Saturday, July 11, 2009

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Not to brag or anything, but if you saw me from behind, you'd probably think I was perfect. I'm tall, but not too tall, with a ballerina's long legs and longish nexk. My hair is naturally platinum blond, the kind that curls when I want it to and cascades behind my back in one sleek line when I don't. While my face couldn't launch a thousand ships, it has the power to make any stranger whip around for a second look. Trust me, this mixture of curiosity and revulsion is nothing Helen of Troy would ever have encountered. (1)

In Justina Chen Headley's North of Beautiful, high school senior Terra Rose Cooper has lived her entire life with facial port-wine stain covering her right cheek. That hasn't stopped her from snagging a boyfriend and a job at a local art studio. Terra however, feels the double pull of her housewife mother, who is intent on making her beautiful, and her emotionally abusive father who swears off spending any more money on the next miracle cure. Terra's plans for escape to an east cost art school are crushed by her father's insistence that he's not paying for it. But a chance collision with a Goth boy vacationing in her town prompts her to change course in the life that she had mapped out for herself.


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