Book Review: Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

September 24, 2014 Blog, Book Reviews 0

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Dead Beautiful by Yvonne WoonDead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
Published by Hyperion Book CH on 2010-09-21
Genres: Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 464

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.Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

My Thoughts

So… I like this I think.

Here’s the thing. There are way too many Twilight parallels. First the whole – handsome aloof guy is interested in the awkward plain girl. Then we have them as science partners. Is science the only place where teenagers partner in class nowadays? And there are more.

I guess what I’m getting at is that we can be excited about stories that are similar, and I’m not saying this one wasn’t good, but how hard is it to put them into a different class so it dies not seen like a blatant Twilight rip off?

Renee isn’t quite as awkward as Bella though. She’s more outgoing but that’s not to say I liked Renee. She speaks her mind, which I like a lot. She’s also pretty snarky, which can also be interesting. Sadly she fails every time she starts whining. I really hate heroines that whine.

Also, I get that people are dying and you’re concerned but I never felt like the storyline really led for her to search out this big mystery. She started watching people and I was sitting there wondering why. Curiosity is great but trying to listen to people’s conversations just because you think they are a bit weird is not nice. I just didn’t get it.

The plot was actually an easy read. I never actually felt like putting the story down. But the Twilight parallels did take away from me being able to just sit back and completely enjoy the book. And sadly I was able to figure most of it out.

There were some good time though. Headmistress Van Laark seemed really cool and reminded me of a Dumbledoreesque person. Her intro speech was way like Harry Potter and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in Hogwarts. And I know for most of this review I spoke of the parallels with Twilight but there were a few with Harry Potter as well just not so much in your face. Horticulture was the most glaring but it seemed to go along with how Renee could “feel things” so I just went with it.

I was frustrated that Renee completely forgot about her boyfriend back home as soon as Dante enters the picture. Very annoying love at first sight WHEN you have a boyfriend already is not a good thing.

In short: It wasn’t a bad paranormal romance. I neither liked nor disliked it.

Rating Report
3 / 5
Character Development
3 / 5
Writing Style
2.5 / 5
Personal enjoyment
2 / 5
3 / 5
Overall: 2.7 / 5
The Author

About Yvonne Woon

Yvonne Woon grew up in Massachusetts. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in fiction from Columbia University. She lives in Manhattan.

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