Monday, August 5, 2013

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

This book has been sitting on my “What I’m reading” shelf for a few months now. I started it a while ago, and then picked something else up and yesterday I decided to go back to it. I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed reading this book. North of Beautiful tells the story of Terra Cooper- a beautiful girl who has it all- a great looking body, artistic talent, a perfect boyfriend…and a wine port stain on her face. This stain, and her father, holds Terra back from everything. She is content to just cover up any imperfections- both on her face and in her life, while at the same time she longs to escape her small town to go away for university. Terra’s father does nothing to help build her confidence in anything she is interested in. He is verbally abusive to anyone in his family, while her mother does her best to protect everyone- she ends up taking all most all of the abuse. When Terra meets Jacob, her life and her mother’s attitude starts to change. Jacob constantly challenges Terra’s definition of beauty and introduces her to many different experiences. The big question is can Terra deal with what she has been taught and break away from her father and everything else that is holding her back. There are many layers to this book. On the surface, it is a romance novel, but when you look deeper it is so much more than that. The author uses maps as a symbol for many things, this would be an interesting book to share the concepts of symbolism with kids. All in all it was a great read!

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