Friday, June 26, 2009

Review: North of Beautiful

North of Beautiful
Author: Justin Chen Headley
Published: Feb 2009, Little, Brown Young Readers
Genre: YA
Pages: short of perfect 384

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Born with a port-wine stain birthmark covering her entire right cheek, Terra Rose Cooper is ready to leave her stifling, small Washington town where everyone knows her for her face. With her critical, reproachful father and an obese mother who turns to food to deflect her father's verbal attacks, home life for Terra isn't so great either. Fueled by her artistic desires, she plans to escape to an East Coast college, thinking this is her true path. When her father intercepts her acceptance letter, Terra is pushed off-course, and she is forced to confront her deepest insecurities.After an ironically fortuitous car accident, Terra meets Jacob, a handsome but odd goth Chinese boy who was adopted from China as a toddler. Jacob immediately understands Terra's battle with feeling different. When Terra's older brother invites her and her mother to visit him in Shanghai, Jacob and his mother also join them on their journey, where they all not only confront the truth about themselves, but also realize their own true beauty.

My Thoughts:

This book was absolutely a pure delight to read. I took my time and savored every single minute of it and really came to know Terra and love her as a young woman who just needs someone to believe in her. The characters are very well drawn in this novel and you will find yourself wanting to reach through the pages to slap her father, hug her mother, kiss Jacob, and to tell Terra that she is beautiful no matter what. My favorite part of the whole book is when Terra and her mother go to China. As I was reading the descriptions of this country, it came alive in my mind and left me with an urgent desire to visit this place before I die. I can recommend this book without any reservations to any reader out there....I'm positive that you will walk away from this experience with something to treasure.

Other great reviews:
Heather @ Book Addiction
Direct quote from her review: "Speaking of relationships, that is the other fabulous thing about North of Beautiful. What I usually love most about YA books are the relationships between the characters, both romantic and otherwise."

Presenting Lenore
Direct quote from her review: "At nearly 400 pages, North of Beautiful has the space to really explore topics such as the nature of beauty, the beauty of travel, sticking up for yourself, and trying to fit in when you stick out."


  1. Great review. I think this is still on my tbr list.

  2. I bought this a while ago after I read Swapna's review, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Now, I can't wait!

  3. Another book for the TBR pile! Nice review.

  4. You've convinced me to put it on my TBR pile!

  5. Great review, Staci, I'm so glad you liked this one. And thanks for linking to me!

  6. That looks really good... which means, another one for the TBR pile! Thanks! :)

  7. Great review.
    It doe sound like a beautiful and great book. A delight to read

  8. Glad you enjoyed this! I have to see if the library will buy it, but since I just requested a couple I guess I should probably wait a bit before I request more.

  9. I have this one sitting on my stack, but am going to read a light, fluffly one after just finishing Living Dead Girl. Man for a short book, it wrings you out!

  10. Staci! Stop reading such awesome books please :P Your blog is a danger to my tbr pile.

  11. Wow, great review! You convinced me, I'm adding this one to my wish list!

  12. I've read nothing but good reviews of this one. Of course I had to add it to my TBR list :)

  13. I love Justina and her books as well. She's a first-class human being and an utterly intelligent writer. Thanks for your wonderful review.

    (and for others words of yours (in regards to a certain book drive) that I just discovered...)

  14. I really have to get this book! :) I've been reading such excellent reviews everywhere, and I really enjoyed yours, too. Definitely going to get it with my next Borders coupon, haha!

    And thanks for visiting write meg! :) I would absolutely recommend you finish Megan McCafferty's book series -- I can't begin to tell you how in love with her books I am! (Although I guess that's probably obvious, by the way I gush about them for gigantic posts at a time.) Book 3 definitely gives us a different Jessica, but her college experience is heart-breaking, realistic and exciting at the same time. Book 4 is really just the progression of her relationship with Marcus, a subject I find endlessly fascinating... and I haven't started Book 5 yet, but I'll keep you posted :)

  15. Great review and you've talked me into putting it on my wish list. :)

  16. Another wonderful review, I seem to add books to my wishlist and Mt TBR when I visit your blog.

    *sigh* you are contributing to the current state of my depleted bank balance LOL

  17. This is definitely one you can reread at some point. It's that rich!

  18. This is on my list. Sounds like I'm going to love it!


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