BlurbWhen 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.
- Published: 08/04/2021
- ISBN: 9780241441718
- Length: 368 Pages
- Dimensions: 222mm x 34mm x 144mm
- Weight: 483g
- RRP: £12.99
- Imprint: Penguin
Jack Dahl is a teenager who has had to deal with more than his fair share of tragedy and loss, and certainly more than anyone of his age should have to endure. His father is in prison, and his mother is unable to cope with the situation she finds herself in, and makes the devastating decision to leave Jack and his younger brother Matty to fend for themselves. Jack knows that if he wants to stay with his brother, he has some serious decisions to make – some of which are incredibly dangerous.
Jack’s actions leave both of their lives in danger, but is unable to see any other path open to them, and the thought of them being separated is unbearable. Whilst making these difficult choices, they meet Ava – a new girl at their school that has her own secrets and burdens to bare.
This is such an incredibly moving story that really draws you in from the very first first page. You can feel the sadness that the characters are experiencing deeply, and it allows you to connect with them all from the start. As we follow their journey, the decisions that Jack makes seem somewhat irrational. But the more we learn about him and their troubled past, you begin to understand why he feels the need to make such dangerous choices.
Jack and Ava are a wonderful pairing in this story. Despite their situations initially seeming worlds apart, they are drawn together time and time again. You really get the sense that Ava knows far more about Jack and his past than he does about her from their first meeting, but as we come to learn more about her life, your heart really goes out to this character.
This story portrays so many powerful, moving messages throughout. From loss, to love, alongside friendships and of course the neglect and the ways in which children can find themselves slipping through the fingers of the system when it comes to their own safety. Despite all of this though, the story does carry an overriding sense of hope throughout as each of the characters grow as individuals.
Beautifully written, emotionally driven and compelling to the end, this is a remarkable story that will stay with me for a very long time.
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.
*Thank you to The Write Reads, Cory Anderson and Penguin Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*