Review: What Beauty There Is

Today, I’m really excited to be taking part in the blog tour for What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson. Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Penguin for inviting me to take part.

An exhilarating, emotionally powerful and superbly written thriller that’s Winter’s Bone meets The Road

Winter. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

Jack Morton has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he’d do anything for. Even die for. Now with their mother gone, and their funds 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. He chooses the money.

Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Trust no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or help the brothers survive.

Choices. They come at a price. 

TW: suicide, drug use, addiction, murder, blood, violence, controlling behaviour, abuse

Goodreads | Waterstones

My Thoughts:

What Beauty There is a heart-wrenching, bleak and dark YA thriller that is perfectly complimented by its stark and uncompromising prose. This is a book that you can’t pull yourself away from. 

You get sucked into this book by those intriguing plot hooks, but you end up staying because you become truly invested in these fractured, flawed characters just looking to survive. They’re characterised by the actions of their families and feel the reverberating effects of the past in every moment. They’re down-trodden and barely scraping by, getting pulled into a dark and dangerous web kickstarted years and years before. The atmosphere and environment they inhabit is unflinching and uncaring, striking in its alienation and bareness. You get the sense that even Nature itself has turned its back on these characters, forcing them to combat the merciless cold. 

I really enjoyed the style of writing used here. It felt evocative, stylish and literary. Like the characters, the narrative was often fractured and complex. It is a book that demands your full attention and concentration, with little detail threaded through. This is an absolute fight for survival against all odds. It is harsh, characterised by death and suffering. At times, your hope is crushed by every unfolding event. From the start, it is evident that this is going to be a harrowing tale that won’t allow its characters to remain unmarked by its events. The action builds to its third act climax, but within the action-packed pages is woven a story of family and the lasting effects of choices. It speaks to generational debt and how children can pay for the actions of their parents. 

What Beauty There Is weaves a bleak tale that is often raw and unflinching but the spots of light come from the three-dimensional protagonists who you can’t help but root for.

Thank you again to Penguin and The Write Reads for including me and please make sure that you check out the rest of the incredible blog tour posts.

9 thoughts on “Review: What Beauty There Is

  1. Eva Harris says:

    Hello! Thanks for sharing your reviews on “What beauty there is”, after reading your review I got thrilled to read this book. Have you ever read inspirational stories, if yes then I suggest you read “Yes I Can”, you surely gonna love this. Keep sharing!!


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