Sunday, July 3, 2011
Review: Dead Beautiful
Author: Yvonne Woon
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 stop 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.
I don't know why but I always seem to enjoy YA books that take place at a school/academy for the "gifted" or "supernaturals". When I first read the summary of this book I thought to myself "Oh no another one of THOSE books that involves mysterious deaths of the parents and a creepy suspicious school." But of course, I ended up loving it!
The beginning wasn't necessarily boring but it was very unoriginal. Luckily, it immediately got better as soon as Renee arrived at Gottfried Academy. The students attending did not study normal school subjects, there were unnecessary rules, and kids under the age of 18 have died there of "heart attacks." What really kept me wondering about the academy is that the students seemed to know nothing. They just thought it was a strict school making the mystery of it much more suspenseful.
At Gottfried Renee meets her love interest Dante. While most kids seem like normal school kids at the academy, Dante is the odd-boy-out. He doesn't talk to anyone, he can't go underground, he can't kiss Renee, and he found the boy who died of a "heart attack" in the woods. He was so much I fun to read about because of how suspicious and different he was. I kept hoping every time he was with Renee that he would reveal what made him different! I thought his and Renee's love connection was set at a perfect pace and was very believable.
Upon finding out what made Gottfried and Dante so different from normal students, the idea was new (for the most part) and left me craving for more information. Readers don't find out until the end of the book and I wish I found out sooner to read about them more but it is what made the book suspenseful...and there is a sequel! I can't tell you the secret of Gottfried because it would spoil the book so I highly suggest you go read it!
I really loved this book and I can't wait to read the sequel Life Eternal. Yvonne's writing style was fun and easy to read. I recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense and romance!