by Heather Hepler
The trace amount of alcohol in her bloodstream. The tremendous amount of guilt on her shoulders. A severely scarred face that is a daily reminder of the car crash that killed her sister. But when Mia finally pieces together her memories of the night Rachel died, the shocking truth might be as jarring as the crunch of metal.
It’s been a year since fifteen-year-old Mia Hopkins was in a car crash that killed her older sister, Rachel, and left her own face terribly scarred. The doctors tell her she was lucky to survive. Her therapist says it will take time to heal. The police reports claim there were trace amounts of alcohol in her bloodstream. But no matter how much she tries to reconstruct the events of that fateful night, Mia’s memory is spotty at best. She’s left with accusations, rumors, and guilt so powerful it is quickly consuming her.
As the rest of Mia’s family struggles with their own grief, Mia is sent to New York City to spend the summer with a grandmother she’s never met. All Mia wants to do is hide from the world, but instead she’s stuck with a summer job in the bustling kitchens of the café down the street. There she meets Fig—blue-haired, friendly, and vivacious—who takes Mia under her wing. As Mia gets to know Fig and her friends—including Cooper, the artistic boy who’s always on Mia’s mind—she realizes that she’s not the only one with a painful past.
Over the summer, Mia starts to learn that redemption isn’t as impossible as she once thought, but her scars inside run deep and aren’t nearly so simple to heal … especially when Mia finally pieces together her memories of the awful night Rachel died.
We Were Beautiful is:
- A unique coming of age story about tragedy, forgiveness, and love
- Written by acclaimed, award-winning author Heather Hepler
- Perfect for fans of Robyn Schneider and Justina Chen.
- A poignant, clean YA romance unafraid to explore serious contemporary life issues
I have always been intrigued by the concept of grief. I have felt some strands of it myself, but I have not, thankfully, lost anyone extremely close to me yet. We Were Beautiful is a lovely book that is focused on the process of grief of Mia, a 15 y/o girl who has lost her sister in a car accident. It has left her scarred, both on the outside and the inside, and she is left with the guilt of being the one who lived.
Mia is sent to the city to visit her grandmother - a grandmother she has not met before. Mia is met with a variety of things and events to get used to and learn to work with. The hardest part of grief is, of course, having to move on when your loved one cannot. This is something that Mia is living through and the character and situation is written so well that we are taken right along with her.
Grief is a scary emotion. It is engulfing and necessary. I was so happy to read this book that has provided a temporary moment for us to live through someone's grief. The writing is beautiful and I came to care very much for the characters. It may be slow moving for some, but I think it was necessary for the subject of the story. Pick it up - I don't think you'll be disappointed.