Sunday, April 12, 2009

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Released: February 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 384
Source: Library

Rating: ♥♥♥

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?


I'm a little torn between what I thought about this book. I didn't love it, but no means did I hate it. Terra was a pretty predictable character, normally that wouldn't bother me, but I expected a more out of her besides the average insecurities. I know having a major birth mark on your face isn't exactly a run of the mill type of insecurity, but it was still lacking.

Terra's family - oh man. The way her father was written, I seriously wanted to strangle him. He was so controlling and horrible to his wife and children. It was sad reading how Terra's mother, who was such a sweetheart, just took it all with a grain of salt. I kept hoping one day while making breakfast, she would turn around and bonk him on the head with a rolling pin. Her brothers were mainly just background noises at the most. They were slipped in here and there, and her complaints about them kind of followed the same suit of how they just abandoned her.

The journey that Terra takes once she meets cutie Jacob and his own flaws was a pretty predictable. Jacob was the more secure one in his own flaws showing her that outer beauty isn't as important as what's inside. You can't help but like them together because they did have chemistry. Every conversation they had flowed together nicely. I really liked seeing Terra and her mother grow as they ventured out with Jacob and his mother. A part of me enjoyed Terra's mother's story almost more than Terra's. Some parts of the book did seem to drag. I found myself doing the quick scan just to get through certain parts.

One thing I really liked was the attention to detail. It wasn't average words to describe even the tinest things. A wide picture was painted in this book where I could see the surroundings they were in. The idea of geocaching- something I had never heard of was really interesting. It makes me want to give it a try because it does sound really fun. All in all, I did like the story even with it's flaws. I suggest going to the library to get it and reading it on a lazy day.



Steph Su said...

I definitely know what you mean by Justina's attention to detail and never describing things the usual way--I've felt that way while reading her other books, and while I didn't love them, the writing style was certainly interesting. I wonder how I'll feel about North of Beautiful when I finally read it...

prophecygirl said...

Interesting review, thanks for that. I haven't read this one yet, but I've heard really good things about it. One thing I do like straight away is the cover.. it's lovely.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much agree with you. I've been trying to finish up this book for a while now. It's a little slow in parts.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I nominated you for an award!