Friday, December 17, 2010

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Book: Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
Release: September 21st, 2010
ISBN: 1423119568 
Pages: 480
Source: Publicist
My Summary: 
Renee Winters is shipped off to Gottfried Academy after discovering her parents dead in the forest, both seemingly dead from natural causes. Except, of course, for the gauze in their mouths and coins surrounding them.

But things at Gottfried Academy aren't all bad. She's got a few good friends, some very unique classes, and then there's Dante Berlin. Mysterious, a loner, and completing intriguing to Renee.

Yet things at Gottfried Academy are not what they appear to be. People have gone missing, and their deaths resemble the way Renee found her parents. Even rumors that the Monitor students and the Headmistress killed a student start resurfacing. Everyone seems to be keeping something a secret, and Renee's continuous search for answers may put her in more danger than she wants.... 
Review: A mystery that keeps you curious until the very end, Dead Beautiful is a fresh and unique story.

Renee, right from the first chapter, is easy to sympathize with. She's strong, intelligent, yet coping with her parents death as best as she can. She wants answers, and "natural causes" isn't working for her. Dante is a bit mysterious, perhaps also a bit too reminiscent of other "mysterious" male characters like insert-your-favorite-mysteriously-paranormal-male-character-here, and yet his secret is nothing I've read before. The other supporting characters were intriguing, yet only a few really stood out.

Woon's debut is filled with rich description, making it easy to visualize everything. The story has it's moments where slows down considerably, and some readers may be turned off by that. But, if you're willing to push through the slower moments, the surprising and fascinating conclusion is worth reading.

Highlights: The last few chapters were amazing, because Renee finally starts getting the answers she's searching for. Woon definitely took a fresh twist on the clichéd supernatural boarding school story, because her story is unlike anything I've read before.

Lowlights: The pacing slows quite a few times, so it can be difficult to stay attached to the novel. A couple points in the end had me bit confused. Enough questions are answered by the end, but a few are left open (perhaps there's a sequel?).




  1. Slow pacing usually kills a book for me, but I'm glad to hear you still enjoyed it! Great review, Lea :D

  2. Great review. I like the book especially the whole latin thing.

  3. Sounds amazing, but the slow pace is not that perfect. And I like that it's a story that's quite unique and nothing like all the other boardingschoolstories. ;) Great review.

  4. I hadn't heard of this one--thanks for the review! I want to know what Dante's secret is now :)

  5. I know I'd have a hard time with the slow pacing. Thanks for the heads up. I'll have to think about this one.

  6. This one always catches my eye, but I'm never sure if I'd like it. Great review! I think I might pick it up next time. :)

  7. I just found your blog & love it! Great review, & I'm excited to try this book out!

  8. I'm a sucker when it comes to supernatural boarding school stories so will probably try this one out.

  9. Ditto Juju! and look at the cape!

  10. Nice review Lea, I felt much the same way about this one. I thought it could have been around 100 pages shorter and nothing would have been lost, but I thought her premise was fabulous. I was a bit confused by the ending, but I'm hoping there's going to be another book to clear some of that up!

  11. Great review. The cover is a bit of a put off for me, so I've skipped most peoples reviews. I'm glad I read yours though because I think it might actually be an interesting book (minus the slow parts!)

  12. Thanks for the review! The book sounds great, and I love the cover!
    Happy Readings

  13. Nice review! I enjoyed this book, too. I actually liked the slower pace. Sometimes I don't care for that in books. But I didn't mind it in Dead Beautiful. I was very surprised by Dante's secret. And yes...there's going to be a sequel! YAY!! I have my sources ;) Check out my Halloween Interview with Yvonne Woon, if you get a chance. Happy Holidays :)

  14. I felt about the same as you. Slow, but unique twist. I think she could have cut out over 100 pages and the book would have been a lot better. Thanks for your review!