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.
I love a good crime thriller. Its one of my favourite genres and when it comes in the form of a YA book it is even better. What Beauty There Is gripped me and I struggled to put it down. I needed to know what happened next at the end of every chapter.
I was most captured by the relationship between Ava and Jack and how that developed. Not to say that the tory about Jack wasn’t gripping on its own. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place from the very start of the book. I kinda thought there wasn’t going to be any happy endings right at the beginning but I still enjoyed the story unfurling.
At the start of each chapter there was a bit of bit of text in italics which isn’t from Jacks perspective. It took a while to reveal who it was speaking but as soon as it did, it added a lot to the storytelling. I longed for those bits to be a bit longer but the balance worked out well in the end and I think it was just right. The voice pre-empted something that happens in the book and made me think that one thing was inevitable and that the story would be a bit predictable. But as with all good crime/thrillers, there was a twist.
The writing was great and the emotion shown really sparked something in me. There was a sense of suspense throughout, and foreshadowing within the way things were worded that I loved. I also really like the chapter structure. I didn’t actually pick up on it until towards the end, as they are roman numerals but you get so far in the book and the chapter numbers start going backwards. When I realised this I looked back at what point they changed and it makes totally sense.
What Beauty There Is was a thought provoking, edge of the seat thriller for me and I loved it. I would highly recommend it, but it will play on your heart strings for sure.
What Beauty There Is was published on April 8th by Penguin Books. My copy was sent to me in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.