Sunday, February 01, 2009

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley Product Description:

Terra is tall and blonde, with an unbelievably gorgeous body, but what most people in her stifling Washington town notice is the port-wine birthmark covering half her face. Terra secretly plans to leave her small town by escaping to an East Coast college, but is pushed off-course by her controlling father. When she meets handsome, goth Jacob who immediately understands her battle with feeling different, Terra 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, this is a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the true meaning of beauty.

North of Beautiful is a moving journey of self discovery and self appreciation. It so beautifully combines a great number of things to make it easy for most anyone to identify with. Some of the themes throughout are, self esteem, being different, feeling trapped, immobilizing fear and adventure.

Reading about Terra's family situation made my stomach turn but it made the story that much more believable. It was very interesting to see how her father turned into the person who put his "loved ones" down on a regular basis and to see how each of the family members reacted differently but also very similar at the same time. If Terra had come from a different home things for her may have ended up differently it might have taken her a much longer time to really know who she was.

I thought all the characters added something great to the story. I personally loved reading about Terra's little family of artists at Nest & Egg. Art can truly show you things about yourself you never realized or acknowledged so I think this fit great in the book. I also loved the characters of Norah and Jacob and how they helped Terra and her mother realize they had the choice to be independent. And oh Jacob, what a great guy. I loved his character!

A very pleasant surprise for me was to find out how much travel and a bit of adventure played into this book. Specifically geocaching (locating hidden containers full of knickknacks by their GPS coordinates) that Jacob introduces Terra to. I had never heard of this but it's one of those things, that in the back of your mind sort of hoped existed. Do you know what I mean?

Anyhow, this book encompasses so many great things, my expectations were definitely exceeded!

North of Beautiful is released today!

4.5/5 Stars
ARC received from publisher


  1. *sigh* I love it when the books I LOVE seem to be enjoyed by others as well. It's like "huh? I guess I'm not that crazy" XD

    pssst anyone who wants to own this book, I'm giving away 3 copies ;P Sorry Alea for spamming you!

  2. I have seen this book cover a lot lately, but I didn't know what the book was about. It definitly sounds great. I will have to add it to my to-read list!

    I was also going to tell you that I just posted a Q&A with Simone Elkeles on my blog: I remembered you posted earlier this week that you won a copy of Perfect Chemistry and thought you might be interested in seeing the Q&A.

  3. Oh, wow. Love Justina's work!

  4. I love Girl Overboard by Justina. I can't wait to read this one. Sounds awesome! :)

  5. I saw this at B&N today and it looks gorgeous. I got stars in my eyes just looking at it.

  6. This book sounds amazing - I'm definitely adding it to my TBR list!

  7. Wonderful review! I added the link to the ARC Challenge post.

  8. Yan- Yeah it's nice to know other people agree! No problem with the spamming Yan, I'm sure people want their own copy!

    Mrs V- That happens to me a lot, I sometimes have no idea what a book is about for the longest time!

    Bookworm- I can't wait to read more!

    Amee- I keep hearing about that one, must look into it!

    Steph Su- Yes it's beautiful!

    S. Krishna- Oooh I hope you like it!

    Teddy Rose- Thank you!

  9. The Nest&Egg old ladies were great. I loved them too.


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