North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was touched by this thought-provoking story of Terra, a girl born with a port-wine stain that stretches over most of her cheek. She has spent her life under the thumb of a harsh, critical father who takes every chance to belittle her and the other members of her family. As a senior in high school, she wants nothing more than to escape her little town and her horrible father, a cartographer who has fallen from grace.
Terra has been through every treatment imaginable to remove her port-wine stain, unsuccessful in every attempt, she now resorts to several layers of makeup to mask the stain. She has been ashamed of her face and definitely doesn't feel close to beautiful. Then she meets Jacob, a boy who forces her to look at the world through different eyes and realize that beauty isn't in flawless perfection, but in everything around her, especially the flaws.
I really enjoyed this book. I love this quote:
"real everlasting beauty . . . lives not on our faces, but in our attitude and our actions. It lives in what we do for ourselves and others."
Also this one:
"Let the glossy spreads have their heart-stopping, head-turning kind of beauty. Give me the heart-filling beauty instead . . . Flawed, we're truly interesting, truly memorable, and yes, truly beautiful."
In a world where we are measured by our looks, our bodies, and our material possessions, I found this book fascinating and inspiring. That we can be beautiful by who we are and what we do and the feelings that we leave with people is a fantastic idea and gives me hope that I can become a better person by who I am rather than what I look like.
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