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Beautiful Decay

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Ellie Miller has always needed her space. Literally. With a touch that rots whatever she encounters, Ellie must keep people at a distance for their own good. Not that her classmates are itching to be best friends with the "freak" of the high school.

So when newcomer Nate MacPherson makes it his mission to get close to her, Ellie has her suspicions. But when he identifies he
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Running Press Kids (first published April 2nd 2013)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  447 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Kim (The Book Sanctuary)
I hated the ending but this was beautiful book and I absolutely loved it.

Review to come.
Kandice Dover
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Big thanks to Running Press for the giveaway! :)

With a touch that rots, Ellie Miller keeps a safe distance from people. Both for their safety and her own comfort. But then Nate MacPherson comes to town and makes it a priority to get close to Ellie. Terrified she might hurt him, she does the only thing she knows to do, turn the other way. But when Nate shows Ellie an ability of his own, she sees someone who could accept her for her. But is she willing to let him get close?

I was excited about this
Ellie has always needed her space. Literally. With a touch that rots whatever she encounters, Ellie must keep people at a distance for their own good. Not that her classmates are itching to be friends with the "freak" of the high school. So when newcomer Nate makes it his mission to get close to Ellie, she has her suspicions. But when he identifies her ability, as well as his own, she finds herself trusting him more and more. Unfortunately for the two, family secrets can kill, and they'll need m ...more
Cindy Uriostegui
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: a friend

Upon reading Beautiful Decay I came to the realization that this book was definitely not an ordinary love story. Beautiful Decay involves the supernatural, family secrets, and personal struggles. It may seem out of the norm but it is actually quite relatable in some aspects from financial issues to the loss of loved ones. This book peeked my interest when they introduced Ellie a girl who was the complete opposite of what people consider normal. Her character draws you in with her point of view
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
Ok, here's the thing. I really want to like this book. And I think that I could have liked this book. But I had some issues. Potentially spoilery things may happen below.

First off, I didn't buy the Nate/Ellie thing. They just didn't interact enough for me to really grab on to this deep connection they had. I understood where it was supposed to come from, since they have this very unique and important thing in common, and they go through a couple things together, but I just... wasn't feelin' it.

May 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who don't like details
Recommended to Ronnie by: No One
Like what gives? Ellie, Kenzie, and Nate just... what? Go off into the distance? Unless this book has a next one to it, I don't recommend it. So much left unanswered. And you will feel disappointed, like there's a cliffhanger but the book tried to not have one.. failed miserably. I'm a teenager, sorry if my "critique" isn't a technical and fancy-worded one. But coming from a kid who loves reading books like this... I just felt there was so much emptiness at the end. I want to know more about the ...more
May 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-own
This book was terrible. There was barely any plot until about 2/3 of the way in. There were also a number of things mentioned that seemed significant but weren't at all addressed. If feels like this book should be the start of a series but as far as I'm aware it's a stand alone which makes all the more irritating. Also there was absolutely no chemistry between Nate and Ellie. They seemed to be together just for the hell of it even though they didn't really have anything in common and to be hones ...more
What an awesome new find!! Fresh, original, and interesting, Beautiful Decay gives a new look at the popular topic of necromancy and asks the question: what if there were people who could, respectivley, control either life or death in organisms? What would that look like? How would they function in the world, and what would be good, as well as the evil, they might be able to contribute to the world?

However: POTTYMOUTH, POTTYMOUTH, POTTYMOUTH!! Holy crap, yo... is the F word REALLY needed THAT ma
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Beautiful Decay overall was a decent book. I wanted to love it so much more than what I ended up feeling. From it's predictability (which actually works to this book's advantage) to a cliffhanger ending, I just needed more from this book to love it. From what I have gained, it seems that there is no sequel to this book. Even an 100 page story that answers some of the questions in this book would give it a better rating. So overall, if you're looking for a story about bullying, romance, and paran ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Quick read. The main character is very similar to Elsa from "Frozen". Really, all this girl needs is to "Let it go".
Candace Wondrak
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what I was getting into with this. I found it at the local Half Price store, quickly read the blurb and thought it was vaguely interesting. Then it sat on my shelf for a few years. Ah...that happens more often than it should!

Anywho, this story is about a girl a peculiar kind of power. Germs, little creepy crawlies--she can make them grow and spread. She can make her school desks become mushroom-infested, black mold-infested...seriously, you name the gross thing, and she does it. S
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.

It's been a while since I've read YA anything. I love the genre, but my TBR list is constantly growing. I've had this book for about year and have just gotten around to reading it. I wish I hadn't waited so long.

I love the subtle chemistry between the main characters. I know a lot of YA romances are right in your face with and I like them too, but the writer did a beautiful job of weaving Elle and Nate together through circumstance and subtle exchanges.

I also loved the endin
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it
So much wasted potential.
Cora Crotteau
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never heard anything like it, which means I liked it, actually I loved it
Tammy Smith
Sep 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
The book opens with Ellie talking to a spider through her window. From the very beginning of the book, I got a sense of her loneliness and longing to be normal, to be able to touch, well, anything.

The story is an intriguing one. Ellie has a "condition", for lack of a better word. Whatever she touches rots away. Fungus and bacteria are drawn to her and by touching them, they grow out of control. She has to wear gloves to avoid touching anything. She can't touch any person without the gloves beca
Chapter by Chapter
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ever since reading the premise for Beautiful Decay by author Sylvia Lewis I was seriously dying to start reading. I admit that what really had me interested was that the main character has a touch that can rot things (which instantly had me thinking of Typhoid from the Elektra movie) and that there would probably be some romance tossed into the mix. The novel sounded like something I would definitely fall in love with and guess what? I did!

Beautiful Decay focuses on the life of main character El
Tabitha (Lovely Books Blog)
Read more reviews like this at!

Beautiful Decay was one of those novels that had an amazing idea behind it but just didn’t quite come together right. Ellie was a great character and her ability as a vivomancer was absolutely fascinating, however her relationship with Nate and the story behind him just didn’t quite bring the novel together the way I had been expecting. Definitely aimed at the younger set I have a feeling I would have really enjoyed this book whe
Emma (Miss Print)
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
When Ellie Miller touches things--people, furniture, paper--they begin to rot. Her bare hands can leave trails of mold of spawn infectious bacteria. She doesn't know why she has this condition or how to control it. All she knows is that she is dangerous and, as far as everyone is concerned, has an "immune disorder." Right.

Compared to her anti-septic house and terrified parents, school could almost be considered a relief. At least it could if Ellie wasn't simultaneously bullied and ostracized. Lu
This was so freaking good! But I don't know how to explain why, dammit! From the summary, I'll be honest, I wasn't sure if it would be my thing, but man, I just couldn't put it down!

Okay wait, first the negatives: IMO, there's really only a couple major issue, but it's enough I had to deduct a star: one minute the MC's are meeting and going through their getting to knows you's, the next they're ILY-ing each other...and I have no idea how that came about. Seriously, it totally blindsided me. Also
Original review over on Adele Is Reading (which has a picture of the copy I was reading at the time!).

When I first saw this book, I thought, ‘Hey, what a pretty spine this book has. Let’s see what it’s about.’ I then flipped the book over so I could read the back of the book and ended up being incredibly intrigued by what I read. And since the only reason why I picked Beautiful Decay off the shelves was because I thought that this books spine was pretty, I knew it wouldn’t hurt if I just borrowe
Joy (joyous reads)
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Ellie Miller cannot touch anyone (or anything for that matter); because as soon as her fingers graze an object, mould blooms. She's learned to live a lonely life and have accepted that being normal is an impossibility - especially when even her parents treat her like she's got the plague (even if she does). Some say she has the touch of death, but one person believes she gives life. When a newcomer refuse to become a part of the majority that treats her like a freak, Ellie's isolated world becom ...more
Jessica Bronder
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ellie Miller has the ability to make things rot. Because of that she has made it her life long goal to stay away from people. Because of it she is the freak of the school and has no friends except Mackenzie, a girl Ellie met on the internet. She has come to accept that she will never be accepted anywhere in town because of her ability.

Then new kid Nate Macpherson takes an interest in Ellie. At first Ellie could care less what happens with Nate and her personal tormentor Amber. But when Nate tell
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mine
I picked this book up for two reasons. First off, I definitely judge a book by its cover, as I know we all do no matter how the saying goes, and this book is pretty. It has a soft texture and flowers on the spine, a big tree on front, and unlike most YA fiction these days there isn't some dramatic teenagers looking at me from the front. But a cover isn't the only reason to pick out a book, the concept to this one sounded great.
A girl with a touch that rots, how poetic is that? And the potential
Cindy Hudson
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Everything Ellie touches turns to mold and begins to rot. Even her own mother is afraid of her. At school she’s a freak and other kids avoid her like the plague until the day Nate shows up. From Nate she learns more about her special abilities as well as the ones he has. She also discovers that she’s not the only one in the world who can do what she does, and that some would seek to control her and use her special power for their own gain. As she discovers more about the good side of her abiliti ...more
Melissa Mannon
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: supernatural
I especially enjoyed the pacing and characters in this book about a lonely girl with supernatural powers. Ellie frightens those around her with her unusual ability. She is bullied by her peers and virtually ignored by her parents. The girl has one friend whom she met on the Internet and never in person. This friendship is a perfect representative and transitional element in the story, demonstrating the distance Ellie feels she must put between herself and everyone around her until something chan ...more
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Okay if this doesn't come out completely coherent it's because it's nearly 2:00 in the morning(which honestly is still only barely past my usual 'bed time' but still means that I'm not bothering to organize my thoughts for this review)because I absolutely couldn't put this book down. First thing:I love the relationships in the book, big and small. I think this author really managed to capture some of the most important emotions and components of friendships, mother-child relationships ect. The c ...more
David C
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
No spoilers in this review. It is very similar to one I wrote on Amazon.

Ellie Miller can rot things with a touch. An inauspicious premise for a non-horror story. Say the author avoids horror. What can she do to sidestep the teen-struggling-against-a-disability-that's-actually-something-awesome trope? I needn't have worried.

Sylvia Lewis's characters are real people and they face original problems that keep the reader turning pages far into the night. Literally. If you have been longing for a stor
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good job Lewis!!

Beautiful Decay was a really compelling read right from the first few pages of the novel. For me, a fantasy-enthusiast, I was immediately drawn into Ellie's world and her so-call 'superpowers'. I don't think I've ever read any book with this kinda content so yeah, I was intrigued.

However I couldn't really give the novel 5 stars as I felt the pace of the book was somewhat uneven, going slowly at the start (ok, quite slow in fact) and with most of the action and drama concentrate
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Finished it in two days! I would have given it five stars, I really would of! If the story went on a bit more longer I would feel a whole lot better! The ending just wasn't satisfying to only because I wanted to know how Elle was gonna live life with Mack and Nate! I bet you if this was a series, people would love it even more!
Elizabeth is a girl that has a gift.. well more like a curse where the things she touches basically doesn't end up okay. Everyone, even her parents are scared of her. Nate
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ellie is a walking biological hazard. One touch can give people the plague. People give her space and she is likes it that way. Until Nate transfers into her school. The new boy is seems instantly wants to get closer to her and Ellie does her best to have him keep his distance. But Nate seems to know things. Things Katie is trying to figure out. Will he help her discover what she is?

A quick read that makes you think twice about the treatment of others. There was bullying and abuse. But treatment
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