She’s a Dead Boy’s Girlfriend: One Moment and Breaking Beautiful

I recently had some concerns that I had read the same book back to back. Reading in topical clusters is not entirely new to me, but when I finished Kristina McBride’s One Moment and Jennifer Shaw Wolf’s Breaking Beautiful, I was amazed by their eerie similarity. And yet I loved them both.

The rundown of both plots goes something like this: A girl’s boyfriend is killed in an accident. Naturally, said boyfriend is beloved by the entire town. Everyone mourns the loss of this charismatic, talented young man, but beneath this boy’s exterior perfection are deep, dark secrets. The girl cannot remember exactly what happened in the accident. She must uncover clues to the aforementioned secrets in order to gain closure for herself, redeem herself of the suspicion that clouds the circumstances surrounding the death, and, of course, fall in love with a guy who is way better for her anyhow.

Perhaps this sounds snarky and overly simplistic, but if that is the case, it only goes to show that good writing makes a book even with what might be considered somewhat formulaic plotting. Both books excelled at building suspense with well-paced reveals of clues, though I found the mystery in Breaking Beautiful more intense and slightly less predictable (admittedly I called the ends on both books pretty early). There was also a weightiness to the text and subject matter that didn’t quite come through in McBride’s more Dawson’s Creek-esque novel. That said, the realism of McBride’s dialogue stood out, making One Moment particularly relatable, and I enjoyed the portrayal of a group of intimately close friends struggling with growing up and growing apart. Breaking Beautiful is like Forget You meets But I Love Him, while One Moment is more like Twenty Boy Summer meets Something Like Fate.

If you’re a fan of contemps and a sucker for amnesia storylines, both Breaking Beautiful and One Moment are worth your time. But reading them back to back might be a bit of an overdose unless you have some amnesia yourself.

*Post title reference can be understood by watching this video if you haven’t already seen it.

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