Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: 14th June 2011
Pages: 320
Book Source: ARC Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Synopsis: Sayre Bellavia grew up knowing she was a mistake: unplanned and unwanted. At five months shy of eighteen, she’s become an expert in loneliness, heartache, and neglect. Her whole life she’s been cursed, used, and left behind. Swallowed a thousand tears and ignored a thousand deliberate cruelties. Sayre’s stuck by her mother through hell, tried to help her, be near her, be important to her even as her mother slipped away into a violent haze of addiction, destroying the only chance Sayre ever had for a real family.

Broke, homeless and alone, Sayre struggles to survive and wonders if her mother has ever, even for a moment, actually loved her and if, after a lifetime of being blamed for ruining her mother's life, she still loves the woman who hurt her so badly. Needing the truth, Sayre embarks on an urgent, terrifying journey to reach her mother, who is near death, ravaged by her own destructive behavior, and who alone holds the answer to Sayre's desperate, unspoken question.

A beautiful, brilliant, agonising read that tugs at your heartstrings. My first Laura Wiess book but it definitely won't be my last.

This was one of those rare reads that had me alternating wildly between holding my breath unable to turn the page for fear of what I might read, desperate to put the book down and escape from the raw emotion and powerless to tear myself away from the page.

Laura Wiess doesn't shy away from tackling the harsh truths of addiction, child neglect and abuse but what makes Ordinary Beauty so much more poignant is that stories like this are often not stories, they are someone's reality.

Sayre is strong, compassionate  & courageous, a character you can't help but love and want love for. Sayre's mother on the other hand; alcholic, meth addict and all round loathesome creature I quite often found myself wishing her a nasty end and early in the story hoping that someone would back over her with a truck ... I know, I know, where's my compassion ;)

Sayre's story is heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful, it's not a 'victim' story but a story of survival and triumph and it's far from ordinary. It's an ageless read that reminds us how blessed are we whose lives are far removed from Sayre Bellavia's.

Want to know more about Laura Wiess? ~ check out her website; Welcome To The Asylum.


  1. Alright, I am going to have to figure a way to get this :) SOunds very good.

  2. I usually do not for books books like this one but that blurb just pulls at my heartstrings like you say

  3. @ Veens let me know when you get your hands on a copy. Would love to know what you think.

    @ Blodeuedd, outside your comfort zone but I'm sure you'd love it!

  4. I need to read this author!!! I absolutely love your new web design!!!!

  5. I read Such a Pretty Girl and I've been wanting to read the rest of Laura's books since then. She's has a great voice in her books.

  6. i love the story of this book. i can feel her pain :[

  7. This looks like a heartbreaking read. It's on my wish list, but I think I will have to bump it up to the top because it just looks so good. I haven't read anything yet by this author but I know that once I read this one I will want to read them all.

  8. This doesn't sound like my usual fare (I tend to shy away from the heavy stuff), but you make Ordinary Beauty sound so brilliant, I want to give it a try.

  9. This sounds really good! I love YA contemps so I'd definitely check this out.

  10. Ordinary Beauty sounds like a heartbreaking novel. And hope is precisely what we need in order to go on. I'd love to read this book.

  11. This sounds like a really good story.I would love to read this book if I had this. Ordinary may be the best thing in life, but few tend to realise it.


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