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Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.


I absloutly adore this book. Yvonne woon develops the characters so well i feel as if i am in the book with them. I love the suspense and how she makes every page a new surprise. I highly reccomend this book

posted by 5475610 on May 15, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


Like the book. It really is morbid, but it just like any other parnormal romance book. Kind of sick of it.

posted by Anonymous on December 31, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012


    I recommend this to everyone.
    It was so much more different then those sappy teen paranormal romance novels.
    It went into dark gothic literature, Latin and whole bunch more.
    Awesome. Just AWESOME!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    Ummmm....good book, but twilight anyone?

    While I completely enjoyed this book, it really just reminded me of Twilight. Granted, the two books both have remarkable differences from each other, but they also have some pretty similar ideas as well. I think Vivian and Gideon kind of remind me of Victoria and James. Especially the way Gideon kind of plots and schemes while Vivian is more of a background character. I think what really goot me was when Renee asked Dante how old he was and when he responded that he was seventeen, she then asked him how long he had been seventeen. For some strange reason, I didnt think this ruined the book in the slightest. If anything, it made me like the book even more. It was like a good paranormal romance with a dash of Twilight and a whole lot of twists and turns. Overall, this book was very enjoyable and is perfect for teens looking for something new to read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2014

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an h

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

    Renée Winters is a fantastic character. She is a normal teenager, full of angst and insecurity. I liked this character a lot; she deals with a terrible tragedy that has her moving from her friends and everything she knows, to a private school full of secrets and mystery. There she meets Dante, who has his own secrets. Will she be able to discover the mystery surrounding the school, or will fate clash with her destiny?

    I started to read this book and was quickly drawn into it. However, the further I got into the story, the more I was reminded of another YA book I had read previously. The story was somewhat similar, although there were differences too. I will not name the book, because it wouldn't be fair to both these authors. I am not suggesting there was any impropriety by either of these authors. It was just that the story arcs were very similar and, although the characters and plot were slightly different, reading this story gave me a sense of déjà vu.
    This story may seem morbid to a few readers, as it deals with death, but I was intrigued with the use of the dead language Latin (the language of the dead, as the author describes it in her book) and the concept of being undead (a type of sentient zombie). However, this book is also about life. The author has taken the concept of soul mates and given it a tweak with a huge twist! 
    The story is told from Renée's point of view, but there is a chapter at the end with a switch to Dante's point of view, which actually had me in tears. There are several characters in this book, and they are all very lifelike. Renée's grandfather is quite a daunting character, and seems to be a strict disciplinarian (thankfully, not physically). He actually scared me! Dante is mysterious and secretive, but when I found out his secret and how he is tied to Renée, I was very surprised and slightly shocked.
    The suspense and mystery surrounding the school, and Renée's ability of being drawn to dead things (people and animals) kept me hooked and, although this book is 512 pages long, it still felt too short! There are several twists and turns that kept me guessing! The ending made me feel happy and sad at the same time; I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series as soon as I can.

    Yvonne Woon has written a dark, mysterious and suspenseful young adult novel that is compelling and thought provoking. I loved her writing style, which although not as fast paced as some of the other authors I have read, is very descriptive and flowed wonderfully. 

    Due to the dark subject of death, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I recommend this book to teenagers aged 15+ or to those adults who love to read the YA genre. - Lynn Worton

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  • Posted December 23, 2013

    Slow but it's quite engaging. This review first appeared on my

    Slow but it's quite engaging.

    This review first appeared on my blog at Thoughts and Pens.

    Okay, you may want to scoff at me if I tell you that I only picked up Dead Beautiful from NG because it was free and I’ve seen it on almost every bloggers’ STS posts. Hahahaha.  And I don’t even know what it’s all about since the synopsis is really vague.  So you can say that I went into it blindly and without any expectations.  And after reading it, I have to CONGRATULATE myself big time because I’ve just read my first zombie book. Bwahahahaha.

    So what can I say about my experience with Dead Beautiful? Well, I can’t deny that it was really slow. Half of the book was dedicated to giving us an elaborate walkthrough of Renee’s life before going to Maine and after she got enrolled in Gottfried Academy. And there’s also a very detailed narration of her day to day life as a new student of the school. However, I was surprised that the story managed to engage me until the end.  I love Renee’s voice. I love how she told the whole story that never for once I lost my patience reading Dead Beautiful. I even found myself enjoying attending their strange lessons.

    Aside from Renee, the other characters are also adorable and they managed to absorb my attention all throughout the story. The only thing that infuriated me was that Renee sometimes loses herself when she’s obsessing over Dante.  But still, she’s generally a likable person most of the time.

    I must tell you though that the greatest asset of Dead Beautiful was its plot. As I’ve mentioned, I never had an idea that it’s a zombie book and I only got an inkling after reading 60-75% of story.  The mystery was gradually revealed building tension as the story advanced. And when everything has unfolded, I was creeped out and at the same time, sad… sad for Renee and Dante.  The romance was also nicely crafted and never became overbearing. But I have a suspicion that it’s going to be the major plot driver for books 2 and 3.

    Though the mysterious events mostly occurred in Gottfried Academy, I think it’s the perfect setting for the story to unfold. It’s just like Harry Potter where the most exciting things happen inside the school.

    Though I enjoyed Dead Beautiful a lot, I have two regrets about it. One is that, it doesn’t have a lot of gore. Hahaha. I mean, it’s a zombie book, right?  Things should be extremely bloody and gross.  And second, there aren’t a lot of action scenes to make me pant.  Am I right to assume that zombie books should have a lot of adrenaline pumping scenes?

    Overall, despite my unfulfilled assumptions for Dead Beautiful, it was undeniably an engaging read. It was creepy, mysterious and heartbreaking. As my first zombie book,  Dead Beautiful manage to deliver and made me decide to start picking up a lot of zombie stories in the near future. And it’s one series I would certainly follow until the last instalment. I hope books 2 and 3 will be able to maintain the goodness of Dead Beautiful or exceed expectations.

    What about you?  What was your first zombie read?

    ***I received a free e-copy of this book from Disney-Hypersion via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you***

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  • Posted December 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Dark, Intriguing, Well Done!

    After finding her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, sixteen year old Renee is sent to Gottfried Academy by her cold and distant grandfather. Gottfried is an elite private boarding school with a rather unique and unusual curriculum and there is something just “off” about the place, from its students to its faculty. Enter Dante, dark and mysterious, and like a moth to a flame, Renee finds herself drawn to him, in spite of his evasiveness about himself, they seem inexplicably destined to be with each other. Meanwhile Renee is discovering that Gottfried holds dark secrets within its walls, students are disappearing, some dying and the public cause of death feels far too wrong. Will the truth prove too much for Renee? Will her budding romance with Dante be threatened? How is her family connected to Gottfried’s history?

    Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon is truly an amazing young adult paranormal read filled with a dark sense of foreboding, a secluded setting and a uniquely detailed set of supporting characters that each seem to hold their own secrets. Some are dangerous, some seem completely harmless, but are they? Renee is strong, determined and resourceful, a little overly daring, but a wonderful reprieve form the angst-filled teens so often portrayed. Dante is the mysterious bad boy who isn’t really “bad,” and his protective nature around Renee just screams romantic in a dreamy way! Ms. Woon has carefully concealed the mystery throughout, there is no obvious ending early on, no clear and direct path to the story’s resolution, but an incredibly detailed and inviting trail to follow that forces the reader to become completely immersed in her world! If you’ve ever wondered about destiny, love, life or life after “death,” you need to read this thought-provoking and engaging tale! As the foundation for the Dead Beautiful Series, it promises even greater things to come!

    I received this copy from Disney-Hyperion in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Romantic yet tragic

    Dark yet sweet and so sad, the end nearly brought me to tears

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

    I Also Recommend:


    There hasn't been a mystery book in a long time that I stayed up til past midnight reading it. I had to find out who killed who? or who is what? How does this make a major impact in the end? What is Dante?What is Renee? Each step up the staircase had me turning down a different hallway of conclusion. I loved the way it ended & eager to read her next book "Life Immortal" (next book to the series)Also I am very impressed considering this is 1st official published book. Bravo! As for age division i'd say 12/13 & +. No major adult content but, as for comprehenshion probably 6th grade & down might not quite understand or just blow it off. <3 "Because Love is Selfless" <3

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    Amazing must read!!!!

    this book is amazing but it does have something missing in it. It can be confusing at times but other than that it reall is something to read!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Hauntingly lovely

    I went back and forth on this book quite a bit--until the end. Whoa. Not what I was expecting, and this was a good thing. Great, even. I really enjoyed Yvonne Woon's writing itself; many times the way in which a particular scene or phrase was written really surprised me, and in a good way. Some things just gave me pause, but many others were lyrically beautiful. The storyline was actually very different; though on the surface much of it seems to be same-old, same-old; it really isn't. She's brought a truly fresh take to the somewhat stale formula of loney-girl-meets-loner-guy-with-a-mystery story. However, there were a few aspects of the story that just seemed a little off, even somewhat overdone. Quite a few times in the story, Renee Winters veers oddly between knowing nothing and accepting all. I would have expected a bit more of a transition between the two. Her shift between you-lied-to-me-how-dare-you and ah-it-all-makes-sense-to-me-now-good-because-I-still-love-you-after-all was a bit abrupt; however, I think as Ms. Woon becomes a more polished writer the awkwardness will go away. I hope to see more from this author, because I really did enjoy her first effort.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    loved it

    this was a fantastic book. other people have complained about the ending but i disagree! I thought it was fitting. i would highly recommened!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2011

    must read!!!

    It's a truly good book. I took off one star for a slightly unsatifactory ending, but all in all; worth it!

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    Fantastic book!

    THIS IS DEFINITELY A GREAT BOOK! THE ROMANCE BETWEEN DANTE AND RENEE WAS SUSPENCEFUL AND HEART BREAKING AT THE SAME TIME. The plot kept me interested throughout the duration of the novel. Definitely worth it!

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  • Posted December 23, 2010

    Interesting paranormal read

    DEAD BEAUTIFUL, by Yvonne Woon, is quite the unexpected treasure. We get to know very little about Renee Winters before she discovers the dead bodies of her parents in the woods. Under the guardianship of her estranged grandfather, she is brought to Maine to attend Gottfried Academy. There Renee is faced with attending a different kind of curriculum, a gossipy roommate, and a mysterious boy who she is unexplainably attracted to.

    The curriculum at Gottfried was intriguing to say the least. Latin, a supposedly, dead language was brought back to life and some of the students even spoke it regularly. Horticulture class was interesting as well. A lot of the students were desperate to get into that class and Renee wondered why. She was extremely good at it, which put her on a higher pedestal even though it was not what everyone had made it out to be. I liked how Woon made Gottfried Academy a character in itself. She structured the school for a purpose that I was desperate to understand and when the secrets were unraveled I was extremely impressed with the thought and creativity that went into it.

    I appreciated the relationship between Renee and Eleanor, her roommate. Several times Woon referenced the differing friendship between Annie, Renee's best friend in California, and Eleanor. It was refreshing to not have a competitive relationship between these friends, as most YA books seem to thrive on. These two were able to tell each other everything without fear of sounding crazy and that really impressed me.

    Then there was the mysterious Dante. The way the rest of the female student body spoke of him made me wary of his almost instant connection with Renee. I knew there was something supernatural going on and I was anxious for it to be revealed. Their romantic relationship was very sweet and they definitely walked a thin line together against Gottfried's strict rules. Although Dante was charming, protective, and intelligent, the idea that he was hiding something always nagged at me.

    It was a pleasant surprise to read a paranormal book that was a stand-alone. It seems that all I have been reading now are books in series that leave me wanting more. At the end of the book I felt complete even though it stayed in my mind long after.

    My only problem with the actual book was the length. There were times that I felt the story lost its pacing in the middle but as soon as it picked up again I was hooked.

    Overall this was a great book. It incorporated many philosophical ideas about the dead that I found very interesting and a love story that reaches deep down into the heart.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A boarding school with secrets!

    After Renee's parents die mysteriously in the woods of California, her grandfather sends her off to a private, elite boarding school in Maine. And though Gottfried Academy isn't anything what Renee expected, she quickly makes friends and things don't look so bad. Especially handsome hunk Dante, who pays her extra attention from the moment they lay eyes on each other. However, it is not long before Renee begins to notice that all is not as it seems at the prestigious school. The elite students are hiding a secret, and the closer Renee gets to finding it out, the scarier things from her past become.

    Surprisingly, I liked this book. Ended up reading it all in one day. The settings and descriptions were vivid without being overwhelming. I completely got lost in the characters, both major and minor. Dante is a dreamy guy for sure, but I found myself much more drawn to Renee's nerdy friend Nathaniel. Gottfried was a very interesting school, I would love to have gone there myself and taken Horticulture class! For a debut novel, Yvonne Woon has done a spectacular job. I am not sure if I would read more in this series, but I would absolutely read more from this author. On a final note though, I do not like this cover at all. It didn't do much to capture my attention in the first place, but after reading the novel, does nothing to fill in the story and characters. Perhaps we will see some better art on the paperback!

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    Posted September 17, 2011

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    Posted November 5, 2010

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    Posted April 23, 2012

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    Posted February 6, 2011

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    Posted June 11, 2011

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