviews, Visit A Bookish Escape at http://www.abookishescape.com
Profile Image for Leah.
1,010 reviews338 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
May 8, 2017
DNF @ 5%

In only the very first chapter there is mentions of/implied rape/statutory rape (the MC's boyfriend at the start of the book lied to her about his age--told her he was under 18 but is 23, she's 16), gaslighting, victim blaming, slutshaming, teen pregnancy and miscarriage.

That's all a little much for the very beginning, and I have no interest in reading further when there wasn't even so much as a trigger warning for any of these things.
Profile Image for Fiza.
355 reviews59 followers
January 16, 2015
3.5* out of 5*

*Arc courtesy of Cameron from Entangled Publishing*


“Why did I lose it all,”

The one who she thought loved her unconditionally, lied, betrayed and alienated her from her friends, caused the rift with her father (left by the death of his wife and her mother) to widen.

After her mother's death Brynn loses herself in guilt and pain, in the process she shuts everyone else out. But Jason is there at the right time with the right words. He charms his way right in. Makes her think he loves her but once she confesses to him that she's pregnant, his true character surfaces, showing the cold and manipulative boy he really is.

He asks—no demands —of her to get rid of "it". While processing the change in his character, the thought of killing her baby never takes root in Brynn's mind. Still he gets his way in the end …

Rumors spreads like fire and when her friends hear of her pregnancy and Jason, they all think the worst of her and they are hurt that she hasn’t confided in them. Now they don’t know what to believe and take the easy way out—they scatter. Not only her friends are affected by her situation, the rest of the school also begins to avoid her. Her father is still grieving over the death of his wife and doesn’t know how to approach her. Leaving Brynn to deal with it all on her own.

Then she sees him again, Christian, the boy that had stolen her heart with a simple dance all those years ago. He had left a week after that dance, so she never had the opportunity to tell him how she felt but apparently he is back. She wonders if he will he treat her like a pariah too.

Brynn’s character grows so much after the falling out with her friends and I have to respect that, especially cause she has no one left in the beginning. She takes the risk to open up to new people and those new people help her find herself again. In the aftermath of the Jason affair she still holds her head high, even though she is crying and afraid on the inside, she doesn’t let anyone else see how they affect her. That takes a strong character.

I find Christian refreshing, he has his own problems but you won’t be able to tell with just a first glance. He is always cheerful, occasionally letting his temper loose but only when he is pushed too far. He knows his temper can get out of hand and goes to therapy to help him with this problem. He never uses his temper as an excuse. I just didn’t like the way he was popping gummy bears all the time. It had me craving for some myself.....and I can't have gummy bears...

There is one part that stuck with me, and I can’t agree more or have said it better (even though I’m a girl myself).

“Girls are seriously screwed up.”


“I’m not trying to be a jerk, but it’s true. So you lied—”

“I didn’t!”

He shrugs and grabs a bear. “Who cares? Even if you did, why do they drag it on forever? Why does everything have to be such a big deal? Seriously, get over it already. No offense, but girls are your own worst enemies. You don’t even have to worry about guys screwing you over because you do it to each other.”

I love Christian’s mom, she, too, has her own troubles, but she makes a great confidante and a damn good friend (as she proclaims) for Brynn. And who am I to disagree? Mama knows everything after all.

Through out the book I grew a little frustrated with Brynn’s friends. I am not saying that they couldn’t be upset but they had no right to treat Brynn like they had. And it sounded like they did feel they had that right. They simply ignored Brynn because she didn’t confide in them but when the time came to be really there for her they were nowhere to be found. Real friends don’t turn their backs on each other. Sure, Brynn wasn’t blameless in all this but grief does strange things to a person. Certainly they could have understood that. They had me all riled up.

In the end it was all talked out and they all have a happy ending....Even though I don't feel like some deserve that...In the end I still didn’t get some characters like Ian or Jason. But judging from their attitudes and behavior, I don’t feel myself wanting to know more about them anyway. I like the switching back and forth between present and past, although it was set at an irregular pace I like how it sketches a contrast to how things were before her mother’s death and the Jason situation. But overall I thought it was a nice story, one that other YA or NA readers might like as well.
Profile Image for Ruth B.
676 reviews38 followers
March 5, 2014
Searching for Beautiful is a YA book with all the classical elements of the genre, an anguished teenager girl, the sweet boy, tears and drama. However, the author achieves to create a book that is more than a simple story about redemption, forgiveness, friendship, grief, moving on and love.

To be totally honest, somewhere around page sixty of my copy I was about to dump this book because of the constant reminder of her suffering and self-pity. But I decided to keep reading and it turned out to be a good story. When I finally could relate with Brynn and understand some of her choices I was able to enjoy the story. Basically the blurb summarized it perfectly, after a tragic event in Brynn’s life she makes some choices that leave her alone and sad. Then, little by little she picks up the pieces of her life with the help of the boy next door.

Brynn is a bit selfish and really self-centered at first but once I realized that most teenagers believe they are the center of the universe, I started to comprehend Brynn and her actions. It’s true that most of the time I wanted to punch her for not talking to someone and it was annoying to see her wallowing in her own pain. But again, teenagers feel with more intensity and every bad thing seems like the end of the world.

Jason is the perfect villain. I know most people will hate him but let’s be honest, there are hundreds of guys like him out there and I think he can be a great warning for all the readers. Still, I couldn’t find the justification of Brynn not knowing who he was convincing enough.

Christian was the sweet boy she needed as support and as an anchor. My favorite thing about him is that he is not perfect; he is a bit temperamental for moments. There were other characters, for example Brynn’s father, Brenda and Emery. Each one, despite having a small part on the story, has an important role from a different position.

The story has some jumps into the past, this allow us to see what happened before and see the evolution of Brynn and the story. The language is simple but engaging and easy to follow. There are long internal conversations and arguments while Brynn is figuring out who she can trust and how to heal.

Mainly what convinced me to continue reading the book was the message the author tries to deliver. Life is not easy and there is no right or wrong in how to live it. We are supposed to make mistakes in our lives, is how we face the consequences what is important. Each person deals with the hard times in their own way and we shouldn’t be judging others for how they choose to manage the pain and suffering, we cannot expect for all to be as strong as some people.

Overall, this is a really good YA book. If you like the genre I’m sure you will like it because it has the growing up issues you expect, the sweet romance and the teenager drama you want. For me it was a good read, the general theme as I said in the previous paragraph was excellent but the first part of the book was slow and it took me a while to find the story appealing.

***I received an ecopy from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.***
Profile Image for Shelley.
1,101 reviews10 followers
February 15, 2014
ARC generously provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Brynn was a happy girl who had it all. Yes she had been adopted, but that never bothered her because her parents always made sure she knew how much she was wanted. She could not have picked better parents. She had great friends and was an all around happy girl. Then her mom dies suddenly and her world is turned upside down.

Brynn is thrown into a depression and her friends don't know how to reach her and her father is drowning in his own grief. She finds comfort in a new love. Jason is someone who Brynn feels like she can talk to, someone to help fill the whole her mother's death left. What she never expects is for Jason to be deceiving her and using her, to find out the man she thought she loved never even really existed. Poor Brynn finds most of this out when she informs him that she is pregnant.

After her confrontation with Jason her world continues to spin out of control. Now Brynn must figure out how to live when she is drowning. She has lost her mother, her love, and all her friends, .

What she never expected was her new next door neighbor to be the boy she first crushed on, the first boy to ask her to dance, the boy who disappeared with no explanation.

Christian remembers the happy girl he left behind, but he does not know this new Brynn. But Christian is use to being the center of gossip and being an outcast. He is determined to find the girl that he once use to dream of.

Can Christian bring Brynn back or is she too far gone?

I loved this book. I was surprised at the tears I shed in this book. Nyrae Dawn has a way of making you feel the characters feelings and my heart broke for Brynn. Brynn is dealing with a huge amount of guilt, sorrow, pain, and loss. She loves her father but she knows she has disappointed him and the emotional distance between the two seems impossible to cross.

Christian is a great guy but he is not a pushover. He will only take so much crap from Brynn before he pulls back, however he never holds a grudge and is always willing to forgive and move on. He is the life raft that Brynn so desperately needs.

This is an emotional journey that at times seems to have no bright spot. However that is what makes this book so great. It is seeing the healing and growth that Brynn goes through to find herself again. It is about forgiving yourself for stupid decisions of youth and learning how to let people back into your life.

The relationship between Brynn and her father is difficult at first but is one of the most beautiful moments in the whole book. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Profile Image for Kat.
283 reviews
March 18, 2014

Oh, Nyrae volvió a hacerlo. Todos los libros de Nyrae me han hecho llorar o de felicidad o de tristeza.

Este libro fue realmente precioso.

Nos encontramos con Brynn, que por un gran error perdió a sus amigos, a su padre y todo lo que era su vida. Pero entonces, Christian, un viejo amigo se muda a la casa de al lado, para Brynn, Christian es como un soplo de aire en el infierno que esta viviendo.

Pero, ¿puede abrir su corazón una vez más aun arriesgo de que se lo vuelvan a romper?


Este chico le dio toda la hermosura, el color, TODO, al libro, Christian fue uno de esos personajes de los que te enamoras inmediatamente, oh Dios, y ahora por su culpa tendré algo por los ositos de gominola jajaja

Mi precioso Christian.

"¿Cómo voy a permitir que la sonrisa de la chica que me enseño a bailar desaparezca?"


Brynn fue.. bueno, no fue molesta, pero tampoco me gusto. Es una chica llena de inseguridades y muy, muy débil, su fortaleza la encuentra en Christian he de decir. Ella ha vivido toda su vida con la expectativa de un amor como la de sus padres. Un amor lleno de ternura y adoración. Y ella quiere desesperadamente eso, y después de que pierde a su madre, lo busca, pero lo pierde todo con ello.

Lo de sus amigos me pareció una mierda, la verdad, si tienes amigos como esos, oye, mejor júntate con tus enemigos. Ni siquiera la dejaron explicarse, le echaron toda la mierda, y solo.. la dejaron. Me pareció una asquerosidad de su parte.


Y la relación con su padre, ah.. no lo sé, quizás yo hubiera actuado así también con mi papá, viendo en sus ojos la decepción o lo que sea, dolería mucho. Así que, entiendo a Brynn, aunque no me gusto que apartara tanto al papá. No eras la única sufriendo, chica.

El libro me gusto. Pero no fue el OH DIOS usual de lo que suele escribir Nyrae, es un libro precioso de reflexión y para encontrarte a ti mismo. Solo le puse un 4/5 por Christian, de verdad, maldición, él es la esencia del libro, lo amé demasiado.

Y encima es latino, dammit!

Profile Image for Kathy Horsman.
266 reviews15 followers
May 16, 2014
Review: Searching for Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn Warning: This book contains all sorts of feels. I am not even lying when I say that either, this book is a roller coaster of grief and loss, love and heartbreak, rekindling and  snuffing out of flame. It is just all over the place with what it tackles revolving around one character. At the end of the day, however, what I found out was that Searching for Beautiful may have been a coming of age story about a 16 year old girl, but it was more about the relationships we have and make during those years and how they evolve when life throws you curve balls. Brynn is a tough character to like. Unless you have been through some of the stuff she is dealing with, I think people will see her as a whiny dumb teenager that makes HORRIBLE life choices and really needs to get a clue. I can see where that argument comes from, however, I think if people took a second to realize that she is 16 and what kind of decisions we all made at that age maybe some of her flaws can be redeemed. For example, the pregnancy. I totally understand that she dropped the ball here in a world were protection is abundantly available and she had all these hopes that Jason was going to take that news well.....but they were certainly lofty ones. If she didn't grow from that experience, I would be on the side of how can dumb can she be, but she did grow and she learned her lesson and developed a beautiful relationship from that and the other tragedy that befalls her. I always look for growth in a character and Brynn succeeds in that regard. Christian is the pillar of that growth for me in this story. He is ultimately her rock, albeit a cracked rock, but he really gives her the love and support she needs in the moment. It also allows her to heal and then return said love to him and really make the romance blossom as we move through the story. She gains some relationships in the story and also restructures some that already exist, like the one with her father, making her more of a grounded person by the end of the book and I think I was able to relate better to her at the end versus the beginning. I encourage you to give Brynn a shot and not give up at the beginning because what she has in store for you, might just make your heart flutter in the end.
Profile Image for Fanny.
2,133 reviews54 followers
May 27, 2014
Cuidado la reseña puede tener spoilers!!
A penas me habia leido el primer capitulo y ya sentia que se me destrozaba el corazon, Jason es un maldito imbecil y espero que arda en el infierno.
Nyrae con sus libros siempre hace que se me estruje el corazon, aunque para mi esta claro que Jason se aprovecho de que Brynn estaba de duelo por su madre para manipularla y conseguir engañarla, me dio mucha rabia cuando Jason le dice que aborte como si fuera solo culpa de ella, Claro Brynn sola hizo el bebe. Modo sarcastico on. Y me rompio el corazon que hasta su padre la mirara diferente despues de perder el bebe, no podia ponerse en su lugar?? Como si Brynn no tuviera suficiente con todo lo que le pasa tambien tiene que vivir con haber decepcionado a su padre.
Me gusto que el libro tuviera dos "partes" el antes y el despues porque hace que comprendas lo que sintio Brynn y tambien cuales fueron sus razones. Ame el libro porque te ayuda a ver que si estas hundid@ solo tu puedes salir adelante y superarte, Brynn estaba sola y muchas veces quiso rendirse y darse por vencida pero aun asi salio del hoyo y siguio viviendo porque es una protagonista fuerte y digna de admiracion. Me encanto Brynn como protagonista, puede que cometiera errores, pero quien no los ha cometido a los 16 años.
El libro lo tenia pendiente desde hace meses porque no me decidia a comenzarlo, pero a penas lo comence no podia parar de leerlo. Y por supuesto ame a Christian es tan pero tan dulce como los ositos de goma! Hablando de ositos creo que tengo antojo de una bolsa.
4.5 Estrellas!!
Profile Image for f. alice.
68 reviews30 followers
March 4, 2014
Initially, I was very hesitant about this. From the blurb, it looked like yet another YA where a girl meets a boy who makes her life complete… Although Searching For Beautiful did have traces of that, it was more a story of self-realisation. Christian does help Brynn get her life back on track, but not in an obsessive, needy way; and just as much help comes from Brynn’s father and female friends.

Brynn was an interesting character. She had a tendency towards self-pity, and she did wallow in her grief a lot, but her friends were quick to call her out on it. There isn’t a quick fix to the kind of situation that Brynn finds herself in, and the book doesn’t try to preach that; it shows the time after grief as a slow, awkward process of healing, but made more bearable by the people we surround ourselves with.

Brynn’s friends and family played a big part in her story, which was a huge saving grace where Christian was concerned. Without them, he would have been another hot boy love interest who manages to fix the broken female protagonist, but he had plenty of his own messes that needed sorting out, and while he did help her, he was also thoughtless and insensitive; and I liked that a lot. Brynn’s memories of her mum also have a huge influence on her, as well as the absence of her friends and her strained relationship with her dad—the whole story didn’t revolve around Brynn’s time with Christian.

Admittedly, I would have liked it even better without any romance in, because my heart is that of a crusty withered cave troll, but I still liked Searching For Beautiful. It was a sweet read—not truly heart-crushing or soul-stomping, but a good solid story well told with real and sympathetic characters.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,727 reviews1,279 followers
September 9, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Bryn expects her boyfriend Jason to support her when she tells him that she’s pregnant; so to be told to have an abortion, and for him to question the father of the baby really shocks her.
Unfortunately Bryn then miscarries, but still has no support from her boyfriend and friends as they all seemingly turn against her.
Why isn’t Jason supportive? And how long will it take Bryn to get over losing her baby?

This was an okay story, but I lost interest.

Bryn was an okay character. What she was going through was obviously difficult for her, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her with regards to the way her friend and Jason treated her. I didn’t really love her though, and found it a bit hard to connect to her.

The storyline was alright, even though it didn’t go quite the way I expected, but unfortunately I just lost interest. I just couldn’t connect with Bryn, and didn’t feel invested in the story.
I was interested to find out what had happened to her mum and how she had died, but that was about it really. The romance didn’t really interest me either, and I just got bored.
The ending was okay, and fairly happy, but I really wasn’t interested by that point.
Overall; okay story about death and bullying,
6 out of 10.
Profile Image for Lex.
758 reviews144 followers
March 4, 2014
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange of an honest review. Thanks, Cameron of Entangled Publishing!

I honestly didn't thought that I would like this book. I know that my friend, Deniz, love this book. So I was kinda expecting a LOT from Searching For Beautiful. On the impression that this is such an epic book. lol.

Searching for Beautiful is the first book I have ever read by Nyrae Dawn. The first 30% or so, I was worried I wouldn't continue reading the book. It was a bit lame for my taste. Yeah, I do understand the scenes, I sympathized with Brynn, but sometimes I just don't like her. I do understand what she was going through but I just don't like that she felt withdrawn. If only she did this and did that, she could have avoid the problems she had.

I keep on thinking that maybe if she just stayed honest with her friends, tried to keep it together, talk to her father, it would end up being okay. Yes, they are mourning but at least they are together.

Nyrae Dawn's writing is not really lacking but I guess that is how she want the readers to feel. To be a bit frustrated with Brynn, to get to know Chris more, to know what and how people cope up with this kind of struggle in life. I do learned a lot from reading it. What are those? Read the ones from above. Those things are the reasons why I gave this 4 stars. It is about the lessons and the real life situation that made me like it.

I cried a bit at the end too. It was emotional.
November 9, 2015
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This was an okay book but not my cuppa tea, the characters really annoyed me a lot excluding Christian I did like him. I wasn't into the past and present storyline I couldn't get into it. I'm sorry but Brynn friends where no friends I didn't like them at all and that Jason guy was disgusting I felt he new what he was doing was wrong but he just didn't care.

Romance: 2/5 (NOT MUCH)
Drama: 1/5 (START TO FINISH)
Cover: 3/5 (OKAY COVER)
Christian: 4/5 (I LIKE HIM)
Writings: 3/5 (OKAY JUST OKAY)
Humour: 3/5 (NEEDED MORE)
Hotness: 0/5 (NONE)
Profile Image for Jessica.
151 reviews21 followers
February 26, 2014
Searching for Beautiful is one of those books that I wanted to be good, but I was disappointed. I want Brynn to be a strong main character, but she fall short from the moment I started to read this book. Yes I know that she’s has had a lot of things happen to her, but If she would have had some kind of backbone when her tormentor called her she wouldn’t have gone, then berate herself after. I didn’t like how she didn’t learn from her mistakes and move forward, she couldn’t let the past go and she did nothing to change that, in my opinion. I also hated that she focused so much time on finding a love “Just like Mom and Dad, that she it became one of her biggest downfalls. Not liking the story or the plot, didn’t keep me from seeing that it was written beautifully. I think that this story would appeal to a lot of people, it just wasn’t for me.
Profile Image for Just a person .
995 reviews294 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
February 25, 2014
Stopped at 11% after skimming since 8%
I wanted to read searching for Beautiful because it had all of the elements that I normally love in a story. There is a hint of pregnancy, of loss of a parent, the cute boy next door romance. Unfortunately I just couldn't connect with Brynn. I think that I needed to get a better sense of her character and their relationship instead I think that I was thrown into her story at a really hard time for her, and it was hard to feel for her since I didn't know her.
I also don't think that the before and after worked for me in this one, I was just getting to get a feel of her and then I see her before the character growth or before the big problems.
That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.
Profile Image for Dunja *a chain reader*.
177 reviews85 followers
February 12, 2015
When things go wrong it is hard to find a way out. When you are full of blame and anger it is hard to open your heart and soul to anyone, especially if you think that no one will understand you. That is exactly what happened to Brynn. One day she was happy girl surrounded by the people who love her, another day her mother is dead, she is friendless, her relationship with her boyfriend turns out to be a lie and on top of that she is pregnant. Although it seems that Brynn wants to drown in her sorrow, some things will happened and slowly she will find a way out of her dark hole.

Full review available on Night Owl Reviews
Profile Image for Michael Burhans.
587 reviews44 followers
March 15, 2014
Nyrae Dawn does it again with a powerful and realistic portrayal of a 16 year old girl whose suffers an extreme emotional loss, then compounds that with a few bad decisions until her life begins to completely unravel. Can she find the strength to put things back together and reclaim control of her life?

Well drawn characters facing real world issues and making realistic decisions. I found this book to be excellent in every way. Not always comfortable, and our protagonist is not always lovable, but who was at 16, much less at 16 and emotionally devastated? Watching her grow, and change, and fight was compelling and rewarding. Read this book.
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