Jeanne's Reviews > North of Beautiful

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen
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's review
Jun 28, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: abraham-lincoln-award
Read from June 25 to 27, 2012

For a high school girl, I would give this a 5. This lovely book is going to be at the top of my recommendation list for high school girls. After reading so many books that romanticize dangerous relationships (i.e. Twilight and all that paranormal stuff, the Perfect Chemistry series by Elkeles) it was so gratifying to have a book that focused on what a healthy relationship is. It looks at self-esteem issues and how they can be affected by physical appearance as well as family pressure. This book focuses on relationships that really don't work (family, friends, boyfriends, work) and it explores how to move away from those into relationships that are positive. It does it all within an intelligent structure using the cartography, exploration, and beauty motifs. It also throws in some interesting cultural differences with the travels through China. It is romantic enough to keep the girls who might not read something quite this heavy or thoughtful. This is one of the best books in the young adult contemporary fiction genre that I have ever read.

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