BEAUTIFUL by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma


Age Range: 12 & up
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Seventeen-year-old Ellie is a lovely overachiever who sets lofty standards for herself and those around her, perhaps one of the reasons she rejects her jock-boyfriend Ryan’s highly romantic overtures and has drifted apart from her slightly younger, aggressively imperfect sister, Megan. After fighting with Ryan, Ellie is seriously burned in a tragic accident, and the book’s subtitle, “Truth’s found when beauty’s lost,” sums up the message. As Ellie’s recovery progresses haltingly, Ryan and Megan are very supportive, but she rejects their efforts and questions her faith. Home from the hospital, she is forced to make hard decisions about her now-uncertain future. The third-person narration alternates between the sisters with occasional excerpts from an anonymous blog providing additional insight. Characters are generally believable, and Ellie’s difficult recovery and boyfriend issues will provide fodder for discussion. While the message usually refrains from overpowering the predictable, sometimes slow-paced story line, a pointless subplot centered around a grandfather who loved Megan but detested Ellie weakens the narrative. Still, an acceptable purchase for Christian literature collections. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59554-357-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2009


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