Wednesday, May 5, 2010

North of Beautiful

North of Beautiful North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Terra is a senior in high school who lives in Washington State. She's a smart girl with a hunky boyfriend, and she has dreams of being an artist. But there are two things about Terra that are constant problems to her: She has a verbally/emotionally abusive father and she has a large port-wine stain on her face.

Terra begins her transformation of breaking free from her father and learning to accept her beauty when she meets Jacob, a goth guy that she literally runs into in an icy parking lot. Jacob was adopted from a Chinese orphanage as a small child and is going through his own difficult time as his parents divorce and his father remarries. For me, the story really takes off when Terra and Jacob visit China with their mothers and experience a period of rediscovery and change as they look at life in a new way.

This book was far too long for the predictable plot, but I liked the use of maps and geocaching in Terra's discovery of true beauty. (I'm a geocacher and I loved seeing it used in everyday fiction!) I would have given this book 4 stars because it was a sweet story, but any book that takes me a week to read is just moving too slow for my taste. That said, I think most teen girls would enjoy this one.

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Book 39 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge, Book 25 of 50 for the New Author Challenge, Book 21 of 50 for the YA Reading Challenge 

Source: Borrowed


bermudaonion said...

I had to look up geocaching after reading your review. I've heard of it, but never knew what it's called. I've had this book for a while - it sounds like I don't need to be in a big hurry to read it.

Paige said...

I like the "any book that takes me a week to read" comment. I'm reading one right now that is taking a long time (I'm not the speedy reader that you are) but I feel like it shouldn't be taking me this long.

alisonwonderland said...

I really liked this one, especially after I finished reading it and the symbolism and the themes just stuck with me for a while.

(You do have the link to my review wrong. It's here.)

Corinne said...

Darn! I loved this one. Maybe it's my map loving heart or maybe I just read it at the right time, I think I read it in a day :)