Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Not ready to return to school for her senior year in her small town after her boyfriend Trip was killed and she was injured in a truck accident, Allie stays home, mostly in bed. Still recovering from major head injuries herself, Allie has virtually no memory of the accident. Even though she and her twin brother had spent summers in Pacific Cliffs, WA, with their grandmother, the other students consider her an interloper after her family moved there permanently, especially because the richest and most popular boy in town picked her for his girlfriend, jilting the local beauty. After returning to school Allie is treated alternately with sympathy or a cold shoulder. Determined to find the cause of the accident and someone to blame, Trip’s father pays for the police to bring in a special detective. Even when he questions Allie she still can remember only small bits of the accident. She does not tell the detective the secret about Trip she’s kept hidden from everyone, including her twin brother and her best friend. As various suspicions about the accident mount, Allie faces accusations and harassment at school. The climactic ending brings the truth to light.
This book had me totally absorbed from the beginning. The author completely creates a small town high school with the various social groups and the pecking order of popular students vs. everyone else. The town itself is true to life, with everyone paying attention to everyone else’s business. The secondary characters are fully fleshed out also, giving the novel more depth.
Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson