Beautiful Girl pushes beneath the physically attractive exteriors of its characters to the messy but still attractive interiors hidden from the view of the reader. Thank you to Fleur Philips and Spark Press for sharing a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. Another great novel to include at the beach!
Melanie is seventeen and beautiful. Of that there is no question. She models and auditions and spends all of her time preparing for the next round of auditions and casting calls, which makes her mother Joanne happy. She gave up her own career to raise Melanie. It feels to her that she has no choice about the life she’s living. No one truly understands how much she hates this life! She just wants to be a normal teenager, dating, gossiping, and getting ready to go off to college. Melanie crashes her car and develops scars on her face, and is forbidden to leave the house unless going to the doctor. Although she is able to rest at home will a trip to Montana help Melanie to recover? When she discovers Sam a Native American teen will their relationship become more or just a small discretion over the summer?
I don’t typically read Young Adult novels. It always felt that after I had read a couple of pages I could write the rest of it myself. The predictability was not for me. Beautiful Girl was not at all what I expected. It was hard to hear how Melanie felt about herself, an inner dialogue that made it hard for her to see how anyone could love her before the accident. The accident only made it harder to wait for something amazing to happen to her. What moved me most was how she learned that we all wear masks to protect ourselves. The ones we love and the freedom you feel when the mask is destroyed and that inner beauty blooms. Thank you for the reminder, Ms. Philips.