North of Beautiful

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North of Beautiful
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 01, 2009
ISBN
9780316025058
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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.

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True Beauty

I dont remember ever little detail from this book. I read it a couple years ago but I clearly remember the message this book sends, That beauty should not be measured by what you look like on the outside but what you have on the inside and how you feel about yourself.

I remember that this book made me feel more confident about myself and to embrace myself because I was made this way for a reason.

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5.0

One of the Best YA book Ive ever read.

In the beginning, with her boyfriend, they dont really DO anything, he just touches her and stuff so if that makes you uncomfortable like it did me.... read this book. Yeah, I know, but that part lasts 2 lines or something, AND THATS IT! I literally fell in love with this book cause it was that good. I actually fell in love with Jacob cause he is like


**SPOLIER***


hot chinese "goth" guy with the coolest attiude ever. LOVED his character. A litle disopianted with the ending, a little, like VERY litle cause it was still really good. I mean yeah some would miss the heated M.O. sesion but it was awsome!! any way, read the book. I beg of you!!!! Read it!

Good Points
Good points? Um, like EVERYTHING!! Okay, thats a lie cause if everything was good in this book, then this book would be perfect... but its not,... ONLY BEACAUSE, nothings perfect.
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Beautiful. Really.

One of the most amazing and beautiful books I have ever read!
Not only is Terra and Jacob's story great, the words in North of Beautiful are simply inspirational.
I cried, I laughed, and I found the true meaning of being comfortable in your own skin.

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My Inspiration

a review by KayleahNichole

O my goodness. North of Beautiful is my Inspiration!!

I never thought i'd rteally ever see true beauty in a book. It makes you realize that no matter what you look like on the outside. There is always going to be someone who doesnt look at whats on the outside. But looks at whats on the inside. Terra is A gorgeous person. Until you look at her face. She has a birth mark that covers her whole right side. She is always covering it with tons of make-up so people dont stare. Until she meets Jacob. Jacob has a cleft lip, chinese, and goth. He shows Terra the true meaning of "Beautiful."

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North of Beautiful

Reader reviewed by KeturCullen1340

Review: Terra Cooper is my idol. North of Beautiful is a story of
showing your true self to the world around you are not caring what they
think of what they see. Terra is beautiful girl with a port wine
birthmark on her face. She has tried numerous laser surgeries to
lighten the mark, but none of them work. While on her way back home
from yet another laser surgery, she almost hits Jacob, a Goth Chinese
boy with a scar from his cleft lip surgery. Jacob and his mom are down
from Seattle and are the complete, rich opposite from Terra and her Mom.
Terra and Jacob's Mom hit it off and become best friends which throw
Terra and Jacob together all the time. Terra begins to have feelings
she's never felt before for Jacob, mostly because he sees her for her
and tells her that all of her is beautiful, not just parts. She makes
him the rainbow in the rain, while dealing with her controlling Dad and
deciding what to do with a boyfriend that she's "lucky" to have. In the
end, she learns that people will always talk about you, but it's up to
you how you let it affect you. Terra got tired of letting other
people's opinion run her life. So she takes off the make-up, walks into
the sunlight, and shines like a star!

        Terra taught me lessons I already knew and made me understand
them. I have acne really badly and it rules me. People stare and ask
questions and talk but in the words of Jacob, "Let them stare."

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Beautiful, Sweet, and Educational

Reader reviewed by GirlwiththeBraids


Terra Cooper: the girl who was laughed at in the first grade, the girl constantly shielding her dads snarky comments and the stares from not only children but adults alike. In the last year of high school, after countless laser treatments and doctor visits that failed to remove her birthmark, Terra is convinced that nothing will ever change her face. Whenever there is a new product that comes along and fails, her hopes always dwindle to even less. But its not all bad! Shes tall, has a stunning body, and has natural platinum blond hair. Plus, shes got the hottest boy at school as a boyfriend. When she befriends a Goth Chinese boy, she figures out that he may know her even better than she does herself. And that this boy just may be her compass pointing to the True North of Beautiful.


Author Justina Chen Headleys writing was exhilarating but was also soft and delicate. The whole picture was seen in her direct prose but the smallest details werent left out. I think this book has the least Is ever used which is something the author should be proud of. Though, at the beginning, the scenes were sometimes a little confusing, it introduced the characters realistically. The second half of the book is what put me on the edge of my comfy blue recliner because thats where the characters start growing and changing their ways. Many people have said this but this book was beautiful. And sweet. And educational, in more ways than one.


Contains: *sensuality

For more book reviews and info, visit my blog, www.readingtomyself.blogspot.com!

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Truly Beautiful

Reader reviewed by Deltay

Justina Chen Headley's North of Beautiful is just beautiful, pure and simple. The plot, the characters, the themes... all these seperate aspects come together to form the perfect collage of a story.

Diction choice is lively, quirky, and even humourously wry at times. Something about Chen Headley's narrative style flows beautifully; it sounds so natural in first person past tense from Terra Cooper. This is one strong female protagonist whose voice transcends exceptionally; all at once cynical, but naive - pretty, but harsh - "jolie laide". It really draws the reader in. Somehow the small, seemingly insignificant details offer deeper insight into the story, the characters, their lives, tearing down another barrier between reader and character to bring the two closer.

Appearances versus reality is a pretty integral running theme in North of Beautiful - True North and Magnetic North, masks and one's true face, costumes and one's true personality... appearing beautiful on the outside, and the true beauty inside. In today's society where a lot of emphasis is placed on outer beauty, North of Beautiful provides a refreshing glimpse past the superficial into the underlying real beauty. Even more magical though, is the fact that [the book] doesn't outright define beauty - through the journey which readers take with the characters, the audience is able to derive one for themselves. To each their own; after all, beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

The characters here are portrayed majestically. Small quirks and imperfections add realism, aspects with which we can all relate. Terra is an intriguing leading lady; a bit of an overachiever, trying to finish high school a year early and the likes - but on a psychological level, she's trying to compensate for her flaws (namely her birth marked face). Haven't we all felt that way at one point or another? Insignificant, lacking, insufficient... it's truly amazing to watch her journey from cowering in fear of her father, of wanting to stand up for her mother but being unable to, to a strong, independent young woman. And even more amazing to see is her mother's own transformation from a meek housewife under the iron thumb of her husband to becoming her own person. Their relationship portrayed here is one of the most beautiful and precious out there - the bond between mother and daughter.

Jacob, oh, Jacob. What can I say? He's awesome, and it would be so cool to know someone like him in real life. The characterization as a whole was done exceptionally well. Even the minor characters felt realistic, relatable to. The only thing is one minor character seemed a little different than what was expected from descriptions in the start of the narrative, but then again, we discover aspects of people we hadn't realized all the time, especially at this age. Her father - oh, what an aggravating character!


That's how you know an author's got the golden touch though; if it elicits an actual emotion towards a fictional character, then the job's been done. The names are ingenious, all fitting in perfectly with the whole map/cartography theme. In fact, running metaphors to maps and the craft thereof are carried throughout the entire book very successfully, which is more than can be said for most attempts. And finding out about geocaches was pretty exciting too. In fact, that's when I realized - wow, I'm actually learning some stuff about maps and geocaching in here - and voila! Another successful aspect of North of Beautiful; it manages to be educational without the reader initially even realizing it.

The plot - such an incredible journey! Such wonderful descriptions of the setting, of the events unfolding. The realism really pulls you into the story, carries you along with the journey. There are books you'll stay up late into the night to read, checking the clock every once in a while, promising yourself, "just one more chapter!" With North of Beautiful, I checked the time - only 11 o'clock pm. The next time I looked at the clock, it was almost 1 in the morning. Chen Headley's prose is simply captivating.

Terra Cooper's collages are unique; she is an artist. North of Beautiful is like a collage, bringing together so many seemingly unrelated elements - self discovery, Goth boy, geo caching etc. - and making them fit around a focal point. Justina Chen Headley has pulled off something of True Beauty here. North of Beautiful is more than just a story; it's a piece of art.


Memento Mori.

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Beautiful

Reader reviewed by Amanda

Let me just start off by saying that I think the cover is striking. So simple but yet so raw. Which pretty much summarizes the book as well. Terra was one of those characters that had the ability to inspire me, she lived in an environment that was constantly putting her down but was able to hold her head up high and work hard for what she wanted. Which is something that I look for in a character. What she lacked though was confidence. It was great to have a character with an easily identified flaw. She seemed so perfect until you got up close. Terra was able to overcome obstacles with the help of Jacob. Oh how I loved Jacob! He's the sensitive and adorable guy every girl wishes they had. He was able to see past Terra's birthmark and help her come to terms and accept herself for who she is. Overall I think that North of Beautiful went way beyond my expectations and helped me realize that even the most beautiful people know their true north.

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The story of a girl finding her path in life

Reader reviewed by Lauren

North of Beautiful is a realistic fiction novel about Terra Rose Cooper. Terra is drop-dead gorgeous except for a port-wine birthmark on her cheek. She's always been hiding behind a thick layer of makeup, both literally and fugitively. Her father has always been in control and know that Terra's high school career is coming to an end, he wants to choose what college she'll go to and everything, not letting her want to go where she really wants.

While she and her mom drive back from a laser-operation to rid her of her birthmark, Terra nearly runs over a Chinese Goth boy about her age in a parking lot. When she finds out he's okay, and she and her mom meet Jacob's adopted family, they mesh in friendship. Jacob is the first person that Terra ever met who seems okay with the rest of the world. He's gone through a lot of troubles in his life, parents' divorce, being adopted, and having a cleft lip, but he's pulled through and enjoys his life.

When the chance comes, Terra and her mother go on a trip to China with Jacob's family. Time away from home is just what both of them need to find themselves and show their courage. As Terra grows closer to Jacob, she starts to learn the magnificence of inner-beauty, which is many times more beautiful than outer beauty.

Justina Chen Headley's thoughtful novel has many messages and is also upbeat and humorous. I'd suggest it to any teen who likes realistic fiction, mostly girls.


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Profound, Thought Provoking Novel

Reader reviewed by TheBookworm

Profound, Thought Provoking Novel

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Publication Date: February 2009
5 out of 5 stars

Terra is lost. Shes lost in a sea of doubt, deflection, and ugliness wrought by her taunting father and her permanent port-wine stain birthmark covering half of her face. She has a gorgeous body, a football player boyfriend, a popular friend, great art skills, a group of old ladies who care about her, but no one gets her. Until she meets Jacob, a good looking Goth Chinese boy she almost kills. He instantly understands her, more than she even does. Jacob opens her eyes to true beauty and where it lays. Will Terra be able to find her way, her true path?

Terra and Jacob were insightful, believable, and human. They worked congruently with each other through their problems without even realizing it sometimes. I didnt approve of all of Terras actions, and I appreciated the fact that Terra felt shame, guilt, and humility for the things she allowed and took part in that werent appropriate.

Author Justina Chen Headley has a real, hard-to-find skill in modern day authors. She entwined intuitive philosophies generated by a simple object, a map. She wove a beautiful novel with substance.

North of Beautiful was a profound, thought provoking novel that was crafted with an intelligent, insightful hand.

Date Reviewed: October 9th, 2008

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