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North of beautiful
2009
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Terra Rose Cooper (Female), Abusive father; has a port wine stain covering the left side of her face; starts to fall in love with Jacob, even though she has a boyfriend
Jacob (Male), Chinese, Orphan, Meets Justina after a car accident; shows Justine a new things in life; travels to China with his mother and Justine
Genre
Young adult fiction
Topics
Self-esteem
Birth defects
Emotions
Love
Orphans
Travel
Boyfriends and girlfriends
Setting
China - Asia
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Laced with metaphors about maps and treasure, Headley's (Girl Overboard) finely crafted novel traces a teen's uncharted quest to find beauty. Two things block Terra's happiness: a port-wine stain on her face and her verbally abusive father, a failed cartographer who views her as ugly and belittles the collages she creates. A car accident brings her together with Jacob, an Asian-born adoptee with unconventional ideas. Besides introducing her to new pursuits like geocaching, a treasure-hunting game using GPS, Jacob ends up traveling with her when they have an opportunity to visit China together with their mothers. The trip, far-reaching on many different levels, gives Terra a chance to rethink the past and re-map her goals. Taking readers to America's Northwest, then to China and back again, the author confidently addresses very large, slippery questions about the meaning of art, travel, love and of course beauty. All of her characters hold secrets; finding them out will be as rewarding as Terra's discoveries of caches. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, But you were the one who wanted this, remember? You're the one who asked-and I repeat-Why not fix your face?<br> <br> It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.<br> <br> She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?<br> <br> Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.
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