Friday, January 24, 2014

Review of: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

North of Beautiful (A Justina Chen Novel)North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Page Count(Paperback Edition):  373 pgs
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Released: February 17th, 2009
Genre: Young Adult Romance
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Read: April 4th-17th, 2013
Source: Books-A-Million

I repeat-Why not fix your face?

It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.

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 stifling small 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 but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges 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?

Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.

"The meaning of true beauty". That really does say it all. True beauty comes from within oneself, outer beauty has almost nothing to do with it. Beauty is how cordial you are with people. Beauty is being yourself, and most important of all, beauty is you and me.

I think the way Headley captured this subject was brilliant. Terra is obviously flawless, besides the port wine stain on her face that she has had since she was a child. Some may even say it marr's her face, or it is a "pity" that she has this awful stain on her cheek. When the author created Terra as a character, she knew what she was getting into with the subject of self love and self acceptance. 

Through ought the story, we travel with Terra on her day to day life,boyfriend, friends and family.  What struck me the most was her family life, and the father she has to live with. I don't want to give too much away, but he is a insulting pig to Terra and her mother. Just plain awful.

I loved the incorporation of maps and facts about maps into the story. I never realized how interesting cartography could be. Headley was able to perfectly intertwine facts about geography right into Terra's life. You could easily make the correlation between the two.

At the beginning of the story, Terra did not have a great self esteem. She covered up her stain with pounds of makeup and powder to just try to convince herself she was normal. Terra has gotten so many stares over the years that she just decided to cover up her beautiful natural self. Towards the end though, she changes her view on that and I basically jumped with glee! She finally realized how perfect she was, inside and out. Makeup covering up who she was on the outside was only keeping her from her full potential. 

The trip to China really pulled the whole story together. Terra and her mother Lois learn so much about themselves, while becoming closer and closer to the family they traveled with, Jacob and his mother.

Overall, this book made me extremely happy! I think this is something all girls need to read to realize their full potential and extraordinary beauty. Too many teens these days struggle with their self image as they have society pressing on them with what they need to look like and act like to be perfect. I admit to being one of those teens to struggle with who I am, but with help of a very close friend, I am now happier with myself and my body than I have in a while. North of Beautiful really opened up my eyes.


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