Welcome to my stop in the What Beauty There Is book tour! Thank you so much to TheWriteReads for including me in this tour, and the publisher Penguin for my review copy. This in no way affects my opinion.
Title: What Beauty There Is
Author: Cory Anderson
Audience: Young Adult
Release Date: 8th April 2021
Trigger warnings: suicide, drug use, murder, addiction, blood, abuse, violence.
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 . . .
What Beauty There Is is the first YA Thriller that I have read in a long time, but it has inspired me to dive back into the genre. I loved the novel’s fast-paced nature and am left wanting more; I can’t wait to see what Cory Anderson writes next.
My favourite part of What Beauty There Is was the relationship between Jack and Matty. The lengths that Jack went to protect his brother warmed my heart. Cory Anderson captured their bond perfectly, and I can’t wait to see how it will develop as the series continues. I wasn’t initially as on board with Jack and Ava’s relationship as it all felt quite sudden to me, but as I carried on reading, I found myself enjoying their moments more. I found a couple of the other characters quite interesting, but as the book was mainly focused on Ava, Jack and Matty, I don’t think that I knew them as well by the end.
What Beauty There Is is predominantly told from Jack’s POV, but there are a couple of cameos from other characters. I would have prefered it if it was only told from Jack’s POV as I sometimes found it difficult to determine who I was reading from and where they fit into the story at that moment. This did pull me out of the story as I had to spend time working out who they were, and they were meant to interact with the other characters. That being said, I did love the book’s format as while the majority is in the third person, at the start of each chapter, there is a section in first person, which I found really intriguing.
The descriptions in What Beauty There Is really helped with building the atmosphere and the sense of danger. I loved Cory Anderson’s way of describing the cold and snow, and I could genuinely imagine myself feeling how the characters did. I think this helped with my enjoyment and kept me intrigued by the story.
I can’t wait to see what Cory Anderson will write; hopefully, it will be the sequel to What Beauty There Is, as I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next.
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 Utah with her family. What Beauty There Is is her debut novel.