Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dead Beautiful: review

Title: Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful #1)
Author: Yvonne Wood
Genres: YA paranormal, zombies, supernatural, mystery
Summary: 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. 

It is so easy nowadays, for books like Dead Beautiful to fall into these unenjoyable formulaic patterns via plots as well as characters. This is not one of those books. I think the author did a very good job of delivering her own twists and styles in all the aspects of Dead Beautiful. Small similarities (to other supernatural YA books) now and then were completely bearable, and worth it. 

In my opinion, when reading it, it seemed a mash up of three books. Evernight, Die for Me, and Harry Potter. Strange combination, right? But that's what it felt like. And I'm not going to try to explain why those three books (series) come to mind, because if you read it, you'll probably understand! ...Alright. I'll say a tiny bit on why it reminds me of them...Evernight- Setting: centuries old boarding school. And this big underlying suspense that makes it seem like you're missing something big, then the OHH moment. Die for Me- Dead people! haha, and similar lead male characters. Harry Potter- with the whole souls thing...but i can't say too much about that one... 

It doesn't start out slow, but it has a sort of weak, questionable beginning. But after the first 40 pages or so, I really started liking it, and couldn't stop reading. 

In the cover flap summary, it doesn't really explain much about the actual supernaturalness in the book. It's extremely vague. Which helps when reading it, because then you really don't know what to expect. A good thing in this case. :) 

There aren't any vampires, or werewolves, thank the gods. I've had enough of those lately. 

All the characters are likable, and the relationships between the supporting characters are realistic. 

In books, I love, love when they mention the actual title, word for word IN the book, haha. Maybe it's a bit silly, but true! And that did happen. ;) 

Dante is sooo swoonable...mysterious and like, AWESOME. I'd stalk him in a heartbeat, because he is drop-dead amazing (puns intended). Is that a creepy thing to say? Oh well. 

I stumbled across this when I accidentally grabbed the ARC of it's sequel. So I got this one from the library and was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. And since the ending of Dead Beautiful was sort of confusing and cliffy, I am VERY glad I have access to what happens next! I would say I will start Life Eternal, the next one, right away but since I hear it also has a fast ending, I will wait a while to savour the series more. :) 

It can be creepy at some times because of so much death, but an excellent book!

My overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Other books like Dead Beautiful you might enjoy... Shadow Hills, or The Body Finder.

Peace out!

Fun fact! (I'm going to do these until they become bothersome. If you find any cool obscure facts about books, sci fi, or anything really, just message me and I might post it in the future.) Since this book mentions a lot of dead animals and people: The smallest bone in the human body is the stapes or stirrup bone located in the middle ear. It is approximately .11 inches (.28 cm) long. We may owe all our hearing to this little bone shaped like a stirrup, because it transmits sound vibrations through our hearing system.

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