Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dead Beautiful

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon is not a Christmas book, but it is a fun fast read that you can/should read this holiday break.  Plus, who doesn't like to read over the Holidays?  I came across this book when I was a librarian.  I had read many reviews on it, and I decided I wanted to read it.  It was on my Summer Reading List, and I was just now able to get it from the library.  I actually got to read it on my iPad; I love the iPad b/c I can read, buy, and check-out books through iBooks, Kindle, and Nook.  It really allows me to shop around.  This time I was able to check Dead Beautiful out through my library using the Kindle app.  It was great.

Even though this is definitely not a holiday Christmasy book, it is still an excellent read that you can devour in a few days.  I had read the reviews for the book a good bit ago, and I didn't remember a thing about the book.  I kind of like not knowing anything about a book.  It allows me to really get my mind thinking and making predictions.  Overall, a few of my predictions came true, but for the  most part I was pleasantly surprised on where the story was going.  This book was not predictable, and it didn't seem to lag.  Plus, it kept me interested the entire time.

Goodreads had the following description of the book:
"On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder. 

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.” 

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems. 

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life. 

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul."

I liked this description the best b/c it didn't give anything away; the story would not be as interesting if I told you more about the book.  You will just have to trust me.  It's a good story.  Plus, a huge bonus for YA books is that this a clean book regarding language, drugs, and sexuality.  Renee, the main character, ends up going to a boarding school.  When I first read/thought about the main character, a girl, going to a boarding school and finding herself I thought of the book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks  by Lockhart.  This is also a fabulous YA book, and you should read it.  Both of these books have girls that go to boarding school and truly find out who they are and what they are capable of.  Plus there is a lot of entertainment value in both of them.  However, boarding school and girls is pretty much the only similarity with these two books.  

As in a lot of YA books there is a bit of a romance, but like I said before it is completely clean.  It is like the kind of "romance" many of us had in high school.  The romance where you like a boy, think about the boy, analyze every conversation with the boy, and more.  There is a bit of sexual tension in the book, just like Twilight had, but it isn't the main story or main focus.  What I am trying to say is that you shouldn't be turned off from the fact that Dead Beautiful has a bit of romance.

All in all, Dead Beautiful was an enjoyable read; I recommend it.  In many ways, and you'll find out when you read it, it isn't the typical book I gravitate to.  However, I truly enjoyed myself.  I think I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.  Let me know what you think.

Happy reading this Holiday Season!  

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