Cory Anderson: What Beauty There Is

My review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review What Beauty There Is.


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

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 tornado?

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 survive.Looking back, I think I did . . .


I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I signed up for What Beauty There Is, but I’m so glad I read it. Anderson’s writing is absolutely beautiful and the descriptions are so vivid that I could visualise everything about the location and immerse myself in the characters’ lives. 

What Beauty There Is is advertised as a young adult novel. I was somewhat surprised by this as Anderson deals with some very mature themes, so it can definitely be enjoyed by adult readers too. Anderson explores these themes in a way that really helped me to feel empathy for Jack, Matty and Ava and there were times when I was reading that I was close to tears.

The characters in What Beauty There Is are really well developed and I took Jack, Matty and Ava to my heart almost immediately. They have such a tender relationship and I loved reading as this grew over time. However, there are also some villains in this story and they too were able to get under my skin as their actions horrified me. 

The sense of danger is never far away in What Beauty There Is and there is an undercurrent of tension all the way through. I was gripped wanting to know how the plot would play out. 

What Beauty There Is is available from Amazon.

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