Monday, August 1, 2016

Review: The Beauty of the End

Title: The Beauty of the End
Author: Debbie Howells
Genre: Fiction/Psychological/Mystery
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Recommended If You Like: flashbacks, secrets and lies, twist after twist after twist, psychological introspection, mysteries

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Debbie Howells' The Beauty of the End is the story of Noah Calaway, a former lawyer turned writer who seems to have lost his ambition in life when he lost the love of his life, April Moon. To Noah, April was a goddess, and the times he spent with her are memories that both elate and haunt him.

Until one day, he gets a phone call from his former best friend, Will, to let him know that April is in the hospital from what appears to be an overdose--and that she is a murder suspect. Noah believes she must be innocent, and is determined to prove it. But as he looks back into April's past, Noah is forced to reexamine his own past as well, and question everything he thought he knew.

What I Liked: 

The twists, the twists, the twists! I couldn't even keep track of how many times the last few chapters turned everything I thought I knew on its head. What's especially impressive is that, looking back at the rest of the book, the twists all make sense, but I never saw them coming.

Howells uses flashbacks really well to play out her dominant themes of the past's influence on the present, the impact of secrets over time, and a person's ability to will themselves into glossing over that which was most painful.

I also really appreciated how complex the characters were. No single character was simply good or simply evil, or completely honest or completely a liar.

Was There Anything I Didn't Like?

My only complaint would be that occasionally the writing style seemed to get overly flowery for the sake of being flowery. This especially seemed to happen when a character was having a deep personal revelation. Howells tells an extremely gripping and original story, and doesn't need extra trappings that don't serve the already-excellent narrative.

My Verdict:

I read this book in a day. Once I started it, I absolutely couldn't put it down. To me, that's one of the biggest compliments I can give a book, that it gripped me that much and completely pulled me in.

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