Mar 7, 2010

Monkey Review: Beautiful, by Amy Reed

Summary (from Amazon):

When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie's chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who's worth noticing.

Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever moment, one choice, will change everything.

Cassie's new existence both thrills and terrifies her. Swept into a world of illicit parties and social landmines, she sheds her virginity, embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, and floats through it all, knowing that she is now called beautiful. She ignores the dangers of her fast-paced life, but she can't sidestep the secrets and the cruelty.

Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral tinged with violence and abuse, and no one—not even the one person she thought she could trust—can help her now.

My Opinion:

Beautiful is a very powerful novel, and the fact that it's told from a thirteen-year-old makes it all the more profound.

Beautiful starts with the introduction of Cassie, who's recently moved with her family, and sees this as an opportunity to start over. Having had no friends in her old town, Cassie will do anything if it means she'll be accepted.

So when Alex comes along and invites her to join her table, Cassie is more than happy. But soon she'll learn that being Alex's friend, and trying to stay on her best side is not an easy thing to do.

Alex pressures her into taking drugs and having sex, both things that don't really have meaning, according to her.

Cassie comes from a broken family. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father wishes her were someplace else, rather than pretending to love Cassie and her mother. The world Alex introduces her to seems to hold all the answers to her problems. With drugs being an escape from the real world, alcohol filling the emptiness, and sex only meaning that someone wants her -even if it is just a physical thing- Cassie begins to feel that she belongs.

And then comes Sarah, Alex's half-sister. With a backstory so dark, it makes Cassie feel sick.
Sarah and Cassie become fast friends, they both understand each other. But Alex is not so happy about this. Leading Sarah to make a decision that'll change her life forever. One that'll also impact on Cassie.

Did I enjoy the writing style, yes. What I thought was a little bleh was the ending, which was completely expected. I would have liked to see something different happen to Cassie, but this doesn't mean I didn't like the ending either. I goes to show how strong a person can become after having fallen so bad and hard.

Monkey Rating: 3 Monkeys.

Get the book from Amazon/TBD/B&N


1 monkey thought (s):

Allison said...

It sounds like a very interesting read. I haven't heard of this novel before!

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