Friday, March 7, 2014

4 1/2 stars for Searching for Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn

Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

This is a Young Adult title.


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What I thought about Searching for Beautiful



I’m a fan of Nyrae Dawn’s New adult Games series, so I thought I’d give Searching for Beautiful, a Young Adult title a try.. I was glad I did. I liked Searching for Beautiful very much and if I had a teenage daughter, I’d want to read this with her.

The book opens with Brynn in a very difficult situation. She has some news for her boyfriend, and nothing goes as planned. She’s heartbroken and things only get worse. Her father stops connecting with her, her friends drop her and everyone at school thinks she lied. Oh, and did I mention that her mom died recently?

She’s lost. It’s no wonder she’s depressed and feeling bad about herself. She’s sixteen and hasn’t developed the coping skills she needs to pull herself out of it. She’s dealing with a generous heaping of bad stuff.

When her childhood friend Christian returns to town, he’s just the person to begin to pull Bryn out of her depression. I liked that Brynn didn’t throw herself back into his arms, and that there’s a “sweet” friendship going on between them. He plays it straight up with Brynn, and I liked that about him. Christian’s mom deserves some major hugs for her role in helping both these young adults learn how to deal.

Brynn doesn’t come to some magical revelation and suddenly “grow up” though. It’s a gradual process. Her journey of pulling herself back into the world takes some time, and I can see how other readers might have gotten annoyed with her. I thought it rang true to me. She doesn’t have some grand revelation about the way of the world, she gradually learns about the value of reaching out, friendships, and rebuilding trust. There’s some nice moments here, particularly with her dad. She even has a few setbacks along the way.

I enjoyed this very much. Interesting characters for me, and a plot that speaks to the age group in terms of boys, friends, and parents. There’s something about Nyrae Dawn’s writing and her characters that keep me turning the page.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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