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Reviewed by Beth Katherine for Readers' Favorite
A temporary life change leads to a lifelong struggle with depression and mental illness for Cordelia Quinn. Declan MacLeod, her best friend since they were both just three years old, tries his best to protect Cordelia, or Cord, as he affectionately calls her, from everything, including herself. Cordelia and Declan embark upon a three-year relationship in high school, which ends when Declan comes to a self-realization that while love and attraction are not mutually exclusive to him, they are important to Cordelia. The end of their high school romance becomes the catalyst for what will become known as the dark days, which sets the tone for the remainder of their journey together.
Debut author Amanda Gernentz Hanson knew what she was doing when she titled her book Something Beautiful. A story of friendship, love, loss, and hope, Something Beautiful truly IS something beautiful. I found myself completely invested in the storyline and the main characters' relationships with one another. Hanson is an artful wordsmith, masterfully weaving the past with the present while allowing both Cordelia and Declan to have a voice. This story touched my heart in ways that I didn’t expect. If you’ve ever had a best friend that you truly loved more than yourself, whether romantic or platonic love, this book and these characters will resonate with you. Declan and Cordelia are flawed, sometimes frustratingly so, but their mistakes are rooted in a reality which makes them real and relatable.
Something Beautiful is a breathtaking and poignant story that is a reflection of the world today, touching on the very real issues of mental illness, depression, and LGBTQIA rights (although briefly mentioned it is a cause that is near and dear to the main characters). I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to others—just don’t forget the box of tissues because you will definitely cry!