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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022 4 months ago

SUMMER SCHOOL ZONE: Gabriel Gomes reviews "What Beauty There Is"

Summer School Zone writer Gabriel Gomes shares his opinion on this book about love and loss.
by: Guest Writer




What happens when you get knocked down, but knocked down so hard that it’s tough to get back up? What happens when it feels like everything that could go wrong did and you question if you even want to get back up? The way you recover will either break you or define who you are, and the events that happen in Cory Anderson’s book will imprint a lesson that you will never forget by showing that whatever happens in life — no matter how bad and cruel life may be — the people you love might not help take away pain or loss, but they make it easier

“What Beauty There Is” is Anderson’s debut novel, in which the main characters must make tough choices and go through danger, tough times and heartbreak. The story revolves around 17-year-old Jack Dahl, who now lives alone with his brother after his mother died and his father was sent to prison. Now living in extreme poverty and afraid of losing his brother, the last loved one still in his life, Jack sets off to find the drug money that his father was arrested for.

Along the way, he meets Ava Bardem, whose father, Victor, is a relentless, merciless criminal who was never caught for his actions. Victor has controlled Ava her whole life and has taught her to be emotionless and to never love anyone.

But when Ava and Jack cross paths, and with more dangerous people than just Jack wanting the same money, they must make some difficult choices and changes that will affect their lives forever.

“What Beauty There Is” is a fantastic, although heavy, story that takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster. The reader will feel everything from anguish to excitement to danger as Jack and Ava work together and try to improve their lives while being almost completely alone. Due to some heavy topics that might not be comfortable for all ages, this book is recommended for people ages 14 or older.

This book reminds us to appreciate what we have, and the life situation we are in compared to others, while also telling us that life is easier when we lean on one another, even if we are going through the worst circumstances.

I liked this book a lot and definitely recommend it to people ages 14 and up.

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