It wouldn’t be summer without a reading challenge, and I’m so excited to once again be doing the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge! This summer’s theme is travel, so the challenge has books set allover the world. Now, it’s time to crack open a book, and see where the words take you…
First Line Teaser: Clarissa sees Decker Bail before I do.
At only seventeen, Melanie Kennicut is already a successful actress and model, but her life is turned upside down when a car accident scars her face. Melanie’s overly controlling mother doesn’t want anyone to see Melanie until she has plastic surgery, so the two of them leave LA for Montana. Melanie hopes the summer away from LA will mean her mom will let her be just a normal teenager, but when her mom freaks out about her talking to the cute, young gardener, Melanie decides to break the rules and drive off with Sam. Unknowingly, Melanie sets off a chain of events that have tragic consequences.
This is a sad book, and the story was quite different from what I originally expected. I thought the story would focus on the idea that beauty is only skin deep. Instead, Fleur Philips’ Beautiful Girl is your typical YA coming of age story with an unexpected twist.
Melanie’s relationship with her mother is heartbreaking, and while I’m not fond of love at first sight stories, Melanie’s desperation to be with someone who likes her even with her scars makes sense. Sam is dealing with his own family issues, and the two quickly form a bond with each other. While I found the touch of Native American mysticism trite, Sam’s family was one of my favorite parts.
My struggle with Beautiful Girl came about halfway through the book when the story seemed to change out of nowhere. Suddenly, I was no longer reading a coming of age novel but a thriller. The shift just didn’t make sense to me, and I didn’t like the way Melanie’s mom was quickly portrayed in a new light. I would have much preferred the unhappy teenager and micromanaging stage mom work out their differences like normal people instead of being brought together through such a dramatic event. In general, I don’t like sad books, so it’s not surprising that this is not my favorite read of the summer. However, if you don’t mind sad books, you might enjoy Beautiful Girl.
You can find out more about Fleur Philips by visiting her website and following her on Twitter and Facebook.
This book was sent to me for review and is part of BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out other books from the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge – The Balance Project, Eight Hundred Grapes, and Maybe in Another Life!
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