Beautiful: Truth’s Found When Beauty’s Lost / by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma.
HS (Adult) Rating: 5
Cindy Martinusen-Coloma writes an inspiring book (2010 Christy, Young Adult finalist) that clearly delivers these messages: “never judge your self-worth by outward appearances” and “life can change in an instant; it’s up to you on how you respond.”
Ellie is popular, and perfect; at least that is how she appears. She senses something is missing but can’t identify it. Then in one moment, everything changes. It is only then that she starts to understand herself and discover what is really important.
Beautiful has both engaging characters and an entertaining plot. Though Beautiful appears to be about 17-year-old Ellie, it is really about sisters who appear to be opposites: beautiful Ellie and invisible Megan. The book draws in the reader as one gets to know the sisters. Both must face the core of who they are and who they want to be, as a result of a tragic accident.
Ellie struggles in her faith in God. It may cause the reader to reflect how they might respond in the same circumstances.
The reader will not find “they all lived happily ever after.” Beautiful is one girl’s journey to redefine herself after tragedy strikes. She struggles through physical pain, emotional distress, and self-pity in this contemporary fiction. She confronts her deepest fears as a result of facing the physical effects of an accident.
There is minimal bad language (“she cursed”); the actual words are not written. A few teens drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and smoke pot, though Ellie does not do this.
Highly recommended for all high school libraries and young adult collections.
— reprinted with permission, from Christian Library Journal. August 2010.