AtenRa's Reviews > Breaking Beautiful

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
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's review
Jul 19, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: contemporary, ya-fiction
Read from April 13 to 19, 2012

When I first found out about this book, I thought to myself that's a book for me, contemporary YA with a heartbreaking story behind it. And after the first few chapters I really thought it was. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there.

In an nutshell: Allie is in a car accident with her boyfriend, Trip, from which only Allie comes out alive. Allie does not remember what happened the night of the accident and what made Trip drive his car of a cliff. At first we are led to believe that Allie and Trip are the perfect couple. As Allie starts to remember however, we find out that Trip was sick, and abused Allie consistently.

Everything was hanky dory up until that point. Well, not the abuse part, you know what I mean. After reading about the myriad disgusting things that Trip did to Allie, I was almost convinced she somehow had a hand in his downfall.
Now here lies the problem of the book in my opinion. Not only Allie didn't speak up during her whole ordeal with Trip (how long were they together? More than a year I think), not only she let her brother suffer watching her being abused, she also had moments after Trip's death when she actually remembered him with fondness and with some perverse sense of love and longing. I just can't accept her not saying anything, not to her parents, not to a guidance counselor, someone. There was no "No one is going to believe me" scenario, since she had the bruises and cuts to prove it. I am enraged by women who can't stand up for themselves. And remember, we're not talking about a married woman with kids, whose husband abuses her and she has to live with him every freaking day. We're talking about a teenage girl, who at the end of the day goes back to her parents who are there for her. I'm not saying that married women shouldn't speak up, quite the opposite. But living with your abusing partner, spending every day with him, and especially if you have kids, it makes women second guess themselves and their decision to pack up and leave. Also for some of them, her husband is their only support, financial mostly. Sad, but true. Allie's situation is completely different. Trip was a high school crush, for Christ's sake! She was afraid she was gonna tarnish his reputation, to which I reply "Who cares?" He's sick, he needs help. If you don't care about yourself, think about all the other women he may abuse in the future. But no, she couldn't. And because of that her brother and only friend got caught in the crossfire and paid the price for something she should have taken responsibility for.

Eventually, Allie was free because Trip drove off a cliff. Horrah. What if Trip made it? What then? I doubt Allie would have talked. We're talking about a girl who got emotional selling the stuff her abusive boyfriend gave her because she said it felt wrong somehow. I can't even.

Also, the fact that the story dragged, was not to its books favor. Pages after pages of Allie wishing her life could have taken a different turn and feeling miserable overall. I wanted to shake that teen so hard and yell at her that she doesn't have a life yet, not really. All her life is ahead of her and she does nothing, NOTHING, for it to take a different turn.

Excuse my rant, but reading stuff like that especially in books for teens, enrages me.
I have never been abused in my life so maybe I don't have the right to speak about these things. I don't know how it is, how it feels. I just express my opinion as an individual and as an outside observer. I mean no disrespect to anyone who has/had similar experiences.
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Reading Progress

50.0% "I am only halfway in...after I don't know how many days. So slooooow!"

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Aly (Fantasy4eva) see. told you the reviews were neg! blahhh. doubt i'l be reading this. one too many low stars that you just can't ignore :P

AtenRa Yeah don't bother, take it from me.

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