Book Review – What Beauty There is by Cory Anderson
Length: 368 Pages
Dimensions: 222mm x 34mm x 144mm
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.
Oh, where do I even begin with this book? My poor, poor heart!
First of all let me just thank Dave at TheWriteReads, the author and the publisher for my gifted copy of this fantastic book and for giving me the chance to take part in this tour.
I absolutely devoured the story and couldn’t put it down.
For those who need trigger warnings ill just say that this book is quite dark and there is violence, suicide, drugs and child neglect.
What Beauty There Is follows 17 year old Jack Dahl and his younger brother Matty on a haunting, bone-chilling journey of survival. It shows the length that Jack will go to, to keep his brother safe and it really is heart-breaking to read.
The authors way of writing is quite unusual and so descriptive that as you’re reading about the cold and the snow you can almost hear the wind snapping the trees and the cold seeping into your bones.
The characters are so deep and complex and their stories are what keep you racing through the pages, desperate to know what happens next.
I was rooting for Jack, Matty and Ava the whole way through and it was so full of twists and turns that I really had no idea whether or not it was all going to work out for them in the end.
It was impossible to predict and although it was harrowing to read it was completely thrilling and I was absorbed from the first until the last page.
If I had to criticise anything at all it would have to be the writing style. Although I loved the descriptiveness of the book I found the style to be a little bit stilted. I have a feeling this was done on purpose to add to the feeling of fear the kids were feeling but I just wasn’t the biggest fan and that is why I have give it a 4 instead of a 5.
Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers and dark themes. It is fast paced, easy to read and understand and completely immersive and gripping.
About the Author
Cory Anderson is a winner of the League of Utah Writers Young Adult Novel Award and Grand Prize in the Story makers Conference First Chapter Contest. She lives in Utah with her family. What Beauty There Is is her debut novel.