Breaking Beautiful – Jennifer Shaw Wolf

This murder mystery wrapped in teen drama hits the mark.  Allie has survived an accident that apparently killed her boyfriend, Trip.  It looks like she jumped out of his truck before it went over a cliff and into the ocean that swallowed the truck and Trip’s body.  She suffered a severe head wound and can’t remember the accident or the events leading up to it.  Or can she?  Allie has been covering up an abusive relationship with Trip for years.  Trip comes from a wealthy family that owns and controls the town and she hadn’t had the strength to leave the abuse.  Her twin brother has cerebral palsy that limits his mobility but not his intelligence.  He saw through the façade and urged his sister to leave Trip.  But now Trip is dead.  Was it an accident or murder?  The pace of the novel is excellent so that the reader learns Allie’s story as Allie comes to terms with it.   The characters feel real and the drama around the relationships is spot on.  Blake, Allie’s childhood friend and champion, tugs at the heart.  The author delivers a gripping story while addressing abusive relationships.  Several library copies will be needed to satisfy demand.  Highly recommended.

NetGalley Review     Publication date  4.24.12

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