Thursday, June 2, 2011
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, But you were the one who wanted this, remember? You're the one who asked-and 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.
It took forever to get to part two, then it took a little longer to get to part three. North of Beautiful was not as emotional as I had expected. In fact points were, dare I say, boring. That the characters were not very likeable did not help. Suffice to say, I was expecting more.
The most remarkable thing is how easy it was to dislike the characters, yes, even the protagonist. Her father was written to be hated. I was half hoping for a Meryl Streep like character in The Devil Wears Prada. You know, in the end when the intern was both thankful and sorry to be free from her wretched boss. So sorry, in fact, that the audience could almost like the boss. Such was not the case here. The father was too disagreeable, emotionally abusive even. As to the rest of her family? I kept waiting for them to stand up for themselves. When they finally did, it came a little too late for me. But that they did, explains the 3 instead of 2 stars I was leaning to throughout Parts One and Two... Well, that and Jacob.