Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Review: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

First Words
This is another book I've looked at for what seems like forever, but never picked up to read. After finishing it, I'm struggling to think why on earth I didn't read it sooner! I related to this book on so many levels, so maybe it was just waiting for the perfect time to come into my life...but the important part is that it has.

So, what's it about?
Terra is tall, she's blond, and she has a stunning body. What then, could be the problem? With just one glance at her cheek, a port-wine birth mark flaws her face and in that second, that is all people remember.
Desperate to leave high school and escape her small town and unbearable father, she is graduating early and is ready to leave and start again.
Then Jacob slams into her life. A good looking Goth boy who is about to challenge everything in her life - including herself. Can he make her see what True Beauty really is?

Thoughts and opinions
First, I want to talk about Jacob. Oh Jacob. How I love thee! Thank you, oh thank you, to Justina Chen Headley, for steering away from over used male stereo types, and coming up with someone totally unique. A Chinese Goth boy, is not something we often get the pleasure of seeing. He is written beautifully, and his reasons behind being a Goth, are so true, and it was one of the things I related to strongly. If people are going to stare, give them something to stare at. Make a statement.
Now Terra. Damn this girl is brilliant. It's hard, because I don't want to go into too much detail and give away anything from the story, but there are a few things I will say.
Her boyfriend Erik - I get it. I understand why she is with him, and why she doesn't want to break up with him. Next, her face. The idea that make-up is a mask, is one that I feel is true. That's not coming from someone who doesn't wear make-up by the way, it's coming from someone who won't step out the door with out it. Here, is another place I relate to Terra.
I seem to keep picking up books where the romance develops far to quickly. This, thankfully, was not one of those books. It's a relationship that twists and turns; pauses and races, with two characters that come together yet challenge each other; it's real.
The writing is similar to that of Sarah Dessen. I found it perfectly paced, and just when you though you knew what was coming, it changed and left you wondering again. Very humbling in places, it will make you value what you have, and is another book that makes you want to scream at the 'ideals' society places on everyone.
It will also make you want to go geocaching. Desperately.

More books like this?
SKIN DEEP by Laura Jarratt
JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen
PAPER TOWNS by John Green

Final Verdict 
A heartfelt, thought provoking novel that will stay with you for a long time. Beautifully written and artfully told, the next work by Justina Chen Headley certainly has a lot to live up too - and I'm sure it will!

About the author
Justina Chen Headley's fist book was NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (AND A FEW WHITE LIES) and the second GIRL OVERBOARD. NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL has been her third release.

You can visit her website: http://www.justinachenheadley.com/
Or follow her on twitter: @JustinaYChen
Check out the internet reading club for teenage girls she co-founded: http://www.readergirlz.com
Or buy the book of amazon here!

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