North of Beautiful by Justine Chen Headley
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Release Date: February 2009
Source: Own it
Find it on Goodreads
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.
When I started reading this story, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Terra is perfect except for her face and her father consistently abuses her psychologically about it among other things. She’s stuck in this horrible home life where everyone is afraid of her father. So much that her two older brothers rarely come home, even for family holidays. One of the most crucial scenes in this book was actually when her brothers did and the fiasco that happened during to just show how much she had to deal with.
When she meets a boy it’s not only fate for her, but for her mother as well. Their mothers hit it off and end up taking a trip to Asia together and not only does Terra learn more about herself, but the woman her mother really is when she’s away from home. I really fell in love with this story, this completely heart-rendering story about how psychological abuse can really mess a family up. I definitely think it’s the most unique realistic fiction story I’ve read in YA and the most impacting. It’s not just about falling in love, but family and finding yourself.