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Beautiful

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  3,817 ratings  ·  455 reviews
When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie’s chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who’s worth noticing.

Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever imagined… one moment, one choice, changes
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Simon Pulse (first published September 23rd 2009)
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Calcalsellars yeah when I was reading it I thought it was a little odd she was only in seventh grade - I don't know anyone who did drugs/had intimate relations with…moreyeah when I was reading it I thought it was a little odd she was only in seventh grade - I don't know anyone who did drugs/had intimate relations with ninth grade boys (or anyone) that young. I actually am in ninth grade and the people at my school in my grade don't do those things either though, so it would still be weird for me to imagine her as a freshman.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Daisy
Take a deep breath and steel yourself for Amy Reed’s debut novel “Beautiful.” It’s beautiful for sure, but it’s not easy, nor is it supposed to be. Consider the verbs Reed uses: punched, scraped, gutted, crush, explode, smash, destroy, cutting, burning, scarring. But really, what better words are there to describe thirteen-year-old Cassie’s harrowing descent into the world of drugs, alcohol, abuse and the sex she wishes she weren’t having?

“Beautiful” is a gut check of a young adult novel. It’s t
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Courtney
It's hard to know exactly how to describe Beautiful in a way that will do it justice. Alice down the rabbit hole. Amazing.

First things first: what Daisy said here. I especially agree with her when she says Beautiful reads like a memoir. It does and that makes it almost unnerving at times. It's almost like a memoir you don't have permission to read, if that makes sense--that's how personal it is.

Amy Reed has tapped into a voice that will haunt you. You will ache for Cassie, you will want to hel
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Katya
What? Are you guys kidding me? Was I reading a different book from everyone else? Because I can't imagine what could possibly earn this piece of trash a four- or five-star review.

I mean, I thought people were done writing things like this. It's so formulaic that it's laughable. An absentee father, a depressed alcoholic mother, a shy, ugly teenager who somehow gets reborn into a beautiful swan (although we never do learn how Cassie got that new face and body everyone keeps talking about) and sets
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Emily Ellsworth
This book was so awful that I'm thinking about changing my Twilight reviews to be one star higher.

Has their ever been a protagonist as unlikeable as Cassie? The whole novel is unbelievable. Cassie is a nice, sweet girl, that moves to a new school and has the chance to be popular. In a matter of days she is doing drugs, has casual sex, and drinks. At 13. Not likely.

Also, I realize that her parents are pretty uninvolved in her, but really? If she smoked pot as much as she said she did, there is no
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Robert Kent
All right, so just to be clear: Beautiful by Amy Reed is not appropriate for all age groups. Come to think of it, the life of the modern American teenager is not appropriate for all age groups. Both it and this book contain lots of sex, including some incest, drug abuse, alcohol, suicide, violence, all manner of foul language, and many other adult elements I usually don’t get to write about here. I’m not too worried as I know most of you Esteemed Readers are adults, but if you are under the age ...more
Hannah
To everyone who says this isn't realistic--I wish you were right. I really do.
Loryn
Dec 10, 2009 Loryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Recommended to Loryn by: Heather Johnson
Shelves: young-adult-ya
Before moving to a small town outside of Seattle, Cassie had always been what most people would call a good kid. She had lived on an island called Bainbridge Island and she was invisible, living but not fully. She had fake friends, and did well in school because it was what was expected of her.

For the first week or so at her new school as a seventh grader, it seemed like things were going to be exactly the same as when she went to school in Bainbridge. That all changed though when Alex, the gir
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Sue
I bought Beautiful on a whim...and ended up being floored. I've never read anything like this before. It is probably the most emotionally-charged book that I have ever read. Reed paints a very vivid picture and creates such a realistic plot. I've often wondered how does someone get to be like "that"? Reed has come along and given us a gut-wrenching story that illustrates the "how". Once I started reading I could not put it down...I finished it all in one sitting. I believe that Reed does an incr ...more
Nic
This is one of the books that left me thinking about it later. I felt Cassie was a real teenager making real choices and how bad choices can lead your life in a downward spiral as can try to fit in.

I loved this book.




Jessica
My mother was a librarian, and sometime in the summer of 1973, she handed me a novel that upset, intrigued, and convinced me so fully, I almost refused to go to middle school. She didn’t really give the novel to me. She shoved it into my hands, insisting that I read it. That book was the novel Go Ask Alice, purportedly based on a teenager’s diary. The story is, as we all know now, a vivid cautionary tale about drugs and their rabbit hole allure.
But really, the most frightening aspect of that no
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Stefanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie Varno
Cassie is a thirteen year old girl who has just moved to a new town in Washington. With starting school, she is determined to leave her old life behind and become a completely new person. She meets new people (high schoolers) and is even nicknamed “Cassie the Beautiful Seventh Grader.” She starts hanging out with these high schoolers and makes some very poor choices. She starts doing acid, smoking weed and cigarettes, drinking alcohol, all on a daily basis. She becomes addicted to a perscription ...more
Terry
This is a disturbing story, but one that is all too well known. Girl moves to a new school, parents aren't so functional, girl makes astoundingly bad choices. Through a combination of flawed parents, youthful recklessness, and sociopathic best-friends, Cassie sinks into...exactly the sort of things you expect, none of them pretty, let alone beautiful.

Reed recounts the story with easy-to-read language, in straightforward, first-person narration. Cassie is numb, so there isn't much emotion to the
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Sarah BT
Rating: 2.75

Beautiful is an interesting little book. It's very gritty and perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins. I can see readers who love gritty realistic fiction devouring this one. But adults will see the many faults that are in the book. It's also a bit odd because the character is so young, but I don't know how many middle school libraries could really carry it and I don't know if older teens would read about the addictions of a 7th grader. So I don't know who the audience really is. I guess 7
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Josie Weathers
DO NOT BE FOOLED!! I warn you.

This book will draw you in with it's interesting and self destructive characters, it's quick paced writing style, and very messed up narrator, but i will say flat out that the ending is NO WHERE NEAR, NOT IN THIS LIFE TIME, WORTH IT.

I mean Reed just basically makes you read this story about a girl who messes up her life, but she never fixes it. She never wraps anything up, and the stuff she tries to wrap up... oh, she fails at that.

Also, this story is about a thirt
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Adriana
4.5 stars. This is a very powerful read that I wouldn't recommend to younger teens. There is a lot of very graphic language, sex, abuse, and drugs. Cassie is a 13-year old who is starting at a new school. She has no siblings, her mom drinks a lot and generally does nothing, and her dad is very absent. She decides that since she has now blossomed into a beautiful young girl the cool kids will of course accept her. The problem is that the "cool" kids at her new school are also the kids who sleep a ...more
Steph Su
There is something disturbingly haunting about BEAUTIFUL. Debut novelist Amy Reed writes Cassie’s dark story in a prose that stuns and lingers.

BEAUTIFUL is similar to edgy movies like Catherine Hardwicke’s Thirteen in terms of content, but it is nearly poetic in its descriptions. Reed’s writing allows Cassie to distance herself from all situations she doesn’t want to be in, while simultaneously letting readers into Cassie’s mindset. The result both characterizes Cassie and effectively draws us i
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A Beautiful Madness
Am I the only one who thought this book was similar to the movie Thirteen, with Nikki Reed and Evan Rachel Woods? There was something in it that really reminded me of this movie. After all, Cassie goes from being a good girl, to being a ‘bad” girl, caught in a world of lies, drug, sex, alcohol and abuse.

This is not a light read, that’s for sure. There is something really troubling in reading about a thirteen-years-old going through all Cassie is going through.

The fact that Cassie is only thirt
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LibraryFairy™
I first bought the book because of the wonderful cover but it wasn't my cup of tea. First of Cassie's character had so much potential but it wasn't explored. Most of the story flew right past me and if your a bit slow like I am you wouldn't understand the author's cryptic words. We never knew what was up with Cassie's dad. Alex wasn't well described altough she was one of the books main characters.The only interesting part of the book was Sarah. Altogether it seemed like a failed attempt at copy ...more
Heather
I don't always need a happily-ever-after at an end of every book. I also don't live in some fairytale bubble, where I only read fluffy-sappy-love-stories. With that being said, I'm really conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I didn't really care for this story at all. Part of me thinks, I may have missed some over arching context, like it went over my head or something... Then, there is the other side of my brain that is shouting that this book was tragically brilliant.

I think that anyon
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Val
Although the book is classified as Young Adult fiction, anyone who has ever been a young adult can enjoy it. The toxic friendship between Cassie and Alex is something most girls have known all too well at some point in their lives and seeing it here on the page is both riveting and therapeutic. The author is just as adept at describing the more fulfilling, life-changing best friendship between Cassie and Sarah, that instant connection that feels almost like falling in love. Reed does such a wond ...more
Merary
This is one of those books that at first don't grab you from the beginning, but once they do, they pull you so hard it makes you shake!

This was the case for Amy Reed's debut, Beautiful.

Cassie is a thirteen year old girl who gets involved in a group of kids who take drugs and party too much. She sheds her virginity, embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, and floats through it all, knowing that she is now called beautiful. She ignores the dangers of her fast-paced life . . . but she can’t
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Brian Hodges
I'm not usually a fan of the gritty "troubled teen" genre, but holy cow Amy Reed sucks you right into the life and mind of 13-year-old Cassie. And while I couldn't personally identify with the character and the situations she gets herself into, I couldn't help but feel a fatherly ache for the pain and numbness she puts herself through. In fact there were two very specific scenes involving Cassie's emotionally absent father that I actually felt myself choke up... which again, doesn't usually happ ...more
Mandy
Wonderfully well-written, thougth provoking, raw and real. It threw me off at first that she was 13/in 7th grade. But then, I realized that while I would have written her older, the fact is, 13 year olds DO face these problems and take these actions, and once I settled into the story, I realized that the author made the right choice.

I loved that both the mom and the dad were never 100% villains, neither were they perfect. The moment where she calls her dad from the pay phone, I think, was one o
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Aneesa
Nov 03, 2009 Aneesa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teachers, librarians, and writers
Recommended to Aneesa by: Amy Reed
I was totally captivated by this book and compelled to read it straight through in one day. It was kind of like watching a beautiful, horrifying movie, the way the whole thing played out without you being able to stop it. However, I was aware that as young adult fiction it wasn't necessarily written for me, and that I have no idea what the genre, or teenagers themselves, are like these days. I'd be interested in hearing/reading reviews from teachers and librarians.

Read an author interview here:
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Storm
Beautiful was a breath-taking book. It was so well written and the story was so clear and straight to the point. I've lived this story one time or another through my life and it was refreshing to go back to those memories. It was brutally honest and I had alot of "gasp" and "Oh my God" moments. The ending was heart breaking and I hated how such a young girl could die, that had her whole life ahead of her. I'm glad however the main Charcter got a chance to start over new and to go back to the goo ...more
Audrey (holes In My brain)
I really didn't like it at first, but it got a little bit better. I'm not seeing much of the genius of the book that others are, and I never really liked Cassie. Sure, you can be realistic and make realistic dumb decisions, but I just hated her stupidity so much which made it hard to even stand her as a character. and she's 13 which made the whole story feel wildly unrealistic in my mind.
2.5/5
712Olivia
I really didnt think I would like this book. It is a great book, you cling onto every sentence and dont want to put it down. i think the lesson of this book is popularity isn't everything. You can be happy if your not popular. Also doing bad things can really hurt yourself not just physically but mentally also it can hurt the people around you.
Renae
I stubled across this book on B&N while I was spending my Christmas cash. After reading the little excpert they had up, I knew right away that I had to read this book. So worth my money.

Initially what drew me into this was the writing. Reed’s style is absolutely phenomenal. It’s the sort I look for in my YA reads. As a genre, YA doesn’t do much for me character development-wise, and I’m not too picky about plots. So it all comes down to the writing. Authors like Markus Zusak and Tahereh Mafi
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Chelsea Nicole
Cassie is a genius in a sea of mediocrity. But it doesn't matter, not her smartness, or her old life or what she truly wants. She becomes involved in the popular crowd at her school and her life instantly falls apart.
She doesn't have a voice and when she dares to use the one she tries so hard to summon, she's instantly shot down by her "best friend" Alex.
Let me tell you something about Alex, and just about every character in this book. They are horrible, the worst kind of people, sociopaths, ma
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Cassie Bernall 4 24 Dec 29, 2014 01:12AM  
who thinks alex is a emotional abuser? 3 19 Sep 26, 2014 03:35PM  
Edgy YA: Beautiful 2 24 Apr 16, 2012 11:29AM  
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Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually gra ...more
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“Maybe this is all love is and all it will ever be-- boys fucking girls and pretending it's love, girls getting fucked and pretending they like it, saying "I love you, too," and wanting to throw up.” 58 likes
“And that's when it hits me, the punch in the stomach, the carving out of my insides. That's when I realize that none of this is a movie. I will not go out with a bang. There is no ending. There are no credits. I will wake up and I will keep waking up and this will always be waiting for me.” 51 likes
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