**Contains graphic content and the sensitive topic of rape and its aftermath. Not intended for teens under the age of 18.**
Sometimes bad things happen to beautiful people.
When socialite party girl Mia Abbott-Renou wakes up in a garden she has little recall of the previous night -- except that she is naked...hurt...terrified. Not only has she been raped, but she knows one of her assailants: the son of a wealthy politician who happens to be her own father’s political ally.
Mia wants and needs justice. Except this privileged boy has an alibi and her father forbids her from going to the police. It’s a critical election year, one that his party might lose if his image as a doting father is soured due to Mia being labeled a lush or worse, promiscuous.
Devastated at not having the support of her family, Mia finds herself in a tug-of-war with her conscience over what to do, especially since she can’t remember exactly what happened that night. Worse, the men who attacked her have hurt several other girls, and Mia may be the key to stopping them.
Mia tries to forget, until the unthinkable happens, and she’s left reeling once again, faced with a new challenge that will force her to take more control of her life.
I’m normally not really a huge fan of novellas. I find that the shorter length normally leads to a rushed, shallow storyline and underdeveloped characters. This book shows that novellas can be just as well-crafted as a longer work. Mia has so much depth and all her emotions are so well explored. I didn’t FEEL like I was reading a novella, it felt like a full length novel (in a good way!)
Now onto the themes in this book, Broken Beauty deals with the difficult topic of rape and I think the author dealt with this sensitive subject brilliantly. Mia’s struggles with her decisions and even just to continue living after her ordeal seemed so realistic.
Whilst this book is not explicit it doesn’t gloss over the horror of what has happened to Mia. Because of this it may be difficult for past victims of sexual assault to read but it may also help you realise that you are not alone.
Whether you agree with the choices made by Mia or not, I believe that most people would do the same in her situation. I found Mia to be very relatable despite the fact she is nothing like me. She is a very likable character who has gone through something no one should ever have to face and is simply trying to do the best with the cards she has been dealt.
We get to meet several other characters in this book, some likeable, some not, all surprisingly well developed for mere secondary characters in a short novella. I hope to see more of Dom in the future novellas as he seems to have the power to help Mia in the way her family can’t.
The storyline behind the Broken Beauty novellas was originally published as a single book called No Way Back which despite being on my amazon wishlist since release I never had the pleasure of reading. According to the authors note at the start of this book she has expanded the story to better do it justice (it definitely has been expanded, No Way Back was roughly 200 words and this – the first of 6 parts – is nearly 100).
This is the first of 6 serialised novellas to be released across a year period. For a serial novella this has a good ending, Mia’s story is nowhere near complete but you don’t feel like you have simply read the first few chapters of a book.
I would fully recommend Broken Beauty to all who want a moving and emotional story. I am highly looking forwards to reading the rest of the novellas.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, this has not affected my opinions or rating in any way*