Paperback: 304 Pages
Publisher: Blink (April 2, 2019)
It’s been a year since fifteen-year-old Mia Hopkins was in the car crash that killed her older sister and left her terribly scarred. The doctors tell her she was lucky to survive. Her therapist says it will take time to heal. The police reports claim there were trace amounts of alcohol in her bloodstream. But no matter how much she tries to reconstruct the events of that fateful night, Mia’s memory is spotty at best. She’s left with accusations, rumors, and guilt so powerful it could consume her.
As the rest of Mia’s family struggles with their own grief, Mia is sent to New York City to spend the summer with a grandmother she’s never met. All Mia wants to do is hide from the world, but instead she’s stuck with a summer job in the bustling kitchens of the café down the street. There she meets Fig—blue-haired, friendly, and vivacious—who takes Mia under her wing. As Mia gets to know Fig and her friends—including Cooper, the artistic boy who is always on Mia’s mind—she realizes that she’s not the only one with a painful past.
Over the summer, Mia begins to learn that redemption isn’t as impossible as she once thought, but her scars inside run deep and aren’t nearly so simple to heal … especially when Mia finally pieces together her memories of the night Rachel died.
From acclaimed author Heather Hepler comes We Were Beautiful, a poignant young adult novel about tragedy, forgiveness, and love. Perfect for fans of Robyn Schneider and Justina Chen.
About Heather Hepler
Heather Hepler is the author of several books for teens and tweens, including Frosted Kisses, Love? Maybe, and The Cupcake Queen. Having lived in East Texas, Alaska, and Death Valley, she currently resides with her son, their two spoiled cats, and their ridiculously smart dog in Maine.
Connect with HeatherMy Thoughts:
This was such a beautiful story.
It kicks off with a tragic accident that takes Mia's sister, and leaves her with quite serious injuries, scars on the surface but deeply ingrained scars on the inside too. Mia has a lot to deal with, her bodily scars are a constant reminder of the horrible day, but those are easier to heal than the hurt and grief she pushes through on a daily basis.
Mia is 15, a teenager and we know that at that age everything seems so much harder to go through, so when given the opportunity to go to New York to spend the summer with her grandmother, Mia takes it. She is struggling to deal with her new life, one without her older sister, one where she fights with her internal struggle of survivor's guilt, and she is also now having to adapt to a new place with a grandmother she doesn't really know.
Mia's grandmother finds her a job and before long she is making friends with Fig, a quirky, bright colored hair girl that brings joy and laughs to not only Mia's life but to us as readers. I quite enjoyed getting to know this character, as well as her strange but quirky group of friends.
What Mia learns through this summer is that grief is different for everyone, and that every single person you come across, has a past they've had to deal with, struggles they've had to overcome and are just trying to do the best they can.
Book definitely gets a big thumbs up from me.