Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon (review copy) - Desire. Danger. Destiny. Little did I know that this is what I would find at Gottfried Academy. Coming from sunny California, the mist-shrouded Academy was a shock, with its strange customs, ancient curriculum and study of Latin - the language of the dead. Then I discovered that the school has more than one dark secret... I also discovered Dante. Intelligent, elusive and devastatingly gorgeous, most people can't decide whether they love, hate or fear him. All I know is that when we're together, I've never felt more alive - or more afraid. From Amazon UK
When I first heard about Dead Beautiful, I was really intrigued. Urban fantasy, as most of you know, is one of my favourite genres, and Dead Beautiful sounded right up my street. I was eager to read read it. What I didn' t expect was just how brilliant the story would be.
What I loved about this book was the skill at how Yvonne Woon told Renée's story, how the mythology is such an original take, we don't find out - and find it very difficult to work out - what is actually going on until Renée does. Literally, things will happen, new clues will arise, people will behave strangely, but there's nothing to make you think "this is about such and such a creature, hence all the XYZ things that are going on". I had no idea. There were no conventions of the normal urban fantasy/paranormal creatures about to have any hint. I was kept guessing until we find out. And what's brilliant is that we don't find out until several hundred pages in, yet there is still so much story, so much happening, you're gripped and continually turning the pages, despite having no clue where it could possibly be going. It's fantastic!
The only faults were I didn't have a lit-crush on Dante - I liked him, but he just simply didn't do it for me - and the romance didn't blow me away. It was a little luke warm for my tastes. It wasbelievable, but I didn't connect with it on an emotional level to be swept away by it. I was more interested in what was oing on than I was in the swooning, but that's just me personally.
And I'm sorry to say, I honestly cannot say much more. I can't think of what I could say without spoiling anything. I do love the school though, and all the classes, they sound so much fun! I wouldn't have minded going to a school like that. A fantastic book, and I seriously cannot wait to read the sequel!
Thanks to Usborne for sending me a review copy.
Published: 1st May 2011
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US
Yvonnne Woon's Website
Dead Beautiful Website