Friday, May 24, 2013

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Have you noticed the multitude of teen books about male-female relationships gone sour? That is such a common theme, and authors (and publishers) are certainly seeking out every corner of that genre (if that is what it is) to sell books. I notice too how many new authors are entering the publishing world through that genre, and I find that kinda fascinating. I tend to seek out books with a power imbalance, and if you studied my library-check-out history, you would see what I am talking about. I am not sure what this means, as in why I am drawn to these stories--is it the cover, is it that I feel the books are safe, is it that I can literally fly through them without studying the books during semesters when I am teaching (yes, a definite maybe here). The truth is out: sometimes I just want to fly through books, not thinking too much but maybe noticing a good character development here or there. Breaking Beautiful does a pretty good job of character development and twisty storyline, and kept me engaged during a particularly heavy reading time of the semester.

What I really liked about the character development in Breaking Beautiful is how twin brother and sister stick up for each some very unique ways. I was surprised at how Wolf wove in a protective brother who has a challenging time physically protecting his sister. I was also surprised at some of the other power misuses the author includes in the book. At times I wasn't sure who had sent boyfriend off the cliff: oops, a hint of storyline there....But really: you have to read it. I am not gonna spoil this one. The ending surprised even me. 

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