Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: My Beautiful Failure by Janet Ruth Young

3.5 stars

She was a girl talking to me in the dark.

Billy is a new volunteer in the suicide hotline, and on the first day of his job, he receives a call from a girl named Jenny. Jenny told him that she was abused by her parents when she was a kid, and how her life went downhill after she started remembering the memories of the abuse. Billy wants desperately to help Jenney, but he is restricted by rules saying that it’s prohibited to form friendship with people who call. But Billy knows that Jenney is special to him, and he doesn’t hesitate to break rules and offer her his friendship. As Jenney’s calls become more frequent and more desperate, Billy has to race with time if he wants to save the girl whom he knows everything but her last name and her address.

My Beautiful Failure is undeniably melancholic, but it is also infused with lots of hope and wish for better days. The author might not be very successful in creating a guy’s voice, but the plots are very well-crafted and the story itself may as well happen in real life. To what extend you should push the boundaries between stranger and friend? There is a fine line between listening and being too much involved, and the main character, Billy, has problem differentiating the line.

Billy is not a character I liked instantly. With his caring personality and his obsession to become a psychologist, it shouldn’t be a problem to like him the moment I met him. However, Billy is a typical teenager with senseless belief that he knows everything about people, and it was hard to connect with him when he was being such a worrywart or a smartass. Billy is obsessed in saving people, and I can’t say that I don’t understand the need to do something amazing when you are young. I’m so glad that events in this book mold Billy into a more mature person in the end, and when I finished the book, it’s safe to say that I think of Billy as a friend.

Surprisingly, My Beautiful Failure is a short read and one I finished in no time. Despite my earlier difficulty to connect with Billy, I didn’t have difficult time appreciating the plots, the underlying message, and the supporting characters. All in all, My Beautiful Failure is not a book you would like to miss if you’re fans of contemporary or in need of something a little thought-provoking. The book itself is like a gentle reminder that after all, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

I rested my hand on one of the phones as if to test myself. The job was monumental, the ultimate responsibility. The way the rules were written, someday someone might call and mine would be the last voice that person would ever hear. In a few days I would start saving lives. But only if they wanted to be saved

I rate this book:
Four cups of tea. I like it, recommended to read in your spare time.


  1. It's always good to have character development and I'm happy that Billy ended up being a book friend :) I like the simplicity of the cover, it's very eye-catching without being over the top. I love that this book had the "light at the end of the tunnel" message. It's always a great reminder to always have hope :)

  2. This is my first time hearing about this book and the premise sounds awesome! Billy sounds like an interesting character (and I'm curious to see how the female author handled a male POV), and yaay for making another book friend. :)
    I love those.

    Beautiful review as always, Hilda!

  3. I hadn't ever heard of this one before, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. Despite Billy not being the best of characters at the start, I'm glad you enjoyed this one. It's a shame that the author couldn't write from a boys POV very well, as it's truly admirable when an author can achieve that. Still, I've never read a book with this kind of plot, and definitely want to try it! I can only imagine the phenomenal feeling of saving other people from taking their own lives, and it is something I would love to do someday in the future.

    Thank you for your wonderful review, Hilda. They never fail to make me add another book to my wishlist! <3

  4. Sounds interesting. I do like the premise. That's a bummer the male voice isn't that great but I am glad to hear that Billy grows and matures. I do love books that really work with their characters.

  5. In haven't come across this book before, but I definitely think it has an interesting premise. Although you didn't immediately like Billy, I'm glad you warmed to his character eventually. I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to meet him and Jenny yet, though. A melancholic book is the last thing I'm after given how many are coming up for me soon! But I will keep it in mind for later down the line. :) Brilliant review, Hilda!

  6. Wow, this book sounds really interesting!! I've never heard of another book with this premise. It's too bad that the male characters voice wasn't fully believable but I'm glad you still enjoyed the book overall. Even though you found it to be very melancholic I'm glad there is also a focus on hope. This sounds like a book that I definitely want to read! Thanks for the great review =)

  7. Hi Hilda!!!!!!!!
    Amazing review! Love the quote you chose to start with, definitely set me in the mood to learn about this novel. The plot sounds amazing and I love books all about having hope. Thanks for introducing me to My Beautiful Failure!

    I love your new blog design! Sparkly! Love the chose of chinese characters! with what they really mean.

    1. Rachel! <3 It's very nice to see you here! I missed you terribly! :')

      Thank you! I think what saves this book for me is the plot and the wonderful ending. I'm sure you'll enjoy it! x)

      Thanks, hun! <3 They're actually haiku hehe (very short Japanese poetry). I'm glad you like the new design! <3

  8. I haven't heard of this but it sounds like an interesting idea for a story. Billy does sound a bit hard to like, but I do admire his need to help Jenny. Great review, Hil!

  9. Although you had some problems with this one, it seems like one I'd really like and appreciate. I've never heard of it before now, but I'll have to give it a try. Wonderful review, dearest! :)

  10. This sounds like an intense read! I'm glad that even though you couldn't connect with BIlly at first, you liked other parts of the book! I'm glad that Billy also grew in the book. Great review, Hilda. :)

  11. In some ways, this story reminds me of The Escape Theory which I've only just started. Billy does sound a bit too confident for my liking, but that only makes him seem more realistic in some ways, I suppose.
    You've made me very curious about this book, even though it's not my usual kind of read. I want to know how Jenney's problems will be solved. I wouldn't like to see them taken too lightly, but a hopeful message is most welcome.

  12. I'm so worried about how this turned out for Jenny! I hope Billy helped her and she changed her mind. Wonderful review my dear! I've missed seeing you around. :)

  13. I haven't heard of this one before but it does sound original and I'm always looking for originality in books. I never like it when I can't connect to characters so I totally feel you, Hilda.

    It does sound good and I might check it out, although I'm not in any rush. :)

  14. Oh this book sounds heart-wrenching so I'm glad to hear there's a hopeful tone to it too. "typical teenager with senseless belief that he knows everything" Love that lol. Great review Hilda hun :)

  15. Thought provoking books are always up my alley, so I might check this one out! I've been reading fluffy books lately, so I'm in need of a big dose of SUBSTANCE, if you know what I mean! I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Hilda, despite not being able to connect with the main character very well. That's always a problem for me in books. Thanks for the lovely review, Hilda! :)

  16. I'm not familiar with this one. It sounds promising, if not exactly to my taste. I definitely have friends I can rec it to though. Thanks for the review!


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