Book Review: Dead Beautiful

Title: Dead Beautiful

Author: Yvonne Woon

Genre: YA Supernatural

Read: Nov 5, 2010

Summary: Great YA, gripping voice pulls you right through.

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I found this via one of my writer blogs. A lot of recent YA is frankly, trash, but this was a very well written book. Superficially it might seem very Hogwarts, a young girl’s parents die suddenly, and then she is bundled by her mysterious grandfather off to a creepy gothic prep school in Maine. But it’s anything but derivative. First of all the first person voice is great. Smart, but not forced or full of attitude it pulls you seamlessly through the entire novel — and it’s 500+ pages. I literally read it in one sitting.

I’m not going to give away the major premise, but the school setting is often an enjoyable one when done right, and this one certainly is. The characters seem real enough, particularly the protagonist, and there is a unique creepy feel to the whole world. Intellectual, but not heavy. The supernatural is fairly subtle, and about 75% of the way through there is the “big reveal” as to what the deal is with certain things. As is usual with this sort of thing the book was better before the reveal, but it still held up afterwards, even coming to an emotional finish.

Fantastic debut novel, and I eagerly await the author’s next book.

2 comments on “Book Review: Dead Beautiful

  1. […] many “big reveal” books have. I had this same beef recently with the otherwise perfect Dead Beautiful (review HERE). Still, I read Across the Universe in one sitting, literally, and I enjoyed it the whole way […]

  2. […] the big reveal” syndrome which YA books often suffer from. I’ve mentioned this before (like HERE or HERE), but basically this is where after the big shocker no one really seems to act with […]

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