What Beauty There Is
Author: Cory Anderson
Length: 368 Pages
Genre: Young Adult | Thriller | Suspense |
Buy the Book: Amazon UK
Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone has a nice start to the week. I was meant to be having a productive day and get a head of some reviews but that has gone out of the window. Instead I have been sat on the sofa watching Gray’s Anatomy for hours. I plan to at least write one more review today and then I’ll be happy with myself so look out for that later on in the week!
When everything you love is in danger, how long can you keep running to survive?
Life can be brutal. Winter in Idaho. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones. Jack knew it.
Jack Dahl has nothing left. Except for his younger brother, Matty, who he’d die for. Their mother is gone, and their funds are quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison.
So did I
Ava lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father, a merciless man, has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one.
Did I feel the flutter of wings when Jack and I met? Did I sense the coming tornado?
But now Ava wants to break the rules – to let Jack in and open her heart. Then she discovers that Jack and her father are stalking the same money, and suddenly Ava is faced with a terrible choice: remain silent or speak out and help the brothers survive.
Looking back, I think I did . . .
Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff and Daniel Woodrell, What Beauty There Is an unforgettable debut novel that is as compulsive as it is beautiful, and unflinchingly explores the power of determination, survival and love.
Trigger Warnings: Absent parent, Child Abuse, Dead parents, Drug use and drug dealing, Death, Kidnapping, Murder, Suicide, Violence (graphic)
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher and TheWriteReads in exchange for an honest review.
What I Liked
This was a very last-minute blog tour for me and I dropped everything to start reading this book. It’s not normally something I would pick up but I am so glad I did. As soon as I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The story was completely captivating and the characters were so interesting, it’s very easy to care for them and get wrapped up in their lives. It’s so beautifully written, sometimes like poetry and it is easy to get lost in the severe snowy setting. It makes the story that bit more chilling and engaging.
We follow Jack Dahl as he comes home from school to find his mother has committed suicide. Let me just say, What Beauty There Is really knocks you down before anything has even started. I felt devastated before I even knew anything about the characters. I couldn’t help but read on and find out more about Jack’s situation, especially when his little brother Matty is introduced. With their father in jail and the brother’s not wanting to get separated by social services, Jack’s only option is to care and look out for Matty himself.
I enjoyed this book, even more, when Jack meets Ava. She warns him to stay away but who really listens when someone says that? Not that Jack is the one to ignore the warning. Ava can’t help but open her heart and help pick up some of the pieces of these broken brothers and this adds to the raw vulnerability making the book more beautiful but still upsetting.
The majority of the book is from Jack’s POV, yet we do get some chapters from the other characters as well. Normally I am all up for multiple POV but I found I didn’t get as invested in the story when I wasn’t reading from Jack’s view but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book! There are also a few things that went unanswered at the end for me, as this is book 1 out of the series I’m sure we will continue to learn more in the next book!
Jack is an amazing character and I just love how much he cares for his brother, he won’t let anything happen to him if he can help it. You will root for the Dahl boys and Ava throughout the book, follow their intense adventure of survival and live for the bond they all share, especially the two brothers. It was Jack’s character that really made the book for me, I was hanging on to every decision he made for his family and I loved how Ava made him even stronger than he was before.
Matty is just the sweetest person to ever exist, I’m not sure how old he is but I know he is quite young and his story broke my heart. He is incredibly strong and has the most wonderful brother to help support him but it was amazing to see him help Jack at times as well. I think Jack and Matty’s relationship alone is a reason to read this book.
Overall, this is a story of love, family, loss and survival. There is so much to love about this book but prepare to have your heart ripped out of your chest because of these characters. The plot is very engaging and beautifully written, it isn’t your usual young adult or thriller and I’m so glad I enjoyed it as much as I did.
About The Author
Cory Anderson is a winner of the League of Utah Writers Young Adult Novel Award and Grand Prize in the Storymakers Conference First Chapter Contest. She lives in Farmington, Utah with her family. What Beauty There Is is her debut novel.
Buy the Book: Amazon UK