Author: Yvonne Woon
Desire. Danger. Destiny. Little did I know that this is what I would find at Gottfried Academy. Coming from sunny California, the mist-shrouded Academy was a shock, with its strange customs, ancient curriculum and study of Latin – the language of the dead. Then I discovered that the school has more than one dark secret… I also discovered Dante. Intelligent, elusive and devastatingly gorgeous, most people can’t decide whether they love, hate or fear him. All I know is that when we’re together, I’ve never felt more alive – or more afraid.
I’ve had this book on my to be read pile for what feels like forever and I only found it once I sorted out all my books to make way for my new bookcase.
It felt a little strange it has to be said – I haven’t read a paranormal book of any kind in ages (I’m pretty sure it’s the first this year) so it took a little bit of adjustment to say the least. To adjust to the pacing, the style – they feel very different to the contemporary I’ve been reading a lot more of this year.
Nevertheless, Dead Beautiful is a hauntingly beautiful story, a story which follows Reenee as she follows her ancestors before her as she heads to Gottfried Academy. A boarding school which has more than its fair share of secrets. And it’s at this school that she meets Dante.
What can I say about Dante, a boy who keeps himself to himself, yet has the whole school (especially the girls) talking about him. He’s dark, brooding, mysterious and yet he talks to the new girl. There’s a striking resemblance to Twilight here.
But have no fear, it doesn’t head in that direction. I loved how this book feels paranormal but takes the well trodden path in a new direction. A different kind of paranormal beast if you like.
I want to give the special mention for this review to Reenee’s Grandad as without him – Reenee would never have ended up at Gottfried Academy. But he kept so many secrets and didn’t reveal much about anything until far too late. And whilst he had his reasons where were steeped in tradition – I personally can’t think of a single good reason to keep the kind of things he kept a secret – a secret! But maybe that’s just me.
Overall, Dead Beautiful is a dark romance with an unusual but well trodden paranormal edge to it.