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Dead Beautiful
Cover of Dead Beautiful
Dead Beautiful
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On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at...
On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at...
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  • On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder. After the funeral Renée's wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 23, 2010
    For a girl who has just lost her parents, her home, and her friends, 16-year-old Renée Winters is an unusually analytical and composed narrator in this supernatural tale from first-time author Woon. A lifelong denizen of California public schools, Renée adjusts with effortless aplomb when her grandfather sends her to the private Gottfried Academy in northernmost Maine, where she joins the most exclusive clique and starts dating the most handsome boy on campus. Renée does have one quirk she keeps secret, though—her knack for finding dead things, from the corpses of her parents ("The redwood forest covers more than three hundred square miles," Renée's grandfather tells her, "yet you were able to find them within half an hour") to a desiccated mouse under a library table. She's also noticed that her boyfriend Dante's skin is unusually cold, and why are so many of the senior students fluent in that dead language, Latin? It's a Harry Potter start and a Twilight finish for this competent but somewhat predictable tale, which is told in a style that is more efficient than evocative. Ages 12–up.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 1, 2010

    Anyone who reads knows that vampires are in. But this hefty novel takes a new and unconventional look at the undead, focusing on story and interesting characters and leaving gore and mayhem hidden in the background. Renée Winters is a sunny California teenager who has a rude awakening when both her parents die mysteriously in the woods. Suddenly in the care of a grandfather she doesn't know, she's forced to leave her friends, her school and everything she knows behind. Sent to an exclusive and very private academy in a desolate part of Maine, she makes new friends, discovers new abilities and cannot help but be drawn to a handsome and enigmatic loner, Dante. Feeling as Alice must have when she fell down the rabbit hole, Renée keeps trying to find answers to questions she's not even sure are real, struggling to reconcile past and present if she is to have any hope of a future. Well written, intriguing and, above all, different, this story ends with much to explore in what one hopes will be swiftly forthcoming sequels. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up) 

    (COPYRIGHT (2010) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2010

    Gr 7 Up-Renee Winters, after being inexplicably called into California's Redwood forest, walks right up to the spot where both of her parents lay dead after suffering apparent heart attacks. Stranger still, their mouths are stuffed with gauze and coins are scattered about their bodies. The teen is put under the care of her estranged grandfather, who sends her to Gottfried Academy, a boarding school devoted to Latin, philosophy, and a strange mix of sciences, located across the country in Northern Maine. There, she meets fellow student Dante and is intensely drawn to him-and he to her. A series of suspicious events occurs throughout the first semester as Renee and Dante grow closer and students mysteriously die. Woon slowly-yet suspensefully-reveals that children who die and are left unburied for 10 days wake up part alive and part deceased. Undead. Gottfried Academy exists to teach both the living and the Undead about this transformation and the rules concerning it. Dead Beautiful could be described as Twilight at Hogwarts. Despite numerous parallels to Stephenie Meyer's saga, Woon pulls off some interesting twists and captures readers with the romantic connection between Renee and Dante. This novel will be an easy sell to readers who are still dying for more paranormal, forbidden, chaste romance. Woon sprinkles in some philosophical ideas that set the story apart from others in the same genre. Riveting and different, it is a real page-turner-Emily Chornomaz, West Orange Public Library, NJ

    Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2010
    Grades 8-11 Darkly handsome Dante Berlin is the object of every girls desire at gothic Gottfried Academy, but he seems unreachable until new girl Ren'e Winters crosses his path. They discover a mutual attraction, complicated by the fact that Dante is undead and Ren'e is very much alive. A string of murders that create more undead causes Dante and Ren'e to start an investigation that reveals the true purpose of Gottfried Academy as well as the potentially fatal connection between the two teens. Boarding-school story meets Murder, She Wrote meets the Twilight series in this nifty title, which also offers an attention-grabbing take on zombies. Detailed world building and setting contribute as much to the story as character and plot. Atmospheric touches such as school rituals, classes like Imaginary Arithmetic, and the use of Latin as the insider language all add to the ambience. This lacks the sassy humor of many zombie booksnot a failing, just a factso give this to the earnest Twilight crowd but also to teens who like impossible love stories with supernatural flavor.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2010, American Library Association.)

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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