Tuesday, June 21, 2011

North of Beautiful -- Justina Chen Headley

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 in Jacob's path, the handsome buy quirky goth boy immediately changes 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?

  • Terra Rose Cooper: Third child of Lois and Grant. Main character that has port-wine stain on her face.
    • Grant CooperTerra's father. Emotionally abusive.
    • Lois CooperTerra's overweight, insecure mother.
    • Claudius CooperTerra's older brother. Second child of Lois and Grant.
    • Mercatur Cooper: Terra's oldest brother. First child of Lois And Grant.
    • Susannah: Terra's aunt, who died in Mexico.
    • ErikTerra's boyfriend.
    • Karin MannionTerra's best friend.
    • Jacob Fremont: Chinese adopted son of Norah, who commonly dresses in "Goth" attire and has a repaired cleft lip.
    • Norah Fremont: Jacob's adoptive mother.
On the outside, Terra Cooper is a perfect girl with a perfect boyfriend and a perfect life. But, Terra has a secret. (Wait for it...) Her life is not perfect. She has an emotionally abusive father who has broken the spirit of her family. Her mother, Lois, seeks comfort in food. Terra's two older brothers have grown up and left home and now have lives on different parts of the world--far, far away from their father. This inadvertently places them far away from Terra and Lois. Terra is also extremely insecure about a port wine stain that she has on her face. Terra is a senior and wants to go to an East Coast school, while her father is pushing her to go to a Wast Coast school. Throughout this novel Terra must try to become her own person and let go of her insecurities while helping a new found friend, Jacob, and learn what she truly is to become in life by taking a trip to China with her mother, Jacob and Jacob's mother Nora.

My Review:
I absolutely love this book! It's one of my favorites, and I feel that everyone should have a copy of North of Beautiful on their shelf somewhere. Although it is a little slow in some parts, North of Beautiful always kept me wanting to know more. I have read this book many, many times and with each read I learn more about myself including some things that have been forgotten. This book has also taught me many things about maps, history and geocaching. I really like Headly's writing style and I feel that it compliments this book extremely well. I know that some people have put this book down because they feel that it is boring. Please, please, don't put this book down. It gets better. The family dynamics in North of Beautiful are something to really look at, because we can all relate to someone telling us that we can't do something, be something, achieve something etc. If you haven't read this book yet, I urge you to pick it up. It's one that will stay in your memory for a long time.

Read on!

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