Late Night Review: Dead Beautiful

Title: Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Finished: December 29th
Purchased: NetGalley

On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she’d ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.
After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”
It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.
Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.
Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

I guess I have been in the mood for some reincarnation reading this week because accidentally this is the second of the topic I have read this week. The other book I had read was Endless by Amanda Gray. While a good book in its own right, Dead Beautiful surpasses it exceptionally.
Dead Beautiful contains everything that I felt Endless lacked. The characters, Renee and Dante did have somewhat of a romance, while they could not kiss on, the feelings emanated from the pages. I enjoyed the witty banter between the two and on more than one occasion, found myself if not giggling, outright laughing at the words exchanged.
The plot was extremely well developed, and included many details that extended the depth the story entered. I found it extremely enjoyable to read the excerpts of the book the characters reference, in turn the reader can actively engage in knowing all the information as soon as the characters learn it. This allowed for things to be better explained and in turn allowed the reader (myself) to fully understand the plot.
Now, I am a sucker for a good plot twist, secrets, forbidden love and all the other average things that make a good story. But there was something about this one that made it different. All to often, the author reveals the huge plot secret too soon or too late, either one results in a loss of interest for reading. But I found that Yvonne Woon let smalls bits of information out at a time, just enough to keep reading but not enough to lose interest.
 It was very refreshing to read a book without a love triangle, as much as I love them. The book made me feel, which is the main thing I look for in a book, especially one I give a five star rating. This book messes with your emotions right up until the end, and even then it’s like a haha in your face because my emotions are still a jumble. The ending may have been my favorite part of the book, it made me feel confused, angry, happy but most of all the want to read more.

xox Cat


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