Publisher: Simon and Schuster | Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 368 Pages
Source: From Publisher, unsolicited
Reason: For Review
Growing up in conservative small-town New Mexico, fifteen-year-old Mara was never given the choice to be different. Her parents—an abusive, close-minded father and a detached alcoholic mother—raised Mara to be like all the other girls in Barnaby: God-fearing, churchgoing, and straight. Mara wants nothing to do with any of it. She feels most at home with her best friend and older brother, Iggy, but Iggy hasn’t been the same since their father beat him and put him in the hospital with a concussion.
As Mara’s mother feeds her denial with bourbon and Iggy struggles with his own demons, Mara finds an escape with her classmate Xylia. A San Francisco transplant, Xylia is everything Mara dreams of being: free-spirited, open, wild. The closer Mara and Xylia become, the more Mara feels for her—even though their growing relationship is very much forbidden in Barnaby. Just as Mara begins to live a life she’s only imagined, the girls’ secret is threatened with exposure and Mara’s world is thrown into chaos.
Mara knows she can't live without Xylia, but can she live with an entire town who believes she is an abomination worse than the gravest sin?
"If there is one thing this world as taught me, it's that no matter how bad things get, they can always get worse. Secrets should stay secrets. It keeps them tolerable. Telling secrets turn them into full-on hell.”
I have few regrets in my life, but one regret I do have is that I let this novel sit on my shelf for 2 years, going unread.
Beauty of the Broken is one of the most exceptional novels I have ever read. In Tawni Waters' author bio it mentions that she is a poet, and that definitely translates into her writing. The writing style had such a beautiful poetic flow to it; the words just lyrically dancing off of the pages.
Main character, Mara, reminded me so much of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. She was an old soul and was wise beyond her years. She was rough around the edges but so delicate beneath the surface. The premise of this novel will give you a John Green or Rainbow Rowell impression. A coming of age novel that will tug at the heart strings, however Beauty of the Broken is so, so much more than that. This book will do more than "tug at your heart strings". It will yank, and push and pull, and at times, it will completely remove them leaving your heart broken. Having said all that, this book is filled with wondrous moments and breakthroughs. The growth and revelations of Mara and her relationship with Xylia was nothing short of breathtaking. This novel took a love story to a whole new level. To quote John Green, their Love Story unfolded slowly, and then all at once.
This book is more than a love story though. Mara will gently take your hand and guide you along side her; giving you a peek into her soul. You will meet(and fall in love) with Iggy immediately and your heart will also break for him. This book will also fill you with anger. Anger at the world knowing that these unfortunately events happen to people every day, and also anger towards the characters. I never knew I could get so furious at someone fictional!
Beauty of the Broken and Tawni Waters should be sitting alongside the literary greats. Tawni Waters has earned herself a shinning spot next to Yeats, Steinbeck and Harper Lee.
I regret that I took so long to reach for this book, but now I am forever grateful that I finally had the chance to meet Mara and that she let me into her life for that brief moment in time