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North of Beautiful

A book by Justina Chen Headley

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  • Jun 24, 2010
Another beautifully told YA novel from Headley, exploring beauty and friendship in various forms. You'll want to savor the writing as much as the story here.

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Quick Tip by . November 06, 2010
This book is well constructed and helps stretch our understanding of image and self image.
review by . January 05, 2010
There's nothing I can say that will give this book justice, so I will just state what I loved in this book.     1. The writing. The writing just flowed smoothly (except for those small parts where it got too wordy) and the diction was just perfect. The writing was just so beautiful.     2. How the author inserts maps and geocaching into the novel. They were a very important part of the book.    3. The characters, especially Terra, whose …
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Rachel Kramer Bussel ()
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Member Since: Feb 19, 2009
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About this book


Grade 7 Up—Terra's body is very nearly perfect, except for the port-wine birthmark on her left cheek, which several surgeries have failed to remove. It is the teen's final semester of high school and she looks forward to college where she can study art and escape from her bullying, verbally abusive father. Over the Christmas holidays, Terra and her mother get into a car accident and meet Jacob, a Goth Chinese boy with a cleft lip, and his adoptive mother. The women immediately strike up a supportive friendship, while Terra and Jacob grow close. When Terra's brother, who lives in Shanghai, sends her and her mother tickets to visit, and Jacob's mother wants to try to track down Jacob's birth mother, they decide to travel together. But what about Erik, Terra's enamored but slightly clueless boyfriend? Headley's ambitious novel is written in a beautifully crafted style that flows seamlessly. The pace is somewhat bogged down in the first half but it quickens when the characters travel to China, where Jacob, Terra, and their mothers begin to confront their insecurities. Terra and Jacob are flawed, complex, and memorable characters. The message that true beauty and strength come from within is dominant, but this is also a moving and satisfying story in its own right.—Amy J. Chow, The Brearley School, New York City
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ISBN-10: 0316025062
ISBN-13: 978-0316025065
Author: Justina Chen Headley
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
First to Review

"HIGHLY recommend"
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