I’ve been really looking to read more thrillers lately, so when I saw the sign up for What Beauty There Is I just couldn’t resist. So today I want to tell you about this book and what I thought. I want to thank The Write Reads and Penguin for providing me with an e-arc to read and review! Keep on reading to find out what I thought about this book!
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 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.
‘Beautifully written and superbly constructed, Anderson pulls you onto a chilling footpath of love and loss and keeps you there until you’ve read every last word’ Ruta Sepetys, bestselling author of Between Shades of Grey
What Beauty There Is sucked me in from this start. Cory Anderson’s writing is magical and she managed to make me really just want these characters to get some glimpse of happy or normal. This book was very powerful and I’ll definitely be thinking about this one for awhile.
Before I go any further I really do need to make a point of saying that this is a book for the readers on the older side of YA. It deals with many dark and difficult topics and the author doesn’t shy away from these subjects. There are definitely some trigger warnings: absent parent, child abuse, murder, suicide, animal death, violence and drug use/dealing.
Our main character Jack is a 17 year old and basically has the weight of the world on his shoulders. His dad is in jail and his mother has given up hope in life. This makes Jack the one responsible for his brother Matty. All Jack wants is to make sure his brother is safe and doesn’t end up in the hands of child services. Jack is a character that is very determined and brave. The things he risks to just try and keep Matty safe and what he does are things I would hope no one ever has to do.
His brother Matty is a character I just wanted to give a hug and tell him everything would be okay. My heart broke for him so many times, because he’s still so sweet and innocent in a world that’s already been pretty cruel to him at such a young age. I loved the undying faith he had in his brother to make everything okay.
Ava is a character that took me a little bit to understand. We mostly only get her thoughts at the beginning of the chapters, but I loved that the author only gave us little glimpses at a time. I feel this fit the story so well and it’s clear she was also trying to find her place in a world she wasn’t sure she wanted to be in.
We mostly get the story told by Jack, but every once in awhile there are chapters and little pieces told through other characters. At times I was a bit confused by those, but other than that I couldn’t put this book down. What Beauty There Is is story of love, loss, family, survival and strength. I had no clue how it was going to end until I actually got there! This story isn’t easy to read, but it’s beautifully written!
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 Utah with her family. What Beauty There Is is her debut novel.
What Beauty There Is was definitely a lot darker than I was expecting, but the author really sucked me into this story. This is definitely a story I won’t forget any time soon and I’ll be keeping an eye on this author to see what she writes next!