Follow The Artsy Reader on

#TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour #BookReview: What Beauty There is by Cory Anderson

My dear bookish friends!

If you know me and have been circling in the same spheres on BookTwitter as me you know who and what TheWriteReads is. But in case you are new to all this, TheWriteReads is  running the BEST blog tours in the WORLD (not even exaggerating here)! Not only are the books from a wide range of genres, there is a 99.999% that I will love them. Because of TheWriteReads, I have found out about some amazing hidden gems in the bookish world, and I broadened my reading horizon considerably. And all that thanks to the most supportive person in the blogging world, the genius behind TheWriteReads, Dave.
Thank you, Dave, for another awesome book and blogtour that made me go ‘WOW’. Thank you also to the author of What Beauty There Is, and obviously the publisher Penguin! But now, let’s see what this book is about!

The Blurb

When everything you love is in danger, how long can you keep running to

Life can be brutal
Winter in Idaho. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

Jack knew it
Jack Dahl has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he’d die for.
Their mother is gone, and their funds are 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.

So did I
Ava lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father, a merciless
man, has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one.
Did I feel the flutter of wings when Jack and I met? Did I sense the coming
But now Ava wants to break the rules – to let Jack in and open her heart. Then she
discovers that Jack and her father are stalking the same money, and suddenly Ava
is faced with a terrible choice: remain silent or speak out and help the brothers
Looking back, I think I did . . .
Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff and Daniel Woodrell, What Beauty
There Is an unforgettable debut novel that is as compulsive as it is beautiful,
and unflinchingly explores the power of determination, survival and love.


Cory Anderson is a winner of the League of Utah Writers Young Adult Novel
Award and Grand Prize in the Storymakers Conference First Chapter Contest. She
lives in Utah with her family. What Beauty There Is is her debut novel.

My Review

Oh wow. You guys, THIS BOOK!!! The past week or so the weather here has been freezing again, snowing sometimes, and this chilling story was the perfect read for it!! It made me grab my blanket and put on the fluffiest socks I own, and then I was ready for it. Or was I..?

A few years ago maybe, the insta love aspect would have swept me right off my feet and onto cloud nine. Being a bit older and wiser (*cough cough*), I had a bit more of a hard time really seeing it, BUT I still loved the way the author wrote it, and I also loved the crazy, all-encompassing feelings the two main characters felt. Sudden or not, they were there, and the way they were described was gooood.

We are introduced to Jack Dahl, a boy whose life is looking rather bleak. With his father in prison and his mother gone, leaving her children to fend for themselves, Jack is the only one who’s left to look after his little brother Matty. Money is tight, and Jack is feeling on the knife’s edge – how will he care for his brother? Will he follow in his father’s footsteps? Jack has some awful decisions to make, few choices from a range that is bad only. What will he do?

And then, one day, Jack meets the new girl at school. There’s something spceial about Ava, there’s no denying that. And the relationship that results in their chance meeting is truly one of a kind, something that I will think about for a long time. But what I absolutely loved the most in this book was the bond between Jack and Matty. It may have been the terrible, shocking, heartbreaking circumstances that strengthened it even more, but it was there right from the start.

Seeing Ava and Jack together was lovely too though. When being left by everyone, the few people you do have take a very special place in your heart. That was the case when Jack meets Ava. Even though they seem to be so different – to come from different worlds, so to speak – there was something like an inivisble force pulling them towards each other. Even though Ava seems to have had very much the opposite childhood to Jack and a home that he could have only dreamed of, it soon becomes clear that there is way more to it, and that everything might not be as it seems. The term ‘gilded cage’ came to mind every now and then.

It made my heart ache to see how fast Jack had to grow up, how mature he had to be when faced with impossible decisions. When you have no one to turn to, what do you do? You do what it takes to keep the person you love and the last one you have left safe. The author managed to make this very dark, very tense, and very psychologically straining story at the core easier to deal with by adding these special bonds to it. The characters are believable and well written, and you root for them from the start.

When one catastrophy after the other shatters a young person’s life, the little good they experience means so much more. This is the story that shows what it means when they have to decide which route to take, and how they deal with what life is offering them – even if it is cruel and hard and far from easy. If such a person has to go to great lengths to protect the people they love, this makes the story all the more heartwarming.

So, what exactly is What Beauty There Is? It’s a love story, it’s a family tragedy, it is a story of hope and fear and love, but also of loss and sadness and heartache. If you are looking for a soft and gentle romance with a happily ever after, you might want to look elsewhere. Here, you will get a real story that touches your heart, a story so raw that it will stay with you for much longer than you were prepared for.

If you are looking for a unique, deep, and touching YA that will make your heart race, your palms sweat, and the hours of sleep trickle away because you just have to turn more pages, this is the book for you. 4 stars from me for this unique story, and I can’t wait for more by the author!

Thank you all so much for reading and please do check out the other stops on the blog tour!!



If you want to get in touch with the author, you can find her here:

Amazon UK Link


1 thought on “#TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour #BookReview: What Beauty There is by Cory Anderson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow The Artsy Reader on