By: Yvonne Woon
Published September 21st 2010 by Disney-Hyperion
Owned E-book From Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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.
This book has done something to me no other book has done in a long time. My head is still spinning. I requested this book from Netgalley back in December. I REALLY liked the cover. It was beautiful yet mysterious at the same time. But for some reason I couldn't get myself to open the book. Well recently I went into my local bookstore and saw the Trilogy in hardback, I had never seen them in physical form. They were beautiful and used (which put them at like $6 each in hardback). I didn't grab them at first. I went home and started dead beautiful on my Tablet. I was hooked. I immediately facebook messaged the bookstore owner and asked her to hold the three books for me!
So back to the book. Rene is a young girl who on her 16th birthday discovers her parents bodies in the woods. When she finds her parents they have gauze in their mouth and coins surrounding their bodies. Rene is positive that they were murdered, but the experts ruled their deaths as heart attacks.
Rene's grandfather becomes her guardian, uproots her from her life, and Sends her to Gottfried Academy in Maine. Guys this Academy is nothing like it seems. And I'm not saying anymore. The mystery around Gottfried takes you all the way to the end. So no spoilers from me!
The mystery of this book is probably what had me so intrigued. I couldn't put Dead Beautiful down, it kept me wanting more. This book was so unpredictable to me. I had so many guesses as to what was happening and who everyone was, but I was never right. I had an idea who the good guys and bad guys were, but the moment I felt I was sure, Woon sent me through a loop and totally surprised me. That happened so many times through out the book, it was a breath of fresh air. I will say this book does have a slower pace which I'm not used to, but it worked. I still thoroughly enjoyed it and I never got bored.
Normally I am not a fan of insta-love or even a romance that grows as quickly as Dante and Rene's, but if you get through the whole book the insta-love makes sense and it works. That is probably the biggest spoiler I will give. Now with that being said, don't get the idea that this book is full of romance, because it isn't. I would say this is more mystery than romance.
I love this book, Im glad I already have book 2 and 3 waiting for me because otherwise I would be going crazy.