North of Beautiful


At 16, Terra is an aspiring artist and excellent student who dreams of escaping her current life.  She feels trapped in her Northwestern town by her domineering father and the port-wine stain on her cheek.  It isn’t until she meets Jacob–a kindred spirit in goth garb–that she begins to find her strength, her resilience, and her own definition of true beauty.

This book is beautiful.

The characters become real as a result of their flaws and their vulnerabilities.   The relationship that develops between Terra and Jacob is enviable (who wouldn’t want Jacob as a friend/boyfriend?) and the complexity of Terra’s family, especially the interactions with her mother, make this novel poignant on an even deeper level.

You MUST read this book.

I loved it so much that I checked out Girl Overboard and was equally amazed by the strength and beauty of Syrah.  These are entirely different books, but both have incredible young women finding their inner strength, as well as wonderful & supportive guy-friends (who become boyfriends), and complicated & affecting mother-daughter relationships.


I can’t wait for Nothing but the Truth, and a Few White Lies to come back to the library, then I will have read all 3 novels by the incomparable Justina Chen Headley.  Now that I think of it, maybe I’ll hold off on the third book, so I have something to look forward to reading on the next dreary, rainy, stay-inside-curled-up-on-the-couch reading day (we usually have quite a few in April).


For more book recommendations check out one of my favorite websites: readergirlz.  Ms. Headley is one of the founding members, so you know it has to be good. =)  Learn more about readergirlz: Operation TBD by clicking on the following icon.

Operation Teen Book Drop

~ Tricia is the Teen Services Librarian at the Chelmsford Public Library and is recommending North of Beautiful to all the lovely women in her life.