Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dead Beautiful

Author: Yvonne Woon
Publication Date: September 21, 2010
Genre: YA Paranormal
Copy provided by: Book it Forward Tours
Summary (via Goodreads):

A haunting love story about desire, danger, and destiny.
After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California’s Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, “crude sciences,” and Latin: the Language of the Dead. It’s here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they get to know each other better, Dante can’t seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee’s life.

Dante’s not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own… Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why.

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

Why I read this: A combination of the summary and beautiful cover and it's a debut novel. What can I say - it was bound to happen.

Plot: This novel is amazing. There is a great mix of mystery, paranormal elements and romance that just blew mew away. The twists and turns throughout the book surprised me and kept me reading this book until 2 am the day I picked it up. My only complain is that I wanted more. I want to know the story after the book and I hope hope hope there is a follow up novel.

Characters: Renee is very different from the usual tragic female characters I've been seeing in YA lately. Not often do you have a character that finds her parents dead and manages to cope with it in a way that is realistic but that shows how strong she truly is. I found her grief genuine, her motivation to figure out what happened to them inspiring, and her realistic reactions refreshing. It's nice to meet a realistic character who is also very easy to like.

Dante - I'm pegging him as the usual hot male character with a secret. But, he may be literally cold to the a touch, but he really doesn't play the usual hot/cold game with Renee. It's nice to see a brooding male character that doesn't disappoint.

And then there is a whole slew of interesting characters that bop in and out of the plot and really add to the story - but I'll let you discover them for yourselves when this book comes out in September.

Relatability: I liked Renee in the way that she reminds me of myself and a few other people I know. She's very real. I felt more into the story because of her perspective and I think that it made the tale more easy to see as possible, even with the paranormal elements.

Cover Commentary: Definitely a cover I want on my shelf. This is going on my wishlist. :)

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.


  1. Pretty high praise, if the mystery is as prominent as the romance it sounds like one I will enjoy too.

  2. I love the cover and you sing I praise. I have found I either love the boarding school i hate it. I will be looking out for this one great review.


  3. This book sounds amazing. I'm on a huge mystery kick at the moment and this is one I'll be on the lookout for! Great review.

  4. Mystery, twist and turns, plus paranormal...sounds like my kind of book.

  5. I'd pick that book up just for the cover! But the review makes it sound ever better. :)

  6. Dead Beautiful looks great! I love the color and the idea of a male lead who isn't hot and cold, count me as someone who just added this to my TBR!

  7. This is a new author for me but I'll have to check out Dead Beautiful

  8. I've been wondering about this one. Very pleased to hear you rate it so highly. I'm glad she feels real.

  9. Sounds like a great book. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the review!

  10. Thank you for the review! I've seen this cover around a lot, and the summary and your review both sound great. I'm definitely looking out for it.

  11. I actually don't find the cover that great :/

  12. I haven't heard of the book. Thanks for the heads up.

  13. Surely going to add this into my TBR list. Have never heard of this title before so your high praise of this book is highly appreciated.

  14. it is a great cover and i love reading debut authors

  15. Great review. I really want to read this one, going to add to my wishlist now!


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