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Beauty of the Broken
Table of Contents
About The Book
In this lyrical, heartwrenching story about a forbidden first love, a teen seeks the courage to care for another girl despite her small town’s bigotry and her father’s violent threats.
Growing up in conservative small-town New Mexico, fifteen-year-old Mara was never given the choice to be different. Her parents—an abusive, close-minded father and a detached alcoholic mother—raised Mara to be like all the other girls in Barnaby: God-fearing, churchgoing, and straight. Mara wants nothing to do with any of it. She feels most at home with her best friend and older brother, Iggy, but Iggy hasn’t been the same since their father beat him and put him in the hospital with a concussion.
As Mara’s mother feeds her denial with bourbon and Iggy struggles with his own demons, Mara finds an escape with her classmate Xylia. A San Francisco transplant, Xylia is everything Mara dreams of being: free-spirited, open, wild. The closer Mara and Xylia become, the more Mara feels for her—even though their growing relationship is very much forbidden in Barnaby. Just as Mara begins to live a life she’s only imagined, the girls’ secret is threatened with exposure and Mara’s world is thrown into chaos.
Mara knows she can't live without Xylia, but can she live with an entire town who believes she is an abomination worse than the gravest sin?
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (September 30, 2014)
- Length: 368 pages
- ISBN13: 9781481407106
- Grades: 9 and up
- Ages: 14 - 99
- Lexile ® HL690L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
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Raves and Reviews
– School Library Journal
"Mara’s voice is so honest, so original, and so compelling that I couldn't put this book down. This is a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, beautifully written story."
– Len Vlahos, author of THE SCAR BOYS
"Heartbreaking. As exquisitely painful as it is beautiful, this coming-of-age tale will haunt readers long after the last page."
– Kristin Elizabeth Clark, author of FREAKBOY
Awards and Honors
- CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle List High School Title
- ILA Children's and Young Adults'
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
Book Cover Image (jpg): Beauty of the Broken
Author Photo (jpg): Tawni Waters
Photograph by Joe Birosak(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
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