Title: North of Beautiful
Author: 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.
This novel was unmistakeably amazing. The wide range of words and her vast knowledge of cartography was really interesting and actually gave me inspiration when I had a bout of writer’s block while doing a project. Terra’s father is a control freak who insists on controlling everything that is done by his children and his wife. When Terra and her mother meet Norah and Jacob, they begin to learn what freedom feels like. On a spontaneous trip to China, Terra and her mother are able to run free for the first time, unafraid of being yelled at for their mistakes.
Headley manages to create this world and weave in the anger and dispair of a dysfuntional family into the story. Her way with diction managed to paint the image of scenery and expression. The struggle between Terra and her boyfriend Erik was interesting as well. Terra’s insecurities, though, prevented her from truly being into the relationship, while everyone else said ‘You’re so lucky that he chose you’.This book displayed the struggle between maintaining perfection and being real, as well as true to yourself. Extremely well written, I loved this book!
World Building: 4/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.94/5
“So we end up accepting what is broken, mistaking complaining for action, procrastinating for deliberation”
“Getting lost is just another way of saying ‘going exploring.’”
I made a point of looking over my shoulder at his Range Rover, sleekly expensive and virtually in mint condition, except for the dent I had left on the back bumper. “I don’t think so.”
“Don’t judge a man by his vehicle.”
“So how do you judge a boy?”
“Ouch. Hasn’t anyone told you about how delicate a man’s ego is?”
“Maybe men, but boys are all bravado.”
“I can’t catch a break from you, can I?” he asked gruffly, but I could see the amusement glinting in his dark eyes.
-Terra and Jacob