Thursday, 20 February 2014
Review: Searching For Beautiful by Nyrae Dawn
I have previously read, and loved some of Nyrae's work, so when I saw Searching For Beautiful I added it to my goodreads to-read list. When I got offered a copy of the book to review it had to be one of the easiest and quickest 'yes' I've ever replied with.
Within minutes of making a start on Searching For Beautiful I had a very strong opinion on Jason, he is an ass, and after his first few sentences to Brynn I wanted to slap him. He is a selfish, self-centred ass.
Searching For Beautiful is split into Before and After. Before takes place before the incident with Jason, while After is the aftermath of the situation. Before, Brynn had friends, her Mum, and a boyfriend who loved her like her dad loves her Mum. After she has lost her Mum, her boyfriend, her friends, and her relationship with her Dad is in tatters.
The protagonist in Searching For Beautiful is Brynn, who I felt so sorry for. I wanted to wrap her up in cotton wool and keep her safe from everything around her. Thanks to Jason, she is abandoned by her friends who should have stuck by her and listened to her side of the story before making judgements, her classmates and school mates are all talking about her behind her back, and she has no-one who she feels she can turn to.
One person who doesn't judge Brynn is Christian, a neighbour who left and came back. I liked how he tries to help Brynn, even though they don't initially get off to a good start, and helps her find belief in herself again, and the confidence to pick herself up. Yes this friendship has it's ups and downs, but it's real in every single way, and while Christian is helping Brynn, she is also helping him.
Emery is a new friend that is in a similar situation to what Brynn was, and while Brynn doesn't exactly make Emery feel welcome, she sticks with Brynn, even if it is just sitting next to each other, or letting Emery talk while Brynn listens. This is another friendship I enjoyed getting to see develop, and while there were some moments I wish Brynn had acted sooner, I did like seeing how far they have both come at the end of the book.
I don't want to say too much about Searching For Beautiful as I don't want to give away details of what happens in the pages or what happens to make Brynn's life so sad, but I do know that this is possibly my favourite book so far that I have read of Nyrae's, I vaguely remember crying a little near the end of the book. Searching For Beautiful really makes you think about how judgemental people can be, how quick they are to listen to only one side of a story and take that as the final decision. Brynn had no support after suffering a huge loss, no-one to talk to that she thought had her back, a stranger had to be the person she opens up to, and while I know this situation makes Searching For Beautiful work, it also makes you think of what happens every day in the world, and I hope I come out of reading this book with that in mind, and wait before making judgements myself.