Friday, April 12, 2019

Review: "We Were Beautiful" by Heather Hepler



Let me just say, the Blink imprint is quickly becoming my favorite publisher of YA novels! They are always on the clean side (no sex, maybe a minor swear word but nothing more), and the stories are so engaging! We Were Beautiful is probably my favorite Blink title to date, and it's definitely one of my favorite reads of the year (so far).



It’s been a year since fifteen-year-old Mia Hopkins was in the car crash that killed her older sister and left her 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 could consume 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 cafĂ© 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 is always on Mia’s mind—she realizes that she’s not the only one with a painful past.

Over the summer, Mia begins 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 night Rachel died.

From acclaimed author Heather Hepler comes We Were Beautiful, a poignant young adult novel about tragedy, forgiveness, and love. Perfect for fans of Robyn Schneider and Justina Chen.




Just less than a year after her older sister's death, Mia's world shifts again when her dad sends her to spend the summer with her grandmother in New York City ... the grandmother she's never met. The accident that led to her sister's death also left Mia scarred, both externally and internally, but she can only remember bits and pieces of what happened. As the summer progresses, her memories return, and healing begins.

This is such a beautiful novel! While it does contain romance (and a cute one at that), it's much more about self-acceptance, family, and friendship than romance. When Mia arrives in NYC, she's very closed off to everyone. She blames herself for her sister's death, her mother has abandoned the family, and her father doesn't know how to relate to her. Then Fig sweeps into her life and pulls her into the loud, crazy, loving Brunelli family and into a tight-knit group of friends, all of whom are dealing with their own trauma.

I loved watching Mia open up to people and finally embrace herself! I also loved watching her relationships with her father and grandmother grow and change. And then there are the Brunellis ... I would love to read more about them!

This book deals with weighty issues like domestic violence (described after the fact), parental abandonment, sexual assault, teenage drinking, disfigurement, and death, but it never goes too dark. It's a compelling novel that will stick with you for a long time, and it would be the perfect read for teens. 5 stars.

Buy the book: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble
Follow the tour.





Heather Hepler is the author of several books for teens and tweens, including Frosted Kisses, Love? Maybe, and The Cupcake Queen. Having lived in East Texas, Alaska, and Death Valley, she currently resides with her son, their two spoiled cats, and their ridiculously smart dog in Maine.
Connect with Heather: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

  1. My daughter just seen this book advertised in something and asked if we could pick a copy up, so I'll read this right after her. But I agree, Blink is becoming a favorite of mine as well- I've read a few so far and they've all been fantastic. Thank you for being on this tour!

    Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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