TITLE: What Beauty There Is
BY: Cory Anderson
SERIES: What Beauty There Is #1
GENRES: Young Adult, Thriller
PUBLICATION: April 04th, 2021
NOTES: I received an e-copy from the author, publisher and blog tour organizer via Netgalley.
I’m once again part of #UltimateBlogTour organized by Dave from @The_WriteReads along with Penguin for this book, What Beauty There Is by a debut author, Cory Anderson. I love discovering new authors and supporting them so I’m grateful for being part of this tour.
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.
What beauty There Is wasn’t just an action-packed thriller that had me at the edge of my seat, it was also heartbreaking, inspiring and almost haunting.
First, I want to talk about the potential trigger warnings in this book. There are a lot, but the one that affected me the most is the suicide element. I know it seems like I’m spoiling something but I think it’s important that readers dive into this book prepared. To be honest I was prepared. I was expecting potential triggers but the suicide part hits me hard and I wasn’t expecting to encounter it so early in the book. So readers, please be warned, and reviewers, please put trigger warnings in your reviews. Because personally, I am in the right head space right now, still it affected me. And as I said, this book has lots of potential triggers and a fellow blogger, Jenny (JenJen Reviews) and her partner created Book Trigger Warnings where you can see lists of trigger warnings for particular books. For this book, you can see the list in THIS PAGE.
Okay, now to a proper review…
When I picked up this book, I lowered my expectation because the blurb hinted some elements I think I already read from other books in this genre. And after reading it, I can say that yes, the plot has some cliche elements but surprisingly, I wasn’t bothered by them. I think the main reason is the book still managed to evoke strong emotions and reactions from me and that, more than anything, is what I look for in my reads.
My chest tightened right from the first chapter and from there, things just got more intense. It is action-packed and what’s at stake for the characters is too high. There is too much pain and struggles for the main characters that I just want it to end. It was almost like there will never be light at the end of the tunnel for them. I was heart broken for these characters. But despite them breaking me, I found this book heartwarming too. I really couldn’t help but feel for the main characters and I was at the edge of my seat, waiting for things to go wrong.
I like the characters. I mean I really didn’t identify myself to any of them but like I said, I feel for them. I cared for them. I think Jack, Matty and Ava’s characters are layered and well-crafted. They’re all so emotional too but strong in their own ways. The author showed how their upbringings affected their present lives, especially the choices they’ve made but the story also showed how they broke through them. I loved how developed the characters are.
“ What you put in your heart will make you heart. But it will be the most spectacular kind of hurt. It will light you up and burn you. It will knock you down. It will break you apart. And it will make you different.”– Cory Anderson (What Beauty There Is)
The writing style is not spectacular in any way but it’s fine. The author has these amazing lines throughout the book but while reading, there were times I felt like some scenes are chunky and just generally lacking but overall, I was satisfied because at the end, the book delivered what it promised, which is a heartfelt, action-packed thriller. Plus there are parts, some scenes that are haunting. There were some gory scenes which again reminds me of potential trigger warnings. Again, be warned.
RATING: 4 blissful pages with lilies
This book is not perfect but I enjoyed it. I loved the characters and like I said, the book evoked strong emotions and reactions from me while reading. If you’re looking for heartfelt, heartwarming or gut-wrenching read, then read this one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cory Anderson, a native of Idaho, is a storyteller who writes about her home in the Rocky Mountains. She is the winner of the League of Utah Writers Young Adult Novel Award and Grand Prize in the Storymakers Conference First Chapter Contest. What Beauty There Is is her debut novel.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.