Sara's Reviews > Dead Beautiful

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
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Apr 19, 12

bookshelves: 4-5-stars
Read in October, 2010

Plot: 5 Stars
This is one of the most unique young adult novels I have read in a while. Most YA novels that revolve around a special school is where the students learn about their powers or how to deal with the creatures they've turned into. But in this novel, the private academy, Gottfried, is where Renee is sent to help keep her safe. It's a very odd school, with classes that seem random, such as Latin being the only foreign language taught and horticulture being one of the few sciences. But as the story progresses, it comes out that the academy has a second, secret reason for operating and there are many things that the teachers don't want the student body to know.

Pace: 4.5 Stars
My favorite part of this whole novel is that it takes most of the school year for the events of the novel to take place. All too often novels that take place at a school like this don't end up spanning the whole school year and end up feeling very rushed. But this novel progressed at a slower, more reasonable pace. Important events took place over the course of a couploe months instead of being crammed into less than a week, and it made things seem more real. It made the relationships Renee formed seem natural instead of rushed. I also like that this novel had a definitive ending, instead of leaving it open to a possible sequel. Sometimes one book is all you need, and this one was great.

Characters: 4.5 Stars
Renee was a very likeable character. She tried to follow the rules, but often found herself questioning them, especially since Gottfried was so different from the public school she was used to. Dante was a very interesting male character, although at times he seemed to talk in circles. I liked the slower progression of Renee and Dante getting to know each other; it didn't feel as much like love-at-first-sight as many of these paranormal YA novels do. Renee's roommate was a great character for her to have as a friend since they were different, but not complete opposites. I just wish we could've learned a bit more about the monitors by actually observing them, instead of just being told.

Cover: 4.5 Stars
I loved the lush, green forest in the background. It paints a very accurate picture of the setting of the novel. Although there isn't a specific archway mentioned in the novel, it's also an accurate representation of Gottfried Academy and it's history. Although the cover model isn't how I pictured Renee, she could be Renee since the author only gives us a vague description of the main character. I love when a main character isn't decribed down to a T, especially when a story is told from first person point of view, otherwise it can feel like the main character can't stop talking about themselves. My only problem with the cover is that the outfit the cover model is wearing isn't something Renee would wear, but other than that it's a great cover.

Overall: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.
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