Thursday, 6 August 2015


TITLE: Beautiful girl
AUTHOR: Fleur Philips
RELEASE DATE: June 5th 2015
Seventeen-year-old Melanie Kennicut is beautiful. Her entire life revolves around this beauty because her overly controlling mother has been dragging her to casting calls and auditions since she was four years old. According to Joanne Kennicut, Melanie was born to follow in her footsteps.

But Melanie never wanted this life. When a freak car accident leaves her with facial lacerations that will require plastic surgery, she can't help but wonder if this is the answer to her prayers. For the first time in her life, she has a chance to live like a normal teenager--at least for a little while--away from the photo shoots and movie sets that have dominated her entire existence.

But after Melanie allows her best friend to come to the house to see her, Joanne decides to hide her daughter in Montana for the remainder of the summer. There, Melanie won't be seen by anyone they know, and her face will heal in time for the scheduled surgery in late August. Joanne’s plan backfires, however, when Melanie meets Sam, a Native American boy hired by the home's owner to tend to the property. Sam is nothing like the Hollywood boys Melanie knows--he¹s poor, his father's a drunk who possesses a bizarre gift inherited from a Kootenai Shaman, and his only brother disappeared into the mountains after the death of their mother eight years before.

What transpires over a mere 36 hours after Sam and Melanie meet changes both of their lives in ways they never thought possible.

When I read the synopsis for Beautiful Girl I thought it was going to be some coming of age contemporary story about a girl who has to realize that being beautiful isn't the most important thing in the world. Something sweet, with a good message and possibly some insight into the life of a young actress. I can't say much about what the plot really is without SPOILING EVERYTHING, but I will say that it definitely wasn't what I expected and the book didn't end up being one I enjoyed.

Beautiful Girl's main problem lies with it's length. 150 pages wasn't enough to pull off the story Fleur Philips was trying to tell, and it just ended up seeming rushed and under developed. There is basically no build up to anything, the characters aren't given time to develop or change at all, and the romance is ridiculously rushed. Maybe if you just want a really quick, fast paced read that you can get through in a couple of hours you might enjoy this book, but I just really needed things to be more fleshed out. 

One of the things that interested me in the first place was the fact Melanie was a young actress, and I hoped to get some kind of insight into what it would be like to be a teenager in the entertainment in the industry. Honestly, I cared about more than this more than I cared about what was going on in Montana. I wished there had been more scenes showing what Melanie's life was like before the accident, but I still liked that it was incorporated into the book. Another thing I enjoyed was that the book talked about Native American culture, which is something I know literally nothing about and have never read about in YA lit. Again, I wished this aspect had been focused on and developed more, but it was really interesting to read about.

Like I said earlier, the character development in this book is basically non-existent. None of the characters were particularly compelling or unique, and I honestly didn't care about any of them. As for the romance...well, let's just say it was quick. As the synopsis states, the book is set over 36 hours and in that time Sam and Melanie were apparently completely in love and prepared to die for each other. It's just not realistic! 

The end of the book got really dramatic really fast, and that wasn't really a good thing. Maybe if the book had been pitched as a thriller I would have been less thrown off, but I honestly wasn't sure what was going on for the last 20%. The story just got really chaotic and I didn't think it was necessary.

It wasn't all bad, though. Beautiful girl did have a good message, and it definitely kept me entertained for the couple of hours I spent reading it. The premise was interesting, it's just a shame that the execution and the length let it down for me.

Beautiful Girl has a good message and interesting premise, but unfortunately the short length made it seem rushed and underdeveloped. The story was all over the place, the plot twists mostly seemed unnecessary, and the insta love was ridiculous, so overall I don't really recommend this one.

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