Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Beautiful by Amy Reed

Title: Beautiful
Author: Amy Reed
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
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 start being the kind of girl who's worth noticing.

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

Cassie's new existence both thrills and terrifies her. Swept into a world of illicit parties and social land mines, 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.

~synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I wanted to like this book, I really did… but I didn’t. The girl is so young (and I mean YOUNG) and she makes really dumb choices for no reason whatsoever. Or maybe the reason got lost in the book or lost on me somehow.

Cassie chooses the wrong people to be around, these people do wrong things, and she allows herself to be okay with it. Why?! It’s like, hey look, let’s do acid, okay, that sounds like fun! I mean, really? REALLY?! She wasn’t entirely a bad person, deep down she is still a girl and wants to be a little girl still. She loves her family and wants to hang out with her mom. She also wanted to help her BFF Alex’s sister Sarah, which was honorable.

I have to be honest, I skimmed in several spots because I wanted to drop kick the book so bad (maybe that could have something to do with why the story made no sense, but I had little patience with it). I was hoping it would redeem itself eventually. It didn’t. Some of her was redeemed by something she wanted to do near the end. But the ending? Horrible. I was so irritated and utterly pissed off. The last chapter doesn’t really resolve anything, it’s just… there. I wish I knew where it all came from.

Maybe if Cassie was older and I had a reason for her choice to go off the deep end (WAY off the deep end), I could empathize. The only thing I liked was the secondary story with Sarah. Her life and background, I thought it was a story that needed to be told. Often children don’t get protected and they live day to day in terror. Cassie caring about her like she did was the only part worth reading. That’s the only reason I gave it two stars on Goodreads.

Beautiful is one of those books that’s supposed to show the bad choices a person can make. It just took a thirteen year old girl and threw her into the ‘drug and sex’ crowd like it was a normal transition to make. There’s a blurb from Ellen Hopkins on the cover of the book praising it, which made me think of her book Crank. Beautiful and Crank have many similarities, dealing with drug use and bad crowds and the path it leads you down, but there was something better about Crank. The MC was older and she had different circumstances. Maybe if Cassie was older or the background that led her where she went made more sense. But, like I said, it didn’t.

My Rating:

It's Okay: It can wait until tomorrow


  1. Sounds like one I wouldn't be able to relate to either. I think books like this always go one way or the other. I'm sure there would be many people who would identify with the way Cassie is (although I don't think those people usually read much) but the themes in this one would be lost on me. Still, you did a great job of reviewing it regardless of how you feel. Now if only I could do the same!

    1. Normally I like these books, but when I can't find the reason to, can't relate to the main character in some way, it's just not going to happen. It's actually the first book that I gave a relatively negative review on! So I'm kind of proud of it, since I'm usually really nice about stuff. :P

  2. Despite the fact that you didn't like this one, Jessica, it's still a good review because you didn't just bash the book - you told us WHY you didn't like it. I HATE misplaced/dangling chapters like that especially at the end. I've read one or two like this one - a character WAY too young in bad, bad situations and then when the book ends, you're just left so non-plussed. Too bad this one didn't sit well with you - hopefully the next book you read will!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

    1. I've been getting better, but it's hard. When you don't like a book, you almost don't want to review it at all. I'm going to be more careful when it comes to these kinds of books. I'm actually quite enjoying my current book so I think I'm feeling better already! :D

  3. I have't even heard of this one and it doesn't sound like I'm missing much. To me, there's nothing more annoying than non redeeming characters.

    I love your reviews, btw, you have a great voice. It's like you're hear in person actually telling me how you felt about a book. :)

    1. Wow, that's one of the sweetest things I've heard. Thank you Jenny! *hugs*


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