Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:

On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t help herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

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.
Review:

When I first received Dead Beautiful in the mail, I wasn't too sure about it. I hadn't heard the best things about it. Plus, I'm always a bit hesitant to start a book that is more than 400 pages in length. Thankfully, Dead Beautiful turned out to be fantastic, fast paced novel that contained a mix of romance, friendship, and paranormal mystery; a mix that I absolutely adored from the start!

Dead Beautiful tells the story of Renée Winters. Renée was always the average girl until she found her parents dead in the woods. Now, she's at Gottfried Academy, a secluded, artsy academy, deep in Maine. Gottfried Academy is like no other school she's been at before. It's mysterious, has odd rules, and some of the people at it are just plain bizarre. Though, when she meets the beautiful and charming Dante Berlin everything begins to change for the better. But is Dante as he appears, or does he have some deep dark secrets buried under the surface? Better yet, what's the true story behind Renée parent's death? Only time will tell in this deeply imaginative tale of death, love, and sacrifice.

Renée was a fantastic main character. She was someone I never once stopped rooting for from the beginning all the way to the end. I loved the way that she didn't take on the classic "Bella" type role in this paranormal read. Instead she stood fully on her own for the most part, making her own decisions and actions based on what she thought was best. Adding to this, I loved her relationship with the mysterious Dante because not only was it a great addition to the story, but it was also something that caused many twists and turns to occur. And because of that all, I'll let the fact that there was basically no build-up to Renée and Dante's relationship slide for the time being. I also enjoyed the rest of the characters presented as well.

Adding to this, I LOVED the premise of this and the execution of that said idea even more. Becasue I don't want to give anything away, I won't say much about it besides the fact that I promise you it will keep on your toes repeatedly.

Furthermore, Yvonne Woon's writing was great for a debut author! I loved the level of description she added to the text to make the reader feel they were right there at  Gottfried Academy with Dante and Renée, as well as the time and development she put into each and every plot and character line. I simply can't wait to see what she has in story for us next because it's sure to be A+ material!

The only problem I had with this book was the ending because it was sudden and a bit confusing, but I've exchanged a few emails with Yvonne Woon since finishing Dead Beautiful, and she says there will be a sequel releasing sometime in 2011, so hopefully all my questions will be answered then!

In all, is the perfect paranormal weekend-read!

Grade: A+

Dead Beautiful is now out!

Source: Publicist at Hyperion. Thanks, Atoosa!

19 comments:

  1. I love this cover! Great review - I will definitely be adding this to my list! :) Thanks!

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  2. I'm intrigued. I wonder what the paranormal element is? Angels? I'm not fond of the name Dante, but it does set an atmosphere.

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  3. Indeed it's a bit too thick, but with a plot that's suspenseful till the end it makes up for that. Glad the main character isn't like Bella..boring.. ;) Great review.

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  4. I really like teen based mysteries! It seems like this has the potential of being suspenseful

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  5. OoO I am liking the sounds of this! I'm like you - if a book is super long, I'm kind of hesitant to dive into it, but glad this turned out to be good one.

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  6. I really like the sound of this one. I've been reading some mixed reviews on it though. It seems like a book I might enjoy, so I'll definitely have to keep this one mind. Thanks for the review. :D

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  7. Great review Lauren! I'll be reading this one soon, O hope I like it as much as you did. :P

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  8. I loved this book...I could not put it down.

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  9. And the ending...OMG...there has to be a sequel...I don't get the mixed reviews on this one...it was amazing.

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  10. This sounds awesome! Great review, Lauren - I'm totally lusting for the whole premise :)

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  11. Sounds brilliant. And I love the name Dante for some reason XD.

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  12. Ooh, I will definitely check out my copy soon!

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  13. Now I am REALLY looking forward to reading this. I won it from the lovely Amber at JYTBB - I need to read it soon me thinks. It sounds awesome!

    Thanks for such an enthusiastic review. It's great when we can really tell how much you enjoyed something!

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  14. Sounds great! I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. My mom snatched this book right out of my hands after raiding my shelf...she loved it so i know i will! great review!

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  16. This sounds like a fantastic book, I must get it! Thanks for the review!

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  17. I loved the book as well. It had a very twilightesque feel which I really enjoyed. Besides that Woon came up with a really unique idea about Descartes and Death and children. I can't wait for the sequel.

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  18. Well,i dont get the ending after he kissed her again did he turn back to Undead or he died? Plz help!

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  19. I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book, the ending made me awful sad though. I want the sequel already.

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