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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Released: February 1, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.
She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?
Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.

What I thought

This wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be. It was much better and more emotional than I would have imagined. It wasn't just a story about a girl and her journey to find true beauty, it was also a story of a family who needed a map to come back together.

This was remarkable on so many levels. It wrapped so many stories into one. A mom's struggle to please her husband and to make her only daughter feel beautiful any way she can. A teen who struggles with self image, trying to overcome the opinion of her peers and family. It was a very well written, well thought out story.

I loved Terra and Jacob. They were both great characters and I really enjoyed their journey through Christmas vacation and beyond. I thought they were perfect for each other because both were able to see the other as they truly were, not just what their skin shows.

I went to school with two girls with similar birthmarks. One had the mark on her face, the other's covered her hand and splashed across her arm. It was interesting to see the opposite side to having such a mark. What it might do to someone's self image. I was glad to come across this book and I was glad to see such a great book written.

My Rating

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2 comments:

Anna said...

I'm glad it was well written, the only reason I was worried about reading it was about if it would be tastefully written. I'm glad to hear it was, I can now put it on my TBR pile!

Anna
The Bursting Bookshelf

Karen said...

This sounds really good. I've seen the cover around but never read the summary or a review. Thanks!

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