After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California’s Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, “crude sciences,” and Latin: the Language of the Dead. It’s here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn.
As they get to know each other better, Dante can’t seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee’s life.
Dante’s not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own… Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why.
Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking listen, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.
This book is a refreshing addition to the Young Adult genre, being in part a school story, a mystery, a paranormal tale and a romance. The story is skillfully told with some beautiful descriptions and the vaguely sinister atmosphere of the book builds as the plot unfolds, leaving the reader with more than a few chills down the spine. The gradual unfolding of the story is perfect. However, at the end, the reader is left feeling that the characters are actually back to square one, and there are many questions left unanswered, begging the question, is there a sequel? Also, the heroine's romantic gushing lines are effusive to say the least, maybe even a little nausia-inducing. Thankfully, they taper off as the novel progresses. Sappy lines aside, this is a beautifully written, original and thought-provoking novel and one definitely worthy of being re-read.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was at first apprehensive about this e-book, it was one of my free starter books and I thought that I should go for a book that I wouldn't normally listen to. And boy am I glad that I chose it!
At first it was difficult to get used to the readers voice, I couldn't help but giggle when she put on the male voices, but I soon got over it when the gripping story-line pulled me in. I found myself staying up late at night just to know what happened next!
I would totally recommend this book to anyone with a love of dark love stories.
Well worth a listen in my opinion! :)
One of the best books I ever read (listenend to). Yvonne Woon is at the same level as Kate Mosse with her "Sepulchure" and Katherine Neville. It is a fascinating story with surprising end. For the peace of my own mind, I am now going to find out if there is a 7th meditation by René Descartes (His meditations exist).
Just listen to this book you won't regret it.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I downloaded this book based on a reviewer comparing the work to one of my favorite authors, Katherine Neville. I would say that this book brings to mind a scenario of Katherine Neville teaming up with Charlene Harris (Sookie Stackhouse novels) and writing a goth romance for Teen Beat magazine. Think Dan Brown light (very light) throw in dead people and a chaste Harlequin romance for teenagers.
To be fair, if you stick it out to almost the end, some of the teenage gushing serves a reason to the plot. The novel wasn't bad - I became engrossed in it and it had some intriguing ideas, but don't get it thinking this is on the same par as Katherine Neville.
Throughout the book, I was a bit puzzled as to who the target audience was meant to be. I guess a goth romance for teens-but probably true goth teens are already reading adult books, so maybe young teen goth? A dark Harry Potter?
I also wasn't wild about the narrator. The main character was ok, but the other voices were either cartoony or syrupy. I wondered if I would have liked the book more if I had read it.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The book is not about vampires or wand welding teenagers, but it's more of the romance at an elite academy. I literally couldn't stop listening to this book...it's only took me two days to through!
Not many books make by cry, but at the end of this one I just couldn't help it.....there was just so much love....it made me wish that I was Renee!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I was a little skeptical about this book when I read some reviews that called it a Twilight knockoff. Although there were a handful of obvious Twilight moments, overall that didn't really bother me. I thought the story and characters were different enough to overlook those moments. Parts of the book could have been sped up a little but other than that the pace was fine. I am looking forward to listening to the sequel. The narrator wasn't great but I got used to her and overall think she did a good job.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, but only he/she is a lover of young adult paranormal fiction and Nancy Drew or Scooby Doo styled mysteries.
No, because this story started in intriguing fashion, then got lost in a distracting, somewhat pedantic whodunnit (along with several hitherto important characters), and only came back to life in the closing minutes of the audiobook.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Dead Beautiful?
This sounds worst than it is, but the climax of the story when the main characters, beautifully named Renee and Dante, fully experience their unique connection and union is the most memorable part of the book.
What aspect of Caitlin Davies’s performance would you have changed?
I think more thought could have been put into her dramatic voice-over of the Dante character. It took a long time to warm up to him because of Davies' droning delivery. Should have been more 'undead' and less 'half-dead'.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No, partially because of the length but mostly because of the boring middle chapters.
Any additional comments?
Author Wood owes it to her fans to tells them what happens after the end of this first installment in the story, as it has good legs for a tighter, faster moving sequel that focuses on the main characters and less on solving a mystery.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This was a great pick cant wait for the next one! You should give this a try very different concept from other YA novels
This author gets points for originality. The mystery was intriguing and for the most part unpredictable. The fact that it surprised me is unusual because I'm seldom surprised. The only fault I found was with the basic premise that souls are recycled into completely different people when they die. That idea makes life seem meaningless and paints mankind as miserable. Oh yeah, that's the definition of existentialism. This story is an amazing fantasy with a twist and the ending was unexpected, but very in keeping with tthe whole existential vibe.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful