Customer Reviews for

Beautiful

Average Rating 4
( 175 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(106)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

So Beautiful

My mother was a librarian, and sometime in the summer of 1973, she handed me a novel that upset, intrigued, and convinced me so fully, I almost refused to go to middle school. She didn't really give the novel to me. She shoved it into my hands, insisting that I read i...
My mother was a librarian, and sometime in the summer of 1973, she handed me a novel that upset, intrigued, and convinced me so fully, I almost refused to go to middle school. She didn't really give the novel to me. She shoved it into my hands, insisting that I read it. That book was the novel Go Ask Alice, purportedly based on a teenager's diary. The story is, as we all know now, a vivid cautionary tale about drugs and their rabbit hole allure.
But really, the most frightening aspect of that novel was that I understood completely why "Alice" wanted to be other, different, new. Her need made sense. It could be me. It would be me if I didn't watch out.
It took me a few years to get over the reading of that novel, but when I opened to the first page of the novel Beautiful by Amy Reed, I was right back in my young self, reading Go Ask Alice for the first time. From the first pages of Beautiful, I was shouting to myself, "No! Stop. Turn around. You don't need Alex. Don't go with Alex. Stop."
But the main character Cassie has to follow that white rabbit down the hole. This is her journey. This is the hole she has to fall into, taking us with her. And we want to go. Not really. Okay, yes, we do. We have no choice. Her loneliness and despair are ours or could be ours. Reed writes with clarity and a sure knowing of how damn bad that adolescent life can be.
Cassie is the smart, formerly ugly "loser" who wants to change but then changes in a way she never imagined possible. We can only hope that as with the Lewis Carroll Alice, Cassie wakes up, wiser but no worse for wear.
Reed writes with an immediate, first person present tense tsunami of adolescent pain and confusion. Cassie's story is one we understand but wish we didn't have to. But because we do understand, we want to follow Cassie all the way through to the truly climactic end.
How easy it is for us to simply move onto a path that is wrong. At age 13, it is even easier, especially if the family system is broken, the child unmoored. Reading Reed's story might shake up a reader, much as Go Ask Alice did me. But that book and Beautiful are so worth the ride.

posted by JessicaInclan on August 18, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

not good

i could hardly get through this book. it really had no point and the ending was very bleak. dont let kids read this

posted by 6603729 on March 13, 2011

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  • Posted August 18, 2009

    So Beautiful

    My mother was a librarian, and sometime in the summer of 1973, she handed me a novel that upset, intrigued, and convinced me so fully, I almost refused to go to middle school. She didn't really give the novel to me. She shoved it into my hands, insisting that I read it. That book was the novel Go Ask Alice, purportedly based on a teenager's diary. The story is, as we all know now, a vivid cautionary tale about drugs and their rabbit hole allure.
    But really, the most frightening aspect of that novel was that I understood completely why "Alice" wanted to be other, different, new. Her need made sense. It could be me. It would be me if I didn't watch out.
    It took me a few years to get over the reading of that novel, but when I opened to the first page of the novel Beautiful by Amy Reed, I was right back in my young self, reading Go Ask Alice for the first time. From the first pages of Beautiful, I was shouting to myself, "No! Stop. Turn around. You don't need Alex. Don't go with Alex. Stop."
    But the main character Cassie has to follow that white rabbit down the hole. This is her journey. This is the hole she has to fall into, taking us with her. And we want to go. Not really. Okay, yes, we do. We have no choice. Her loneliness and despair are ours or could be ours. Reed writes with clarity and a sure knowing of how damn bad that adolescent life can be.
    Cassie is the smart, formerly ugly "loser" who wants to change but then changes in a way she never imagined possible. We can only hope that as with the Lewis Carroll Alice, Cassie wakes up, wiser but no worse for wear.
    Reed writes with an immediate, first person present tense tsunami of adolescent pain and confusion. Cassie's story is one we understand but wish we didn't have to. But because we do understand, we want to follow Cassie all the way through to the truly climactic end.
    How easy it is for us to simply move onto a path that is wrong. At age 13, it is even easier, especially if the family system is broken, the child unmoored. Reading Reed's story might shake up a reader, much as Go Ask Alice did me. But that book and Beautiful are so worth the ride.

    21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Inspirational

    "Beautiful" is not just a good book to me, it's a treasure..I used to be a lot like the main character,Cassie. I got into the wrong crowd of people and my life began to fall apart. I was hanging out behind my school when my english teacher came up to me and handed me something...it was this book. I said, "What the hell is this? I don't have time to waste on this reading crap." She told me I had to read something, just one book to pass junior year. I threw the book to the side as she walked away..but when she was gone I picked it up and opened it. I never realized how the constant parties and trips to the basement were impacting my life...I always thought it was normal because everyone else was doing it. I liked having my head full of clouds. I liked feeling free and light....because if i couldn't think clearly then I was safe from all my problems..but this book made me realize that I was only hurting myself and the people around me....I didn't know their was a way out...but Amy Reed showed me that I didn't have to always be unconcious for my problems to go away.."Beautiful" saved me and I'm sure it will continue to save many more young girls..This is a must read book...

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    unforgettable

    i just read this book a month ago and have read 3 since then. but my mind has only been on this one. the book is like a painting it paints every detail of Cassie's captivating life and i really felt what she felt. this book is one word; UNFORGETTABLE!

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    <3

    It was a little graphic.. but it was a very good book and I finished it in one day because of how amazing it was! :)

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is crazy!

    When I first started reading this book I thought it was going to only be about drugs, but I quickly realized I was wrong. It pretty much goes over almost every possible teen problem. Rape, eating disorders, etc. This book was extremly well written. The only things that bugged me were that I couldn't figure out when this book took place (Some things just didn't seem like it's from around this day, like some of the clothes Alex wears and Cassie complains about how her boyfriend calls his sweatshirts sweaters, but kids today call sweatshirts with zippers hoodies.. little things like that) and I don't understand after all that how she was able to write that to the red-haired girl in the end. I guess I'm just a person that dwells on things. Anyway, This book was amazing and I haven't had this many emotions about a book since I read Go Ask Alice.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    Shocking twist!!!!!!!

    This book was so sad. And to know that some kids are goong through this...... great book though

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    not good

    i could hardly get through this book. it really had no point and the ending was very bleak. dont let kids read this

    6 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended - Beautiful

    This book is pure genius. It is simply stark. Beautiful.
    Once you start, you cannot stop. At certain parts

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    Disturbing

    I am 13 years old and did not like this book. The main character, Cassie, surrounds herself with drugs and alchohol after making a new friend and trying to change her good-girl image.I can see how this book was trying to portray the idea of peer pressure and the importance of a certain "image", but I feel as a a young woman reading about a girl my age doing these disgusting things, that the in-detail description of a young girl constantly having sex and getting high is just inappropriate.Some of the things that went on in this book, such as sexual experimentation, drug and alchohol use, and eating disorders do occur in our middle schools today, but should not be read about by young kids. This novel is very raw and real, but can also be disturbing for some people. If I was a parent, I think I would not allow my kids to read this book. I'm not saying that all kids would be influenced by this, but I would say that if you are a parent considering giving this book to your child, think about your child's maturity level and how easily they get influenced or disturbed. I had to stop reading this book 3/4 of the way through because it made me feel sick. Please consider what I have had to say about this book.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Great

    Very grabing loved it

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Awesome

    As a 13 year old i can see how certain things can change a person. I dont understand why you would write something bad about this book if you dont like sex drugs or any other disturbing subjets DONT BUY THE BOOK there is description write in front of you so you know what the books are about that is really stupid to complain about what is in the book if you dont like thos subjetcts go find anther book

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    :|

    I didnt like the fact that she was so yound and experienced that all in the 7th grade, and how random sarah died!

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    .

    .

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

    This could be a very good book but for adults not children. But i believe it was a good story overall.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    You should be like 15

    :) its really good!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    amazing...but!

    THis book was intense and left me speechless, i ended up yelling at her to go the other way. the only thing i didnt like was her age i mean i think she should have been a year or two older, But anyway you have to read this book, it pulls you right in. the whole time i was reading this book i felt like i was right there next to her. this book taught me to be myself and dont be anyone your not.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

    BEAUTIFUL is a gripping, gritty, and realistic look into the life of a lonely girl finally shown some attention...albeit the wrong sort of attention.

    Cassie and her family have moved from Bainbridge Island to the Seattle suburbs. It's the start of seventh grade, and Cassie has grown into her beauty. The kids at her new school don't know who she was prior to the move.

    She starts to form tentative bonds with girls she would never have been welcomed to befriend at her school, when tough girl Alex grabs her from the cafeteria and instantly insists they be friends. She takes Cassie to where some of the older boys are hanging out during lunch, and Cassie is struck when the obvious leader of the boys calls her beautiful. It's from this point on that life spirals downward for Cassie.

    Though things with James quickly go sour, she is absolutely caught up in the limelight that surrounds the new boy, Ethan. And Ethan wants HER! He can even drive. Cassie does anything and everything Ethan asks of her. But it's the destructive relationship she has with Alex that does the most damage.

    Cassie literally does everything and anything in the pages of BEAUTIFUL. She goes from being the unnoticed nothing girl to the girl who has done acid, had sex, and dresses trampy, according to her father. Cassie's voice is almost defeatist in the way she acquiesces to everything suggested to her. It's not until she befriends Alex's half-sister that Cassie really starts to show any personality of her own. She finally learns to stand on her own two feet, ready to fight for what is right.

    There are only two concerns I have regarding BEAUTIFUL. The first is that I still am not sure who the intended audience of the book is aimed at. Though Cassie is only thirteen and in seventh grade, the language, drugs, and sexual situations are for a far older reader. Also, for those that require a definite backstory for Cassie (i.e.: how she came to be beautiful and why they moved from the island to the mainland), they won't find it here.

    Outside of those two concerns, though, BEAUTIFUL is definitely an eye-opening read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Nicki

    This book was a bit disturbing. Lets just start with that. The characters in this book did drugs, drank, and had sex at such a young age. There were times while I was reading when I said, "Why did I buy this exactly? This is seriously messed up!" But then there were times when I said, "Oh. This is why I bought this. Because it's good." At first, I felt like the main character, Cassie, was dull, and had no emotions. But by the end of the book, I felt as if she had them all along, and just didn't show them. Yes, this book should not be read by anyone under 13, unless, like me, they are mature for their age. I am 12, and I read this book without saying, "Oh my God!" At the er different parts, so other people should be able to, too. All in all, this was good book, about finding yourself and making the right choices.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Not A Good Read

    Honestly, i started reading this book expecting so much and it was really a dissapointment. I completely undestand the rawness of covering such realistically explicit topics but other books have done it more justice than this one. I just cant stand characters who are completely emotionless and i felt like, through her, i was in a constant state of drug-induced stupor.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2012

    Amazing.

    People should realize, it's raw. It gets down deep into the lives of people who've been into drugs. Somebody said it wasn't realistic? At my age, I was in her position. Not a virgin, involved with drugs. It goes into all that and some people can't handle it. It is very realistic and raw and gritty. The characters are so outspoken and well written, I actually *hate* Cassie. Cassie is a horrible person, but when I was her age I acted like her. So many of us know somebody like Cassie but don't even know it.

    I definitely recommend this to a teen, it's explicit but it will show you not to get into drugs and sex at such a young age. It will teach you a life lesson.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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