North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: Terra looks almost perfect, physically. Perfect body, perfect height, perfect hair; except for the huge port-wine stain right on her cheek. Beautiful is the last thing she would call herself, and to match her low self-esteem and insecurities, she lives under the roof of an almost-broken family. When a strange boy named Jacob enters her life, she learns more about life, the world, family, friendship, courage, and even culture. Over time, as she develops her friendship with Jacob, she will eventually learn and discover what's most important; the meaning of true beauty.

Plot: 4 stars
The author, Justina Chen Headley, takes a simple story of a teenage girl, battling with her own insecurities and issues into a whole other level. I liked how she took it, handled it, and finished it. I like the fact that though the story of Terra and Jacob's relationship is one of the biggest sub-plots, it didn't seem at all forced. I thought it flowed naturally, as the entire story did as well.

Characters: 4 stars
While I did like Terra, I have to admit, I liked the other characters a bit more. Particularly, Jacob. I felt like he was a real person -- almost like that boy-next-door everyone would love to be best friends with, because you can count on him no matter what. I also thought that the character development of Terra's mother was on-point. I believed it, and I found myself truly rooting for her. Terra's father, did what the author wanted him to do; scare you, torment you, and annoy you to bits.

Overall: 4 stars
I liked the storyline of this one, loved the supporting characters, and liked the overall character&plot development. While it is not exactly a page-turner, I still was able to go through it without getting bored. I recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary YA novels.


  1. im really eager to read this book! it sounds amazing , like how you structure your reviews BTW and PS your blog is so pretty! :)

  2. Hey, I like your new style of reviewing! I have not read this one but I might do that soon now.

  3. @Blueicegal: It was pretty good. And thank you so much! The blog is designed by Danny. :)

    @May: Thanks! I kind of like this new style better. It's easier to get my thoughts together and put them down.

  4. I love this book. I was invested in Terra and Jacob equally, and Terra's Just wow.

  5. @Kris: I know what you mean! Her dad.. "wow" is just the perfect way to describe him. That and CRAZY!!