Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Searching For Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn

By 9:59 AM , , , , ,

Searching For Beautiful
   by: Nyrae Dawn

Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 304 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars

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?

 
 
Searching For Beautiful is one of those books that, while emotionally difficult to read, has such a beautiful message of hope behind it. Nyrae Dawn isn't afraid to tackle some very heavy topics, and I feel she did so very tactfully and appropriately. I really like that Dawn alternates between Brynn's life Before and Now. It is very telling of who she is now compared to the girl she used to be and I feel it was important to see the drastic difference in her personality and spirit.
 
Everyone wants to be loved and Brynn De Luca is no exception. After a devastating loss has turned Brynn's life upside down, she seeks comfort in the arms of a guy who says he'll be there for her and that he understands what she's going through. At 16, Brynn is still so young and thinks what her and Jason have is true love. He calls her beautiful and makes her feel special- what girl doesn't long for that? She has always been a romantic at heart and I love how much she idolizes her parents' love for one another. Too often we read about teenagers who are ostracized from their parents or whose parents are not around or involved. Brynn is very fortunate to be able to bear witness to what love truly is and know what it is supposed to look like. However, because of Brynn's naivety, she doesn't see Jason for the person he truly is and when she finds out some life-altering news he shows his true colors and they are quite ugly.
 
I hated Jason. So so much. He spins everything around on her- making her feel as she is the one to blame for what happened. He destroys her self-worth and poisons her mind with his toxic words. I seriously wanted to junk punch him. I feel like he took advantage of a grieving girl and used that grief to create a hero complex for himself.
 
I definitely had a hard time with Brynn's best friends. They are upset that she pushed them away afterwards and now they won't even bother with her because they think she lied to them about not knowing who Jason really was. Going back to school is difficult for Brynn, as the rumors run rampant and kids stay away from her, treating her as an outcast. She is lonely and misses her friends and is struggling with who she is supposed to be now. Her relationship with her father is strained and she finds herself wishing he would be the man she used to know before.
 
Christian and Brenda were the absolute bright spots in Brynn's life. Brynn thought she loved Christian back in seventh grade and after finally getting her special dance with him at the school dance, he moved away. Now, he has returned and he is the only one who pays any attention to her. He tries to incorporate her back into their group, but she is still so shell-shocked over everything that she can't. She ends up hurting his feelings several times before she finally grasps that he is just what she needs to make it through. His mom Brenda is warm and comforting and accepts Brynn with no reservations. She gives her the attention and motherly affection that she so desperately craves and misses.
 
I love how easy-going Christian is with her. Every time he called her Bryntastic my heart melted a little bit! He has some of his own issues, but he doesn't let his anger for what happened with his sister drag him down or keep him from living his life. He pushes and challenges Brynn in just the way she needs and I really admired him for that. He remembers the girl she used to be and he works to help remind her.
 
"I wanted to see your smile again. Because you're beautiful when you smile and you've lost it, too. I want you to conquer this because what the hell is the purpose in it all, if the first girl I ever danced with loses her smile?"
 
Overall, I really enjoyed the message of hope, forgiveness, and self-discovery that Searching For Beautiful offers its readers. However, I felt kind of meh while reading. While I could appreciate its beauty, I just didn't feel immersed in the storyline like I would have liked. With that being said, it was still a very enjoyable read and I am glad I picked it up for review.
 
 

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10 comments

  1. I had the same issues with the book, I love the message but somehow I got bored at times.
    Great review
    Ruty@Reading...Dreaming

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    1. Thanks Ruty! I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one. But the message really was beautiful and I definitely appreciate that she went there!

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  2. Hmm, this sounds interesting. Oh, Jason sounds like someone I would hate too. I can already tell he's a douche! Might have to check this one out. Great review!

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    1. Yes! You would NOT like Jason. He's a jerk-off. Christian makes up for him though. If you do check this out, let me know what you think!

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  3. Sorry you didn't get into SfB as much as you'd hoped to. Nyrae does write emotional and thoughtful stories.
    Nice review!

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    1. I really enjoyed her Out of Play, and I know how much you guys love the Charade books.

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  4. Sounds interesting! But this is one of those times where I know if you didn't love it, I probably won't either. Great review, hon

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    1. Thanks girl! I wanted to love it so much, but it just didn't hit the mark.

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  5. Great Review! My heart broke for Bryn! I hated Jason with a passion, and her friends were horrible. I agree that Christian and his mom, Brenda, were the bright spots in this story!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I felt so bad for her! No one should have to go through what she did!

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