1/12/2013

Book Review: A Beautiful Struggle by Lilliana Anderson


Title: A Beautiful Struggle (Beautiful #1)
Author: Lilliana Anderson
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback, 332 pages
Published: (first published December 25th 2012) January 1st 2013 by Amazon
Buy it: Amazon

Katrina Mahoney has a very full life attending university to study a law degree, training for triathlons and now she is working part time as well. She couldn’t possibly find time for a relationship, especially after her last one ended so catastrophically.

Right now she is content focusing on work, study and training while hanging out with her best friend David Taylor, a womaniser with a heart of gold that would do anything for Katrina – except watch her get hurt again.

That is, until the dashing Elliot Roberts, a junior solicitor from her work, shows an interest in her despite their office’s ‘No Dating’ policy. 

Katrina struggles with following her heart or following her mind and has trouble seeing where her heart truly lies.

*** ADULT CONTENT WARNING *** contains sex scenes not suitable for under 18.


This review contains a few spoilers and I know I always make it a point to avoid giving anything off but I just really really really have to get a few things off my chest. My bad. Read this review on Goodreads if you want to read the spoiler free review.

I really wanted to rate this book more than 3 stars but there were a few things that kept me from doing so. It broke my heart, really, to rate it just with 3 stars considering how affected I was with the turn of events. Whether I felt upset or happy about a certain part of book, it's a good sign - it means the writer was able to draw me in. But I guess no matter how much I got drawn in, I still felt like rating it less than what I originally wanted. 

If you view A Beautiful Struggle on Goodreads, you'll see that a lot of people were pretty upset over which guy the protagonist, Katrina, ended up with. I'm sorry for the spoiler but once you read the book you know it's bound to happen. Now I liked how everything went down, even if it was insta love (I normally disliked story lines that involved insta love). I think what I liked most about it was how natural the attraction was between Elliot and Katrina. From the onset you could already feel the heat between them and it only seemed logical that they end up together.

WRONG.

The moment David started acting all weird and clingy, I knew for sure he'd end up with Katrina. In books with love triangles involving The Hot Guy and The Bestfriend, I almost always root for the latter. I don't know. It's like I've formed this bias for guys who have been subjected to stay within the ugly bounds of The Friendzone. However when I was reading A Beautiful Struggle, I was torn between Elliot and David. Props to Anderson though, she didn't force readers into liking one guy over the other by creating two very different personalities that would make one look better than the other.

...that is, until the conflict came. This is where I had my heart broken into a million little pieces and got rolled over by a giant dump truck then vacuumed away. I knew deep down that David would be The One for Katrina; I think a lot of the readers saw it coming too - quit denying it. You can even guess from the synopsis geez. (okay, Sab, calm down) I just felt like I was forced into choosing David for Katrina, you know? This where I did feel forced. I may not have been forced into liking either one in the beginning but now... I was left hanging without so much as a thorough/deeper explanation of why Elliot had to give Katrina up. Yeah, sure, the reason was there but it wasn't fleshed out. I just ended up feeling confused and dissatisfied. I mean, that's it

I did like how it ended, despite my earlier rants about the conflict. I think she gave the readers the happily ever after (we) they so deserve. After going through such a whirlwind, we want a great ending, damn it! And that's exactly what Anderson provided. 

I think Anderson's attention to detail contributed to my enjoyment. It's actually my first time to read a book that's set in Australia so I liked that she gave descriptions of certain places; it made imagining easier. I also appreciated the vivid descriptions of Katrina - her athleticism, spunk, and vulnerability. In addition to that, I liked the stark contrast between David and Elliot. David's more outgoing and vibrant. One the one hand I think Elliot's a box compared to David and he usually keeps to himself. Why he's like that, I still don't know, and I'd very much like to. Which is why I'm eagerly waiting for the sequel, A Beautiful Forever. I hope I get answers to all my annoyingly unanswered questions. 

Overall, I liked A Beautiful Struggle. It was the right mix of lovable characters and a strong love story that drowned out the insta love angle for me. I'd still recommend you to read it because who knows, you might be more decisive than I was when choosing between (dare I say it) Team David or Team Elliot (why did I have to say it).

My Rating:

(Refer to rating system)

P.S. Liliana Anderson uploaded two teasers for A Beautiful Forever. Yep. She saw how many readers felt bad over the whole Elliot debacle that she decided to upload teasers. The first one is a prologue and boy is it awesome! It's the epilogue for A Beautiful Struggle only it's in Elliot's POV. The other teaser is for the first chapter. Read it HERE.
About the author
Liliana Anderson

Australian born and bred, Lilliana Anderson has always loved to read and write considering it the best form of escapism that the world has to offer. Besides writing Angelien's biographical trilogy, she also writes contemporary romance and drama all set within Australia. 

When she isn't writing she is a wife, and a mother to four children. She has worked in a variety of industries and studied humanities before transferring to commerce/law at university.

She currently lives a fairly quiet life in suburban Melbourne.

CONTACT INFORMATION
***I received an e-copy of this book for review.***
 This review is based solely on my opinion.