Monday, April 13, 2009

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Published in 2009. 373 pages.

I loved Justina Chen Headley's first young adult novel Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies). For some reason I haven't yet read her second, Girl Overboard, but I was eager to read North of Beautiful anyway.

What North of Beautiful is about: This ambitious novel is partly about map-making and geocaching. It's also about art and China - and about relationships. More than that, it's about what constitutes beauty. Most of all, it's about finding out who you are.

An overview of the plot: High school student Terra Copper was born with a facial port-wine stain. That has affected her relationships with her parents, her interactions with friends of both sexes, her dreams for the future, her entire life. But everything she believes about herself and her place in the world will come into question when she quite literally runs into Chinese-born Goth-guy Jacob Fremont.

First line: Not to brag or anything, but if you saw me from behind, you'd probably think I was perfect.

Last line: "Here I am."

What I thought: I really liked North of Beautiful when I read it. In particular I loved the characters, especially Terra, Jacob, and their mothers. In the month since I read the book - since I'm nearly hopelessly behind on posting reviews - I've come to love it even more, as I've pondered about the symbolism and the interconnectedness of the themes. I highly recommend this book!

Interesting trivia about the cover: As reported by Publishers Weekly, the image on the cover was used on another recent release, Evermore.

For more information about Justina Chen Headley's work: Visit her website and her blog.

Other book bloggers' reviews of North of Beautiful:
If you have read and reviewed this book, I would love to link your review here. Please leave me a comment or email me your link!



  1. Nice, I really loved this book as well! (As you know!) I'm hoping to tackle Headley's Nothing But The Truth during the Read-a-Thon this weekend.

  2. I hope you're feeling better. Good luck on the read-a-thon tomorrow.