I know that the 24 hour read a thon is over but I ended up having an impromptu one this weekend anyways! I started reading Breaking Beautiful on Friday and just finished it now at 9:15pm on sunday. I was first heard of this book on The Contemps website and my major attraction was based solely on it not being based in a post apocolyptic setting. Seriously, come on, how many more of these do we need? Okay, maybe a ton, but I don’t need to read any more.
I am so impressed by this debut novel. Jennifer Shaw Wolf is one hell of a writer. Her language isn’t over simplified or poetic- it just is. Set in a small town in Washington State, the main character, Allie, is the lone survivor in a car accident that killed her abusive boyfriend Trip. She’s lost her memories of the night and no one in the small town will let her forget who she was or who she is. This is especially an issue when her best friend takes care of her and fills the isolated spots in her life.
What Wolf does best in this piece is plot. I found it to be seriously tight and completely captivating. She also does a great job of capturing the simple voice of a teenager. I’m not saying that teenagers are simple people, I’m saying she does away with the dramatics and the over emoting that could turn complex emotions into cliches. I totally aspire to have this type of ability someday. Told in first person present tense Allie’s emotions are raw and real, not cloying or hackneyed, as she takes us through dealing with her boyfriend’s death, her secrets, and dealing with the town and their need to know what happened the night he died.
I couldn’t put the book down. I look forward to her future work!