Fleur Phillips’ Beautiful Girl took a wrong turn halfway through and never made it back on track.

Fleur Phillips’ Beautiful Girl took a wrong turn halfway through and never made it back on track.

It isn’t often that I just really dislike a book, but this one worked all of my nerves.  I picked it up because it sounded like it could be a thoughtful and touching book, but this was a hundred and fifty pages of soap opera.  My advice is not to waste your time.  If you like the premise, try North of Beautiful by Justina Chen instead. 
Melanie’s beauty is a commodity that her mother trades in the world of acting and modeling.  When Melanie’s face is badly scarred in a car accident, she thinks it might be her chance to be normal, but her mom is determined to get her back on the market and insists she hide out until she can have the plastic surgery that will restore her beauty.  But hiding out gives Melanie the opportunity to meet Sam, the Native American lawn worker who will set her on a path that will change everything. While the idea behind this story was appealing, the problem was the execution.  The book was paced too quickly to realistically develop a meaningful relationship between Melanie and Sam, or any relationship, really.  There were some seriously crazy elements surrounding the climax of the story.  Seriously crazy.  Melanie was a nice enough character and I was sympathetic to many of her decisions, but she was stupidly impulsive.  Sam was a little too one dimensional, which isn’t really a problem, but giving him such an interesting heritage and then doing little with it was a lost opportunity.  Overall, I though the prose read professionally and flowed well, but t he story just didn’t work.  I think I would have really enjoyed the book if the timeline had been decompressed enough that the events happened in a more natural and believable way.

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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