When Cassie moves from the tiny town where she has always lived to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. This is Cassie's chance to stop being invisible and become the kind of girl who's worth noticing.
Stepping into her new identity turns out to be easier than Cassie could have ever imagined...one moment, one choice, will change everything.
Cassie's new existence both thrills and terrifies her. Swept into a world of illicit parties and social landmines, she sheds her virginity, embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, and floats through it all, knowing that she is now called beautiful. She ignores the dangers of her fast-paced life?but she can't sidestep the secrets and the cruelty.
Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral tinged with violence and abuse, and no one—not even the one person she thought she could trust—can help her now.
Beautiful was an interesting change from what I've been reading lately. The last few books I've read- The Hollow, Hush Hush...- have all been fantasy. Beautiful was a real book about what could be a real person. Cassie kind of reminded me of Christina in Crank by Ellen Hopkins at first. She had good grades, friends, and a family, but other than that, this book was completely different than Crank or any other book I've read about someone dealing with drugs. From the girl on the cover I assumed Cassie was in high school or older, not the case. Cassie was only thirteen. She was dragged into the drug world by another girl- one who was equally friendless. Alex hung out with high school age kids, went to wild parties, did drugs, drank, smoked, and never thought twice about doing anything. Cassie, shy, friendless, lonely, and new to the school was tempted to join Alex' excited world, where boys called her "beautiful" and everyone wanted to be her friend. I liked how this book was in first person so I could really see when Cassie began to change and read all her feelings about everything. Beautiful was detailed and original and thoroughly described the life of a girl like Cassie.
One thing I didn't really like about this book was that Cassie changed too fast. One minute she was shy and studious, the next she's off partying with people way older than she and doing drugs like she always has. Cassie goes from barely even talking to boys to having sex all the time. Maybe this was too show how when you're taking drugs and drinking your life can get out of your hands, but sometimes I felt like it was a little unrealistic. All in all this was a book that I'm really glad I read. It was informative, sad, scary, and everything in between. Cassie's story was from the heart and you wanted to help her, but could do nothing. The reader is like a by stander watching Cassie from behind a glass wall, unable to help. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under thirteen. There was bad language, sex, drinking, drugs, etc. This is a book you'll definitely want to pick up if you're a fan of Ellen Hopkins work or books like Go Ask Alice. The cover is another great feature of the book- I love the lipstick writing of the title.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars