What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson’s stunning YA novel about brutality and beauty, and about broken people trying to survive—perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Laura Ruby, and Meg Rosoff.
To understand the truth, you have to start at the beginning.
Winter in Idaho. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.
Living in harsh poverty, Jack Dahl is holding his breath. He and his younger brother have nothing—except each other. And now Jack faces a stark choice: lose his brother to foster care or find the drug money that sent his father to prison.
He chooses the money.
Ava Bardem 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. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up on Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or speak, and help the brothers survive.
Choices. They come at a price.
You know you come across books sometimes that are sad and beautiful and there’s probably a German word for that. Well this is one of those books. It’s heartbreaking and moving and lovely.
Jack just wants to take care of his little brother, he will do anything for Matty. And then he meets Ava, who wants to take care of him. But the world is a cruel and dangerous place and neither Jack or Ava are safe.
The adults in this book are all pretty awful human beings, except Doyle, and they keep letting Jack and Ava down. His parents, his uncle, her father.
Keep some tissues handy if you’re a crier, this book will break your heart and then try to fix it. The imagery is stunning, the writing poetic and the story utterly wrings you out. A wonderful, powerful debut.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.