North of Beautiful by Justina Chen – Book review

NorthofBeautiful  4.5 Stars

I picked it up and couldn’t put it down ~ an all night/day reading fest.

This is a book about change; internal and external. About recognizing wrongs in oneself and in situations and about awareness and letting go of false fronts.

It is told through the main character’s voice. The secondary characters are great, especially the mother ~ overweight, damaged through years of abusive bullying by her husband, no self esteem. The father is a bully, but a quiet, stay at home one, the kind that if you knocked on his front door and talked to him, you might not take notice of. He makes constant snide put-downs and hurtful remarks, but he has never hit anyone, so he can’t be all that bad, right?. Subtle, perverse meanness in daily attacks of withering down a person’s confidence, choices, etc., all in the name of “humor”, “lessons”, “telling it like it is”. Nothing wrong with him, except his two older sons left for college and never come home and they keep moving further and further away.

This book tells a story of things on the surface, things underneath, those we see and do not see, what’s acceptable, what needs to be hidden, what is for show, what is for real, choices that rock the boat and letting go and moving away from control. It is told through cartography, maps and art and through a through a relationship that’s not meant to happen but changes everything.

Categories: Book Review, Fiction, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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