What is true beauty? That is something that Terra Rose Cooper would like to know. Born with a port-wine stain on her cheek, Terra has always considered herself to be ugly. The comments from her verbally abusive father don’t help matters. She’s undergone many surgeries to “fix her face,” but none have worked. She just wants a way out of the stifling path she seems to be on.
In the blink of an eye, Terra (almost literally) runs into someone who will change the course of her life. Jacob is a Goth kid with his own issues, but he helps Terra to see that she is responsible for traveling her own path in the world, and, if she’ll only look, true beauty is all around her. Through this eye-opening relationship, Terra begins to see the value in being unique and learning to really express herself, and her relationships with those around her begin to evolve in some surprising ways.
Initially, North of Beautiful was hard for me to get into. As soon as Terra met Jacob, however, the story really picked up. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between these two characters. I also liked seeing how the relationship between Terra and her mother changed throughout this book. I think North of Beautiful is a great book for those who are tired of magazines and other media trying to tell us what beauty should be. This book may help some readers to see that true beauty can be in everything and everyone around us. We just have to take the time to really look.