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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for What Beauty There Is

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    oh wow. what beauty there is in this book was completely unexpected. this story exceeded all of my expectations in terms of prose, narration, storytelling, characters, and atmosphere. its one of those novels that forces you to feel and experience. jack and matty are everything good in the world personified. this is a story worth loving. thank you so much to macmillan for the ARC! ↠ 4.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Wowwww! This book hurt each bone in my body! My heart is ripped by tiny little razor blades! So intense, so heartfelt, so deep, so effective: it shook me to the core. Those beautiful young characters are like Atlas carrying the entire world on their shoulders. Their pain, their struggle, their loneliness, their resilient, their inner strength blew my mind away! Jack’s mother committed suicide: hanged herself in her room and the poor young son Jack buried his own mother, then took care of his li Wowwww! This book hurt each bone in my body! My heart is ripped by tiny little razor blades! So intense, so heartfelt, so deep, so effective: it shook me to the core. Those beautiful young characters are like Atlas carrying the entire world on their shoulders. Their pain, their struggle, their loneliness, their resilient, their inner strength blew my mind away! Jack’s mother committed suicide: hanged herself in her room and the poor young son Jack buried his own mother, then took care of his little brother alone, lying to him their mother went to a trip. Their father is in the prison from theft and his partner Bardem is still looking for where he hid the money bag. Jack’s path crosses with Ava: other MC of the story. Her mother was forced to leave the house when she was a little girl, witnessing her father Bardem wash the blood from his hands in the sink, telling her scary real crime stories and terrifying life anecdotes about not trusting or loving someone. She knows her father wants the money and she realizes Jack and his brother escape from their house. In fact it’s not their house anymore: because it’s auctioned and they were forced to leave the place in two days. After being attacked by his own father at his visit in prison, he put himself on the radar of Bardem. He also gets attention of officer Doyle who get suspicious because of absence of their drug addict mother ( she’s buried beneath the ground) , he informs them to call child services. Jack cannot lose his brother: they need a safe place to stay! But when all of the accomplices of his father coming for the lost money, it’s hard for them to survive. Matty connects with Ava and brings her into their life. As soon as Ava drags into their mess: she realizes she needs to make a choice: finding the money for her father or helping the brothers. As she starts having feelings for Jack, she cannot make an objective decision. This book is remarkable mash up of Winter’s Bone, Road Winter with Liam Neeson’s Cold Pursuit movie vibes. Both Jack, Ava and little Matty were well crafted, deeply layered, resonating characters. Especially final third part of the book was action packed, stunningly heart pounding, nail biter, gut wrenching! I think there will be sequel of the series and I cannot wait to read more about the characters. Even though the book is so dark, pessimist, so intense, I got truly intended by deeply emotional narrations of the characters. Especially those words of Ava: “ What you put in your heart will make you heart. But it will be the most spectacular kind of hurt. It will light you up and burn you. It will knock you down. It will break you apart. And it will make you different.” It is impossible not to root for the amazing, sad, dedicated love story of Jack&Ava and wish to see they get through all those struggles, reach to their own happy ending. Those delicate, sensitive, tough kids broke me so hard! That’s why even their story made me so sad and hurt me so hard, I’m rounding up my 4.5 stars to 5 amazingly poignant, tear jerker, heart pounding, snow storm stars! Special thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/ Roaring Brook Press for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Cory Anderson writes a beautifully lyrical and unforgettable novel set in a remote small town in the bone-chilling freezing and bleak wintry landscape of the Rockies. 17 year old Jack Dahl is bearing burdens no teenager should have to carry, his mother has been floating away from him and his younger brother, Matty, for some time with her opiate addiction, and has taken the final step to leave her family and life, by choosing to hang herself. His father, Leland, is incarcerated in prison for the Cory Anderson writes a beautifully lyrical and unforgettable novel set in a remote small town in the bone-chilling freezing and bleak wintry landscape of the Rockies. 17 year old Jack Dahl is bearing burdens no teenager should have to carry, his mother has been floating away from him and his younger brother, Matty, for some time with her opiate addiction, and has taken the final step to leave her family and life, by choosing to hang herself. His father, Leland, is incarcerated in prison for the robbery of a pawn shop, in reality the financial proceeds of the drug trade. Jack is left with no good choices when it comes to survival, he has barely any food or money, but he is willing to do whatever it takes to protect the adorable and vulnerable Matty, under threat of being taken away by social services. He buries his mother in the hard frozen ground, leaving him with sore, bloody and blistered hands. Ava Bardem is the daughter of a father, Victor, a cruel, merciless and sadistic killer, whose love has wrapped Ava tightly into a cage where no-one is allowed to get close to her. When Jack helps her, the new girl, out of a distressing scenario at school, she tells him to stay away from her, harbouring secrets of a past that connects them. Left with no other options, Jack decides to seek the elusive briefcase of money hidden by his father so that he can financially provide food and a home for Matty, but can he trust anyone? This makes him the target, stalked by of a number of bad guys, including Victor, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the loot, as the murder of a correctional officer is followed by a rising tide of dead bodies. Sheriff Doyle aware the boys are in desperate danger races against time to find them. As Jack's life hangs by a thread, the only person there for him and Matty is a Ava willing to burn the house down to keep them safe. Anderson's writing is poetic, an artful if heartbreaking emotional rollercoaster of darkness, pain, despair and tragedies, young lives for whom hope is in short supply, where the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley, is railed against, how is it possible for either Jack and Ava to be masters of their own fates and the captains of their souls? This was a superb and atmospheric read, so memorable, of uncommon intensity and vibrancy, although I found it difficult to continue at times, the never ending threats to life that hit Jack, Ava and Matty, but there are the rare shards of light, love and hope to delight in. This may well not be a book for everyone, but I loved it. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Penguin Random House for an ARC.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "This is one small story in an infinite number. But it is mine." Jack and Matty have only themselves. They have lost everything. Left with only two options, Jack must decide: lose his younger brother Matty to foster care or find the drug money his father hid and went to prison for. Jack chooses the money. Will it be the right choice? How will Jack hold things together for both. Ava Bardem goes to school with Jack yet lives in isolation. She is her father's "Little Bird" and for seventeen year "This is one small story in an infinite number. But it is mine." Jack and Matty have only themselves. They have lost everything. Left with only two options, Jack must decide: lose his younger brother Matty to foster care or find the drug money his father hid and went to prison for. Jack chooses the money. Will it be the right choice? How will Jack hold things together for both. Ava Bardem goes to school with Jack yet lives in isolation. She is her father's "Little Bird" and for seventeen years her father has ruled her life. He has taught her not to love or trust. Now, Victor Bardem, her father, is hot on the trail of the money that Jack is looking for. What should Ava do? Should she remain silent or help Jack and Matty. Both Ava and Jack make choices in this book. Will they make the right ones? This is a beautifully written book. I just loved the italicized sections. It is also a dark book with heavy themes. An older sibling trying to keep a younger one out of foster care is a theme we have seen before and sadly exists outside of out book pages. This one couples that with tension and a sense of dread. I felt for the brothers and their plight. The odds are stacked against them. With so much to lose, how will they come out on top? What Beauty There Is is the first book in a series and I am curious to see what will happen next. Although this book is dark, it also has lightness in the form of love between the brothers, Jack's sense of duty, the relationship between Jack and Ava. My three-star rating means that I found this book to be good. I look forward to the next book in the series. Thank you to Roaring Brook Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joan He

    I don't have many words to describe the experience of this book because it's left me quite speechless. the essence of it feels like a classic but it's also no frills, unpretentious, and so real and raw in how it presents itself. the writing is really something to marvel at and it's amazing how much Cory packs in three, two words, sometimes even one. Seriously, I could read her descriptions of the snow falling and the wind rustling through the Idaho pines all day long. But what really gripped me I don't have many words to describe the experience of this book because it's left me quite speechless. the essence of it feels like a classic but it's also no frills, unpretentious, and so real and raw in how it presents itself. the writing is really something to marvel at and it's amazing how much Cory packs in three, two words, sometimes even one. Seriously, I could read her descriptions of the snow falling and the wind rustling through the Idaho pines all day long. But what really gripped me and kept me racing through the pages were her characters. Ava, Jack, Matty, and holy smokes BARDEM. They're all written in such a way that I had a hard time believing that they didn't actually exist. The dialogue is fitting of a screenplay. The details down to every thread and wisp of smoke and leap of pulse were enthralling. And don't get me started on that ending. Highly, highly recommend; you'll come away from this book seeing the world in a different way.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yodamom

    Oh the feels. Death, suicide, child abuse, hunger, so much hardship and yet it was beautiful. Jack a teen, is stronger than most adults, when his mother commits suicide he is alone, his father in prison. He struggles to keep his brother with him, hiding their mothers death from authorities. Desperation drives him to his father who stole money and stashed it somewhere near just to feed his brother. His father is not a nice man, and Jack doesn’t get the help he wants. What he gets is even more har Oh the feels. Death, suicide, child abuse, hunger, so much hardship and yet it was beautiful. Jack a teen, is stronger than most adults, when his mother commits suicide he is alone, his father in prison. He struggles to keep his brother with him, hiding their mothers death from authorities. Desperation drives him to his father who stole money and stashed it somewhere near just to feed his brother. His father is not a nice man, and Jack doesn’t get the help he wants. What he gets is even more hardships. These kids are put through some seriously hard times. This book is very visually written, I could see and feel it all. I cringed, cried, and cheered, such a great read. I received a copy of this book from the publishers for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Hartt

    I am obsessed with this book. Spare, haunting prose, an emotionally intense plot, and a setting that will chill you to the bone, you'll be rooting for Jack, Matty, and Eva through the very last page. I am obsessed with this book. Spare, haunting prose, an emotionally intense plot, and a setting that will chill you to the bone, you'll be rooting for Jack, Matty, and Eva through the very last page.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    While this was not exactly the adventure story I was expecting (don’t worry, the adventurous hunt for the lost treasure is there) it was so much more beautiful and stuck with me in all the best ways. Jack has pretty much always seen the bad side of luck and the book doesn’t start any differently when he comes home from school to find his mother has hung herself in her bedroom. How father is in prison for a robbery where the stolen money was never recovered. Jack’s next choices are completely foc While this was not exactly the adventure story I was expecting (don’t worry, the adventurous hunt for the lost treasure is there) it was so much more beautiful and stuck with me in all the best ways. Jack has pretty much always seen the bad side of luck and the book doesn’t start any differently when he comes home from school to find his mother has hung herself in her bedroom. How father is in prison for a robbery where the stolen money was never recovered. Jack’s next choices are completely focused on his little brother Matty and how best to protect him. In an attempt to keep from losing his brother to foster care he decides he has to find the money as they have left than 20 dollars and they’re losing the house. This noble decision sets Jack off on a terrifying journey as he’s not the only one still thinking about that briefcase of money. Jack trusts no one but when Ava shows up he’ll find himself learning to grudgingly accept help. This book was so well written it read with a poetry that painted the picture with every word. I loved the relationship between Jack and Matty and honestly just their characters. They were delightful, brave, and caring. I’m not going to lie, this book did lead me to tears but it was because the characters were so well written that as they hit bumps and struggles I felt for them. I very much hope that Cory Anderson continues to write as this was exquisite!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    *SHRIEK* Getting an ARC and I fucking LOVE thrillers

  10. 4 out of 5

    (Ellie) ReadtoRamble

    1.5 STARS I read this book for a blog tour, so thank you to the blog tour organiser, the publisher and the author for letting me take part and for providing me with a free copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own. The first thing I have to say about this book is there are a lot of trigger warnings for this book and a lot of scenes get really vivid and graphic. If you want to find out what all the currently updated TWs are for this book, you can find the full list here. I spen 1.5 STARS I read this book for a blog tour, so thank you to the blog tour organiser, the publisher and the author for letting me take part and for providing me with a free copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own. The first thing I have to say about this book is there are a lot of trigger warnings for this book and a lot of scenes get really vivid and graphic. If you want to find out what all the currently updated TWs are for this book, you can find the full list here. I spent the weekend reading this book, and unfortunately, I just don't think it was the book for me, and I don't think I was the intended audience. There were times where the writing style got good and I actually thought things were getting better, but then it just didn't grab me again. There are some beautiful sentences in this book, but I felt that the writing style and narrative voice were both very jarring and I really struggled with both. I didn't understand what was happening most of the time and the way it finished left me with a lot of questions and uncertainties. I couldn't identify to the characters and I just really could not get into this book, unfortunately, but that's not to say that you won't, as I know a lot of other readers have been enjoying it. Make sure to check the trigger warnings out before you pick up this book, as they start on early in the book and just keep coming.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Content Warnings: Graphic depictions of child neglect/abuse, Death, and Suicide I only read about 20 pages so I wasn't even going to mark this as DNF. But I've looked through a bunch of reviews and didn't see a single trigger warning list. So I just wanted to pop on and mention that this opens up with a really intense scene of suicide and child neglect. Definitely tread cautiously! The writing was beautiful from what I read, but unfortunately I just wasn't able to handle the graphic depictions. Content Warnings: Graphic depictions of child neglect/abuse, Death, and Suicide I only read about 20 pages so I wasn't even going to mark this as DNF. But I've looked through a bunch of reviews and didn't see a single trigger warning list. So I just wanted to pop on and mention that this opens up with a really intense scene of suicide and child neglect. Definitely tread cautiously! The writing was beautiful from what I read, but unfortunately I just wasn't able to handle the graphic depictions.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Mara

    Jack Dahl is living a teenage experience no teenager should live. His father is in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, but a robbery he did. And his mother has just committed suicide at the tail end of opioid addiction by hanging herself in her bedroom. Her son, Jack, is left to bury her in the frozen ground behind their house (a house they no longer own; it’s just been foreclosed) and look after his young brother, Matty, with a meager thirteen dollars to his name and little food. Jack is deter Jack Dahl is living a teenage experience no teenager should live. His father is in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, but a robbery he did. And his mother has just committed suicide at the tail end of opioid addiction by hanging herself in her bedroom. Her son, Jack, is left to bury her in the frozen ground behind their house (a house they no longer own; it’s just been foreclosed) and look after his young brother, Matty, with a meager thirteen dollars to his name and little food. Jack is determined to survive and not to let the state take Matty away. He seeks out his dad in prison, begging him for the location of the money from the robbery (actually, drug money). But there’s a price attached to that information, someone willing to kill for the money’s location. That someone is Bardem, a vicious killer. Someone not to be crossed. And no one understands that better than Ava, who witnessed her mother’s disappearance at his hands. But Ava will not leave Jack and Matty without help. Even if it means going against the most dangerous man she knows — her father. What Beauty There Is is a heartbreaking portrayal of growing up with only fringes of hope, of the unbreakable bond between brothers and the tender bonds of friendship. Anderson’s writing is pure poetry, each word measured and exact. The atmosphere (winter-chilled and unforgiving) is conjured in moments, leaving your heart to soar and shatter through the movements of this tightly-plotted thriller. Not least because Jack, Matty, and Ava feel so incomparably real. A marvel of a debut novel. A true knockout. 4.5/5 stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    sahar

    "some moments you long for, to live inside them, to never leave. others you regret. you wish for a second chance. i make sure to remember them all. it's a fine romance, this slow dance with fate. a sweet torture. i don't forget. i never will." wow. my heart is completely shattered. if a perfect novel exists, this is it. such an amazing debut told in beautiful prose. it's truly one of those reads that will stick with you long after you've finished it. prepare for an emotional journey that will kee "some moments you long for, to live inside them, to never leave. others you regret. you wish for a second chance. i make sure to remember them all. it's a fine romance, this slow dance with fate. a sweet torture. i don't forget. i never will." wow. my heart is completely shattered. if a perfect novel exists, this is it. such an amazing debut told in beautiful prose. it's truly one of those reads that will stick with you long after you've finished it. prepare for an emotional journey that will keep you on your toes until the very last page. (tw: child abuse, suicide, death) ➵ 5 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Muzmuz

    1st thank you to the author and TheWriteReads for the ARC copy. trigger warning: Violence, suicide and child abuse. I didn't know what i was heading into when i 1st started reading this book, it was recommended to me by my good friend Dave and i just went into it blind. Now this story is told from two main views but mainly starts each chapter with "her" view and let me tell you I LOVE her little parts at the beginning of each chapter * practically highlighted all of them* The writing style was easy 1st thank you to the author and TheWriteReads for the ARC copy. trigger warning: Violence, suicide and child abuse. I didn't know what i was heading into when i 1st started reading this book, it was recommended to me by my good friend Dave and i just went into it blind. Now this story is told from two main views but mainly starts each chapter with "her" view and let me tell you I LOVE her little parts at the beginning of each chapter * practically highlighted all of them* The writing style was easy to follow and the pace was perfect, once you start you won't realize how far your into the story till someone snaps you out of it *which is always a good sign* The story is a bit heavy comparing to how easy it was the read it and i swear i did not expect that ending *had a totally different ending in my mind* but never the less my heart broke. For a debut novel, the author did amazing and am looking forward to the next installment of this series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I am a complete and utter wreck. I don't know how I'm supposed to go on. I knew from the blurb that this book was going to be tough, but I didn't know just how brutal it would be. I almost stopped reading before I even really got started, but for Jack and Matty, like Jack and Matty, I had to keep going. This story tore my heart apart, but it stole it as well. Jack and Matty own that battered and bruised organ and I don't care if I ever get it back. This book will haunt me for a very long time. It I am a complete and utter wreck. I don't know how I'm supposed to go on. I knew from the blurb that this book was going to be tough, but I didn't know just how brutal it would be. I almost stopped reading before I even really got started, but for Jack and Matty, like Jack and Matty, I had to keep going. This story tore my heart apart, but it stole it as well. Jack and Matty own that battered and bruised organ and I don't care if I ever get it back. This book will haunt me for a very long time. It will be joining my favorites on a very special shelf. It's hard to believe this is Cory Anderson's first book. I'm so blown away by the writing and the story. What Beauty There Is is a stunning, poignant, and powerful debut novel and I cannot wait to read more by this author.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    What Beauty There Is. Oh goodness where do I start with this one? What originally drew me into this one was the beautiful cover. I mean just look at that! This was quite the heavy and dark book. There are a lot of heavy content triggers in this one. I felt the pain with each and every character. It was a little hard for me to rate overall since there were things I loved about this one and things that I wasn't a big fan of. I struggled with the first half of the story. The writing style was good bu What Beauty There Is. Oh goodness where do I start with this one? What originally drew me into this one was the beautiful cover. I mean just look at that! This was quite the heavy and dark book. There are a lot of heavy content triggers in this one. I felt the pain with each and every character. It was a little hard for me to rate overall since there were things I loved about this one and things that I wasn't a big fan of. I struggled with the first half of the story. The writing style was good but felt that more then half of it we were dealign with the same issue over and over. I feel like it was also a tad over the top with drama, violence, and action. I did enjoy the different perspectives of the characters but was left wanting more feeling. Overall, it wasn't bad it just wasn't the best YA I've read. Overall, thank you so much to Netgalley and Macmillian Children's Publishing Group for the arc in exchange for an honest review. 3/5 stars Pub date: 4/6/21 Published to GR: 2/28/21

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marion

    This book is beautiful. I love a book where I know the author has thought about each and every word before placing it on the page. Where the prose feels like poetry. When it feels like there is a rhythm and cadence to the sentences and paragraphs. I'm not reading a book, I'm experiencing it. This book is that. I also love a book with a tight plot, perfect pacing, tense situations, and action and adventure. This book is that. A well-written book with a tight plot and beautiful prose, however, is n This book is beautiful. I love a book where I know the author has thought about each and every word before placing it on the page. Where the prose feels like poetry. When it feels like there is a rhythm and cadence to the sentences and paragraphs. I'm not reading a book, I'm experiencing it. This book is that. I also love a book with a tight plot, perfect pacing, tense situations, and action and adventure. This book is that. A well-written book with a tight plot and beautiful prose, however, is nothing without deep, rich, and true characters. Characters you learn to love. Characters to whom you can't bear to say goodbye. Characters who will forever be tucked in the back of your mind. This book is that too. This book. This book is beautiful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shh... One More Chapter

    I wanted to like this book based on the premice and other glowing reviews, but there was nothing about it that really grabbed me. The 1st person start to every chapter that leads into 3rd person was jarring and off-putting. The need to say "let's start at the beginning" which is just so cliche and sets the whole tone of the book (just start at the beginning) and the lack of real character development were the downfalls of the book for me. Would I have liked this if all the unnecessary 1st person I wanted to like this book based on the premice and other glowing reviews, but there was nothing about it that really grabbed me. The 1st person start to every chapter that leads into 3rd person was jarring and off-putting. The need to say "let's start at the beginning" which is just so cliche and sets the whole tone of the book (just start at the beginning) and the lack of real character development were the downfalls of the book for me. Would I have liked this if all the unnecessary 1st person bits were taken out and the book simply started with the suicide? Maybe but I guess we will never know now. Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for an advanced copy of this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megan Rivera

    Jack has to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison. It’s a great book with a lot of mystery and I really enjoyed it and if you enjoy mystery I would recommend reading it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lili Marcus

    What beauty There Is wasn’t just an action-packed thriller that had me at the edge of my seat, it was also heartbreaking, inspiring and almost haunting. First, I want to talk about the potential trigger warnings in this book. There are a lot, but the one that affected me the most is the suicide element. I know it seems like I’m spoiling something but I think it’s important that readers dive into this book prepared. To be honest I was prepared. I was expecting potential triggers but the suicide pa What beauty There Is wasn’t just an action-packed thriller that had me at the edge of my seat, it was also heartbreaking, inspiring and almost haunting. First, I want to talk about the potential trigger warnings in this book. There are a lot, but the one that affected me the most is the suicide element. I know it seems like I’m spoiling something but I think it’s important that readers dive into this book prepared. To be honest I was prepared. I was expecting potential triggers but the suicide part hits me hard and I wasn’t expecting to encounter it so early in the book. So readers, please be warned, and reviewers, please put trigger warnings in your reviews. Because personally, I am in the right head space right now, still it affected me. And as I said, this book has lots of potential triggers and a fellow blogger, Jenny (JenJen Reviews) and her partner created Book Trigger Warnings where you can see lists of trigger warnings for particular books. For this book, you can see the list in THIS PAGE. Okay, now to a proper review… When I picked up this book, I lowered my expectation because the blurb hinted some elements I think I already read from other books in this genre. And after reading it, I can say that yes, the plot has some cliche elements but surprisingly, I wasn’t bothered by them. I think the main reason is the book still managed to evoke strong emotions and reactions from me and that, more than anything, is what I look for in my reads. My chest tightened right from the first chapter and from there, things just got more intense. It is action-packed and what’s at stake for the characters is too high. There is too much pain and struggles for the main characters that I just want it to end. It was almost like there will never be light at the end of the tunnel for them. I was heart broken for these characters. But despite them breaking me, I found this book heartwarming too. I really couldn’t help but feel for the main characters and I was at the edge of my seat, waiting for things to go wrong. I like the characters. I mean I really didn’t identify myself to any of them but like I said, I feel for them. I cared for them. I think Jack, Matty and Ava’s characters are layered and well-crafted. They’re all so emotional too but strong in their own ways. The author showed how their upbringings affected their present lives, especially the choices they’ve made but the story also showed how they broke through them. I loved how developed the characters are. “ What you put in your heart will make you heart. But it will be the most spectacular kind of hurt. It will light you up and burn you. It will knock you down. It will break you apart. And it will make you different.” – Cory Anderson (What Beauty There Is) The writing style is not spectacular in any way but it’s fine. The author has these amazing lines throughout the book but while reading, there were times I felt like some scenes are chunky and just generally lacking but overall, I was satisfied because at the end, the book delivered what it promised, which is a heartfelt, action-packed thriller. Plus there are parts, some scenes that are haunting. There were some gory scenes which again reminds me of potential trigger warnings. Again, be warned.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/... This atmospheric novel certainly gets you with the snowy setting. You know how dull and muted the sound becomes when there is snow? Well, I think that Anderson totally conveys this in their narrative. However, sadly I think this is also a reflection of the plot development. For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/... This atmospheric novel certainly gets you with the snowy setting. You know how dull and muted the sound becomes when there is snow? Well, I think that Anderson totally conveys this in their narrative. However, sadly I think this is also a reflection of the plot development.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    I really love a good thriller that is dark and What Beauty There Is certainly lives up to that. Cory Anderson has written a dark and intense mystery thriller that is not always easy to read. Actually it is downright heartbreaking at times. Yet, the story is beautifully written and we witness how the main characters never lose hope even when it seems as if all hope is gone. Seventeen year old Jack and his younger brother, Matty are all alone. Their mother is gone and their father, Leland is in pri I really love a good thriller that is dark and What Beauty There Is certainly lives up to that. Cory Anderson has written a dark and intense mystery thriller that is not always easy to read. Actually it is downright heartbreaking at times. Yet, the story is beautifully written and we witness how the main characters never lose hope even when it seems as if all hope is gone. Seventeen year old Jack and his younger brother, Matty are all alone. Their mother is gone and their father, Leland is in prison. Jack and Matty have less than twenty dollars to their name, their home is being foreclosed on and their water heater is busted, leaving for brutal winter nights. Afraid of social services taking Matty away, Jack runs away promising Matty they would always stay together. Jack knows his only option is in finding the drug money his father had hidden in order to survive. When Ava tries to help the brothers survive, it opens up another door for her as well. Her father, Bardem, is a killer and has controlled Ava for her entire life teaching her never to trust or love another soul. But, she can’t help opening up her heart to Jack and little Matty even though she knows she shouldn’t. Will the two brothers along with Ava ever be able to have a normal loving and healthy life away from the devastation of their childhoods? This story is really raw and emotional and I found myself really heartbroken over their lives that both Jack and Ava had to endure and basically just never really having a happy childhood. This is not an easy read and may trigger some readers, but this really is a story that pulls you right in and loves at a semi fast pace with a lot of action between its short pages. This is a must read if you enjoy stories that easily pull you in and make you fall in love with the characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Abby Rose

    Concept 7/10, execution 2/10. Seeing how well-loved this book is I will be blunt now just so any major fans of this book know what to expect from this review: I really, really did not like this book and I will not be saying many nice things about it. This book starts off strong and pulls no punches. Plot wise, I had no complaints for the first 100 or so pages and even after that my complaints with the plot are a little hard to pin down. Mostly because the writing style was sucking the joy out of e Concept 7/10, execution 2/10. Seeing how well-loved this book is I will be blunt now just so any major fans of this book know what to expect from this review: I really, really did not like this book and I will not be saying many nice things about it. This book starts off strong and pulls no punches. Plot wise, I had no complaints for the first 100 or so pages and even after that my complaints with the plot are a little hard to pin down. Mostly because the writing style was sucking the joy out of every positive element this book had to offer. Writing style is so, so subjective and I'm sure there will be lots (and there have been lots!) of people that will love the way Anderson writes but within the first few pages I was already struggling to look past my irritation with it to focus on the story and the characters. It just feels so soulless and repetitive and unrelenting. And I'm not someone that reads solely for the writing-- I usually only notice if the writing is exceptionally good or exceptionally bad-- but this was just painfully inartistic. Using short sentences to build tension is the oldest trick in the book, but if every single sentence is short, we're not going anywhere! We're just repeating the same sentence structure and length over and over and over and over and over until I'm actively trying to skim to give this book a better chance. The closer I read, the more I wanted to give up, so I just tried to grab the facts and flip the pages. But again. Writing style is subjective and my level of hatred for this book's writing style is not necessarily a measure of quality. There are a lot of merits to Anderson's style so I won't try and call it "bad" despite *deeply* disliking it, but when it comes to character development there are enough misfires for me to count it as a straight-up miss. Jack and Ava (and Matty but I've all but given up on kids being well-written because I know they're a little impossible to write) are so unbelievable. Did I expect them to act like normal teenagers? No. Things have gone south for them in a big way and I'm not too terribly attached to realism in this setting. But the dialogue is so robotic and repetitive and completely independent of the setting or the current stakes. If you're struggling to get through the book you could try taking a shot every time a character says "Okay." and nothing else. You will in fact die though so do keep that in mind. There's just no depth or rhythm to any of their conversations. We're just trading words (and the same ones too! The English language has so much more to offer) back and forth endlessly and we get no insight to their actual feelings as they're allegedly building a relationship. It doesn't help that these bland conversations are happening in between the most melodramatic bookends you'll ever read. Jack is constantly thinking to himself in a way that no one ever thinks to themselves and Ava has to give her best try at being philosophical at the beginning of every chapter or else we will not realize that there's something ~between~ our two protagonists. This book commits one of the cardinal sins of YA romance: telling you, the reader, that feelings are there without showing those feelings once. The amount of times Ava talks about her "sweet, quiet Jack" is pretty mind-numbing when you think about the fact that they do not know each other and Jack hasn't really been sweet or quiet around her?? I mean he's been injured around her. And I suppose he had the bare minimum respect to not touch her without her consent. And yes, desperation causing people to latch onto each other is a thing, but I don't really feel the desperation because I'm trying so hard to ignore how much I can't stand the writing style. The conclusion I came to with this rating was a 1 star rating would make sense if I could explain why the book is objectively bad while also not enjoying the book in a subjective sense. This book, while not great, isn't objectively terrible, but I did not enjoy it in the slightest and because of that, I can't give anything higher than a 2-star. It's all very personal and I wish this writer the best and am happy to see that so many people loved this book but the reading experience was one of the worst of the year for me so respectfully, I wouldn't recommend this to a soul. Maybe to the shell of a person because then there'd be no soul for the writing to suck out, but I don't think Mitch McConnell reads YA.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Livy

    This book was incredible. It was fast-paced and engaging and very atmospheric and I really felt like I was there with Jack, Matty and Ava as the plot unfolded. The characters were well developed and felt very real as we got key insights into their psyche from Ava's perspective as well as getting what she thought of them all. Jack was a brilliant character, he would do anything for his little brother Matty and that was what kept him going throughout the entire book and sends him on his dangerous j This book was incredible. It was fast-paced and engaging and very atmospheric and I really felt like I was there with Jack, Matty and Ava as the plot unfolded. The characters were well developed and felt very real as we got key insights into their psyche from Ava's perspective as well as getting what she thought of them all. Jack was a brilliant character, he would do anything for his little brother Matty and that was what kept him going throughout the entire book and sends him on his dangerous journey that takes up the book. Matty is incredibly sweet and also a great little brother as he does what Jack says but is also very smart and aware near the end of the story. Ava is very interesting, especially as the book is sort of told from her perspective and she instigates a large chunk of the plot and so is very important to the book. And Bardem is honestly terrifying and I give massive kudos to Jack for standing up against him. \ The plot, as I have said, is fast-paced and kept me on the edge of the seat the entire time. The short chapters really added to this as it felt like we were racing towards the end as the narrator/Ava told us the story knowing of course how it all ended. I really felt for Jack as he struggled to look after his little brother Matty and deal with men like Bardem and his father and I could really feel his pain and desperation coming through the pages. And I loved how it all hinged on certain moments and the decisions which certain characters made because it made the story more human as a whole and that is something that I love. The writing was incredible, it was action-packed and very atmospheric. I could imagine the setting because of the descriptions, I really felt like I was there in Idaho in winter. Plus, as I have mentioned the characters were incredible and very real and that takes a great deal of skill. The whole book is absolutely incredible and I just loved reading it so much! I was kindly provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour.

  25. 5 out of 5

    vikki ❤️

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. First of all. Lets talk about content warnings. I opened this book up and got a very unpleasant surprise. There's a suicide on the fifth page. Why did no one warn for that? I'm so glad I got this sneak peak because I had pre-ordered the book--something I will be doing with much more care from here on out. This book seems very heart-wrenching, even after the death of his mother, Jack seems to not want to get help for himself or his little brother, Matty. The writing also seems a little choppy, i First of all. Lets talk about content warnings. I opened this book up and got a very unpleasant surprise. There's a suicide on the fifth page. Why did no one warn for that? I'm so glad I got this sneak peak because I had pre-ordered the book--something I will be doing with much more care from here on out. This book seems very heart-wrenching, even after the death of his mother, Jack seems to not want to get help for himself or his little brother, Matty. The writing also seems a little choppy, it doesn't flow well. Jack, as a character seems deeply troubled, unless I misread, he didn't even call the authorities when his mother was found hanging from the ceiling fan? That seems a bit suspicious. Matty on the other hand, who appears to be Jack's kid brother, seems like a good kid from a troubled home who needs some guidance. Overall I did not enjoy this, and I hope that content warnings are added to the book. Thank you to BookishFirst for providing me with an early look at the book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Kelsen

    I can’t believe how much I love this story! The gorgeous lyrical writing, the characters, the setting, all of it was absolutely flawless in execution. I finished the book with tears in my eyes and my heart aching. Jack Dahl is such a fierce protector, not just of his little brother Matty but of Ava too. This book absolutely exceeded all of my expectations and I am just in awe. Well done Cory Anderson, well done indeed!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Cory Anderson has written a belter début set in the freezing and bleak wintry landscape of the Rockies. The story focuses on Jack Dahl, aged 17 and his younger brother, Matty. Their mum who is addicted to opiates has hanged herself. Leland, their dad, is in prison for the robbery of a pawn shop, though the money actually belonged to men in the drug trade. Leland ran with the money which he hid before his incarceration. Jack and Matty are struggling for survival with barely any food or cash, but Cory Anderson has written a belter début set in the freezing and bleak wintry landscape of the Rockies. The story focuses on Jack Dahl, aged 17 and his younger brother, Matty. Their mum who is addicted to opiates has hanged herself. Leland, their dad, is in prison for the robbery of a pawn shop, though the money actually belonged to men in the drug trade. Leland ran with the money which he hid before his incarceration. Jack and Matty are struggling for survival with barely any food or cash, but Jack will do whatever it takes to protect vulnerable Matty, who is under threat of being taken away by social services. Ava Bardem is the daughter of a merciless and cruel man, Victor, and a sadistic killer, though he loves Ava to the point where she lives in isolation as no one is allowed near her. Jack helps her out of a tricky situation at school. Desperately short on options and unable to get any work, Jack decides to hunt down the money hidden by his father so that he can financially provide for Matty, but this makes him a walking target and one of the men after him is Victor Bardem... There is a lot to enthuse over in Cory Anderson's heartbreaking journey of violence, evil, brutality, hope and despair. An entertaining and engaging thriller right through to the end this emotional roller coaster will ensnare many readers as it did me. What Beauty There Is is an electrifying début, so steel yourself and dive in. I read What Beauty There Is in staves with other Pigeonholers as part of a group. A special thank you to Penguin Random House, Cory Anderson, NetGalley and The Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carolann

    I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I really wanted to love this book. I thought I was going to love this book. And the other early reviews of this book are glowing. But a lot of this book felt very off to me. The premise drew me in. Jack's mom commits suicide, leaving him to take care of Matty. He has to be careful not to let anyone know she has committed suicide because he knows they will take Matty away. They have less than $20, no food, no heat. So Jack decides I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I really wanted to love this book. I thought I was going to love this book. And the other early reviews of this book are glowing. But a lot of this book felt very off to me. The premise drew me in. Jack's mom commits suicide, leaving him to take care of Matty. He has to be careful not to let anyone know she has committed suicide because he knows they will take Matty away. They have less than $20, no food, no heat. So Jack decides to try to find the money that his father stole that landed him in jail. Jack's dad's partner is not in jail but is on his tail, also wanting the money and not stopping at anything to get it.  But a lot of the book felt gratuitous. It felt unrealistic in many ways. It was ... boring.The ominous first person reflections in the beginnings of the chapter didn't work for me. More character development was needed. And the ending felt rushed and unresolved.  This book has been compared to The Road, which I absolutely hated, so I guess it's no surprise I didn't like this one.  TW: suicide, violence

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lousbookstuff

    You can find my full review for this as well as other books on my blog here Oh, where do I even begin with this book? My poor, poor heart! First of all let me just thank Dave at TheWriteReads, the author and the publisher for my gifted copy of this fantastic book and for giving me the chance to take part in this tour. I absolutely devoured the story and couldn’t put it down. For those who need trigger warnings ill just say that this book is quite dark and there is violence, suicide, drugs and child You can find my full review for this as well as other books on my blog here Oh, where do I even begin with this book? My poor, poor heart! First of all let me just thank Dave at TheWriteReads, the author and the publisher for my gifted copy of this fantastic book and for giving me the chance to take part in this tour. I absolutely devoured the story and couldn’t put it down. For those who need trigger warnings ill just say that this book is quite dark and there is violence, suicide, drugs and child neglect. What Beauty There Is follows 17 year old Jack Dahl and his younger brother Matty on a haunting, bone-chilling journey of survival. It shows the length that Jack will go to, to keep his brother safe and it really is heart-breaking to read. The authors way of writing is quite unusual and so descriptive that as you’re reading about the cold and the snow you can almost hear the wind snapping the trees and the cold seeping into your bones. The characters are so deep and complex and their stories are what keep you racing through the pages, desperate to know what happens next. I was rooting for Jack, Matty and Ava the whole way through and it was so full of twists and turns that I really had no idea whether or not it was all going to work out for them in the end. It was impossible to predict and although it was harrowing to read it was completely thrilling and I was absorbed from the first until the last page. If I had to criticise anything at all it would have to be the writing style. Although I loved the descriptiveness of the book I found the style to be a little bit stilted. I have a feeling this was done on purpose to add to the feeling of fear the kids were feeling but I just wasn’t the biggest fan and that is why I have give it a 4 instead of a 5. Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers and dark themes. It is fast paced, easy to read and understand and completely immersive and gripping.

  30. 5 out of 5

    rina dunn

    Well hello there Cory Anderson with your absolute amazing Debut! Honestly be prepared for me to rave about your book because its one of the best books I've read in a while! What Beauty There is a story about Jack and his little brother Matty. They have nothing. Nothing apart from each other, No family and no money. Jack is determined that they stay together, he can't lose him but the authorities are on their case and its either he finds the drug money that sent his father to prison or Matty is t Well hello there Cory Anderson with your absolute amazing Debut! Honestly be prepared for me to rave about your book because its one of the best books I've read in a while! What Beauty There is a story about Jack and his little brother Matty. They have nothing. Nothing apart from each other, No family and no money. Jack is determined that they stay together, he can't lose him but the authorities are on their case and its either he finds the drug money that sent his father to prison or Matty is taken from him. Ava Bardem lives with her controlling father, she's learnt not to trust and not to love anyone, or anything. When Ava's and Jack's world collide she questions everything and has big decisions to make. I devoured this book in just less than 24 hours it is that good! Firstly Anderson held me in the palm of her hand from the very first sentence. I immediately felt this maternal, protective nature over Jack and Matty, they both have been dealt devastating blows and life isn't about to get easier for them. Ava is such a great character and although is in a tricky situation boy did I admire her. She always tried to do what her heart told her despite going against everything she had been conditioned to believe and her love for Matty and Jack really shone through. The pacing is brilliant and I literally felt my heart leap into my throat on so many occasions. Its intense and action packed, yet beautifully balanced with so much emotion. I loved the real sense of desperation yet instinct to survive in this book. Its ultimately about broken characters trying to keep their loved ones close and gosh it hit me right in the feels as they say. Cory captures that sibling bond perfectly. I massively hope that this beautiful, often heartbreaking yet hopeful book gets the recognition it deserves because in my humble opinion its phenomenal. I love when you go into a book not knowing a lot about it and it completely wows you. I hope there is going to be a book two and three and four okay I'll stop now but honestly please let this be a series.

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