"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Review: North of Beautiful

Title: North of Beautiful
Author: Justina Chen Headley
Pages: 373
Rating: 5/5

As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, But you were the one who wanted this, remember? You're the one who asked-and I repeat-Why not fix your face?

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 (cover blurb).

This is probably one of the most powerful books I have read in a long time. This book was written so beautifully and had such a strong message, I couldn't put it down.

Terra has lived her whole life trying to escape her father, while hiding her port wine stain and remaining almost invisible. In a defiant gesture against her father, Terra decides to try to newest treatment to remove her birthmark, sending her and her mother on a trip to Seattle. It is on their way home that Terra meets Jacob, an Asian goth boy with demons of his own. It is here that the story gets really good.

Jacob brings out Terra's true beauty and sees her for who she really is, not just the girl with the horrible birthmark. Throughout the story, we get to see Terra open up and come into her own with the guidance of Jacob.

Jacob is amazing. I fell in love with him right away and wanted to fall into the story myself and sweep him away. He's probably one of the most "real" characters I've read in a long time. Same for Terra. Together they were breath taking.

I highly recommend this read. It starts off a bit slow, but don't give up on it. It truly is an unbelievable journey!


Anonymous said...

This does sound good, especially the love story between Terra and Jacob. I especially like what you said about how "real" these characters are.

Tammy said...

Hmmmm, sounds like a good one that I better look out for. Thanks for the heads up and great review.

Katie said...

I really liked this one too!

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