North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley: YA Book Review
North of Beautiful was an emotional roller coaster for me. The main character, Terra, has a Port Wine Stain birthmark on her face identical to the one my daughter has on hers. While I have come to terms with this and my beautiful daughter is so confident and bubbly that it is hardly ever noticed, I did go through heartache in her early years and this came back to me in a flood as I read this story.
Having said this, and taking all the emotion into consideration, I can still say this book is fantastic. Beautifully written, Terra’s journey negotiating difficult awful family circumstances while discovering acceptance, friendship, love, joy, adventure and ultimately herself was both engaging and inspirational.
Best of all, this book introduced me to my new hobby, geocaching, which, unlike reading, I can actually share with my family.
Recommended age: 13 +
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? – Extract from Goodreads.com