My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A powerful book of prose, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley explores the discover of the self in her protagonist, Terra. Terra has a port wine birthmark on her cheek, and in between dealing with a subtly abusive father, her suppressed mother, and her own problems, it is no wonder that she hides under layers of make-up.
That is until Jacob comes along. A good looking chinese boy with a scar on his cheek. Unlike Terra though, he chooses the reason why people look at him, instead of shrinking away. When Terra first meets him, he’s decked out all in black, goth style since no one expects a chinese guy to be goth.
As the book progress through three parts, each named aptly for Terra’s development, Headley in her easy pace, brings forward Terra’s fears, desires and concerns.
This was an amazing book. It reminds me so much of something, anything Sarah Dessen writes, and at the same time it doesn’t. Headley’s beautiful and emotive writing makes Terra real. It doesn’t matter that readers may not share the same affliction, just that her (Terra’s) are struggle under search for her identity feels real. Any girl, or guy, if they every choose to pick up this book, can relate to the insecurities and uncertainty that Terra feels. The family situation can also be related. I think this makes the story even better.
This is a book for anyone who loves Sarah Dessen, or who isn’t afraid of some angst fiction