Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

*sigh … This book was wonderful.  It had romance, it had mystery, and it had adventure!  It also had the traditional YA fiction ingredients: stubbornness, rebellion, and sneakiness!! *gasp!  You know what IS missing?  A love triangle! 

Title:Dead Beautiful

Author:Yvonne Woon

Summary (from Goodreads):

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, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

My take:

Renee is a girl who  somehow always ends up finding dead things.  Dead birds, rabbits, ….her parents.   On her 16th birthday, she finds her parents dead in the woods and while the police call it fatal heart attacks she knows it’s too coincidental that her healthy parents died at the same time of the same thing.   Talk about creepy!  This is kind of a good little Halloween story!

Renee’s grandfather soon steps into the scene and whisks her off to a strange boarding school on the east coast where everything is completely different than her California home.   At the boarding school, Renee is attracted to a strange boy named Dante who rumor has it found a dead boy last year in the woods and gossip even indicates that he might have killed the boy. Dun Dun DUN!!!!

Now…if you must know.  Dante (in my ever so humble opinion) is introduced like none other than *drum roll please!  Edward Cullen! aka: the strong, handsome, silent type that doesn’t like any of the girls at Gottfried.   I liked the characters and their secrets!

I felt like I had it ALL figured out like 5 chapters into the book, but kept reading and found out I really didn’t have it figured out at all.  So I quite enjoyed the shock and awe factor of being proved wrong!

I also liked Eleanor, the roommate that Renee gets stuck with at Gottfried.  She has this outgoing quirky-ness that wasn’t overbearing or too spunky for this book.  She had just the right amount of spoonfuls of sugar from Mary Poppins to make herself happy and tragic all at once.

It’s an impossible love!  It’s a romance that seems doomed!  It’s….good!  Read it!

Myst~

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