From Breaking Beautiful:
The days have started to run together, but I think it's the fifth day of school, the second week of what would be my senior year. Over a month since the accident and three weeks since I came home from the hospital. There's an untouched pile of schoolbooks and papers in the corner by my desk. Blake brings my homework by every day—at 3:08—part of my new routine.
Allie doesn't remember much about the accident that killed her boyfriend Trip. For that matter, she doesn't remember much about the night that preceded it. The only mementos she has of that night are terrifying, fractured nightmares, a zippered garment bag in her closet than she can't even think about without shuddering, and a bunch of scars on her face and head. There isn't even the possibility of closure, as Trip's body was never recovered.
When she returns to school, everyone is sympathetic, welcoming and warm... at first. Before long, though, it's clear to Allie that whatever happened that night was more than a simple accident. For one thing, Trip's best friend all-but accuses her of causing the accident. For another, there's a detective who's asking lots of questions that she can't answer. And finally, someone starts leaving threatening notes in her locker... notes that appear to have been written by Trip.
And that's all before she gets romantically involved with the school outcast.
Overall, this is a solid mystery/thriller/romance. For me, it was obvious from the first page that Trip was a d-bag*. But that wasn't a problem—it actually made things immediately more intriguing. Because, hey: if she has no memory of The Night In Question, maybe she did have something to do with Trip's death, right? And as the story progressed, I wondered more and more if she'd caused it, not less—even as I got more emotionally invested in her and her story, my suspicions grew. Which was an unusual reading experience, but a cool one.
Anyway. What else? I especially liked Allie's relationship with her brother, Andrew. He has CP, is in a wheelchair, and that aspect of life is never portrayed as anything but regular and everyday. There are no Big Talks, no Afterschool Special moments. He feels somewhat smothered by their mother—which, good lord, is totally understandable—but it's also understandable why she'd feel that way, and, again, that tension is portrayed as a part of everyday life rather than as a capital-I Issue. As twins, he and Allie are extremely close, but not unrealistically—they have their moments of friction.
My only real complaint was that the Trip backstory was such a very textbook example of [SPOILER]. Which isn't to say that it was unrealistic—because, you know, things are described as textbook for a reason—but sometimes textbook examples don't translate all that well to story, because they feel cliched. Or something. That was a minor (and, I suspect, personal) problem, though. Like I said, though: overall, solid stuff for fans of mystery/thriller/romance.
*A. When he picked her up in the morning for school, he sat in his truck and laid on the horn, a la Jeremy Sisto in Waitress. B. His name is Trip, which I always associate with preppy villains from teen movies. Like Troy in Goonies. But, you know. Named Trip.
Book source: ILLed through my library. This book was read for the 2012 Cybils season.