Woohoo! It's mini review time again, this time coming in with two really great 2012s. I devoured each of these books straight through the day I got them, so let's get to it!
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf: Emotional. Completely and utterly emotional, yet still with an uplifting note. This one is phenomenal, and such an amazingly built murder mystery blended with a coming of age. Plenty of back story is given through perfectly time flashbacks, each one holding a very relevant point to the story in real time as well. I loved Allie's character, the kind of girl who is most definitely effected by everything that's happened to her, but with this fantastic internal strength that lets her keep going. She doesn't hide her fear, but she still finds a way. Her brother, Andrew, was just as awesome of a character, with a great depth and purpose to him. Then there's Blake, the bad boy who isn't really a bad boy, and the guy who has more sweetness to him than anything. Yep, he's swoonworthy, and just as memorable as Allie. Basically, this book is emotional and gutting, but it's still one you need to read. Seriously, I loved this book, and all the depth and intricacies in it. It's fantastic.
Cracked by KM Walton: Boy book! Two boys, actually, and that just makes it even better. Yep, this one is dual POV between the bullied and the bullier, but it's also more than just a bullying book, which KM navigates so well. There is definitely more to both boys than what's on the surface, and neither is the stereotypical bully or target. Bull has a mess of a home life, horrific in some ways, yet even though Victor's family has money, in the end, his home life isn't really good either. The way their stories unfold and connect kept me reading nonstop, rooting for both boys. Even though the premise is something rough and emotional, and KM definitely doesn't hold back on the grit, there is still a lot of humor in this one. Even when the boys were in the psych ward, Walton still gave them at least some freedom to interact with other characters and figure things out on their own. There's just enough romance elements to satisfy readers in that regard without being this sudden and changed focus. Basically, if you love contemp or boy books, or even better, both, then be sure to watch out for this book.