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 small, stifling 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 into 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?
Character Development: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 10/10
Total Score: 68/70
Obtained: Bought from good ole Barnes & Noble. :-)
Age Appropriate? PG-13
Cussing: Some, but nothing too bad...
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: A small amount of teen drinking.
Sexual Content: Implied sexual activity; speculation, narration, images, etc, but nothing too too explicit.
Disturbing Images/Violence: Graphic images of poverty.
North of Beautiful is a book that will redefine your concept of beauty.
It was such a mind-blowing experience, reading this story. Justina Chen Headley has something to say, and she says it well with the heartfelt, deep voice of Terra, who has suffered through life believing that she is hideous and unlovable because of a mark on her cheek and a tyrannical father. We can all relate, I'm sure.
The characters of this novel were carefully, perfectly crafted. All of them were fascinatingly real, decidedly human. Flawed. And all the better for it. Jacob was positively enthralling, completely unlike any boy I've every met in fiction. He was wise and thought-provoking, yet young and broken like everyone else. His and Terra's relationship was achingly real, tangible, tear-jerking...beautiful.
This book will touch you. It will change you. It will make you so unbelievably happy and so unbelievably sad. The vivid settings of average-American Colville and busy-and-bright China will take your breath away. The frighteningly powerful character of her father will terrorize you, just as the gentle helplessness of her mother will distress you, and the lively, wonderful character of Jacob will revitalize you. This book will hold you, peel back the layers of your life, and make you really see the world for what it is: a beautiful thing.
Justina Chen Headley's site
The Find Beauty Challenge!