Summary: 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.
Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.
Review: Another YA novel with an average girl, a beautiful, extremely attractive, and extremely smart guy, boarding school, rich relatives, specialness, and true wuv.
I am getting so sick of author insertion. I know that some people would love to have a drop dead gorgeous man or woman, who is also sweet, kind, caring, and extremely intelligent, to fall for them. That is all well and good and while that is a staple of romance, I am getting so sick of it in ya books. I want the characters to have some faults, some flaws, and actually seem human. You never get an idea of the personalities beyond the looks and the true wuv.
I was getting ready to give this a one star. I didn't like how quickly Renee fall for Dante. As a side note, just because you are named after a famous author or philosopher, doesn't mean that that person has to be your favorite. Although it felt a bit contrived, I did like the mythology behind the undead and the souls of children. What saved the book from one star is how Renee reacts when she finds out about Dante. While I felt it should have taken her longer, if it all, to come to turns with what he is, I am glad that she actually was freaked out and stayed away from him for the moment.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy young adult supernatural fiction or young adult fiction about the undead (not quite traditional vampires or zombies though).