What beauty there is by Cory Anderson

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This is a debut novel – an emotional thriller which has been compared to works by writers such as Meg Rosoff and Patrick Ness. Cory Anderson was born in Idaho and writes about her home in the Rocky Mountains.

High school student, Jack, makes a shocking discovery in the early pages of this startling, clever book. We learn that he and his younger brother, Matty, face homelessness after their father is imprisoned serving time for robbery.  The boys decide to go after the unrecovered money, which leads to a ruthless and dangerous hunt for treasure.

What emerges from this picture of a rather troubled young man is one of a caring and loving brother who will do anything to ensure that Matty is out of harm’s way. They are joined by Ava, a friend of Jack’s, who also plays her part as a narrator for the story with her words opening each chapter and leading the reader onwards, really quite beautifully. Ava is there to help them survive: she comes from her own troubled space – a father who is damaged and has taught his daughter to love no one. His role is pivotal to the story as he knows where the stolen money is; this game is dangerous.

Along with a fast paced storyline, the gripping characters and striking language make for a terrific read. I add a cautionary note as the subject matter is challenging with considerable violence and a suicide.

There is a plan for a sequel.

Themes: Poverty, Drugs and crime, Coming of age.

Julie Wells