We Were Beautiful

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Product Details

$12.99  $12.08
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.3 X 0.9 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

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.


Gr 9 Up--This is a quirky novel about a teenage girl who in the aftermath of a tragedy faces grief, isolation, and harmful beauty standards. After an accident that results in the death of her sister and leaves her with physical and psychological scars, Mia Hopkins is left drowning in complicated emotions with no aid in sight. Her mother has abandoned her, her father can barely look at her, and she is shipped off to stay with her formidable grandmother in New York City, where Mia finds herself adopted into a group of young misfits. Through the acceptance of her peers, she begins to break free of her self-imposed purgatory, work through her own grief, and accept the faults of the adults around her, realizing that nobody's perfect, especially when it comes to handling death. This plot-driven story gracefully and wittily approaches the subject of grief through a first-person narrative. After she is disfigured in the accident, Mia is unable to see her own beauty, but she eventually explores and challenges personal and societal ideals of beauty, allowing readers to experience her thoughts and insecurities. In order to grow and heal, Mia learns from secondary characters and comes to understand her own emotions. VERDICT This a wonderfully clever book for teens who are looking for a dynamic, thought-provoking story with enough whimsy to keep them enthralled. --Haley Amendt, Hinton Municipal Library, Alberta--School Library Journal
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 cafe down the street. There she meets Fig, 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. A deftly crafted novel that by an author with a genuine talent for hold her reader's rapt attention from beginning to end, 'We Were Beautiful' by Heather Hepler is unreservedly recommended for school and community library YA Fiction collections.--Midwest Book Review