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#88: Beautiful - Amy Reed

When thirteen-year-old Cassie moves to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. She chooses some dangerous new friends and is quickly caught up in their fast-paced world of drugs, sex, secrets, and cruelty. 
Cassie's new existence both thrills and terrifies her. She embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, starts sleeping with an older boy, and gets pulled into a twisted friendship triangle that is tinged with violence and abuse. Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral, and there's no turning back.


  • Kindle: 1769 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (October 6, 2009)
  • ASIN: B002Q0KRXM


Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless, and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College, she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with film-making, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. 

Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Beautiful is her first Young Adult novel.

Amy currently lives in Oakland, California with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and has accepted that northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless.

REVIEW:
Though this is a young adult novel, I don't think I would want my 17 year old daughter to read it. The teenage girl in this story is high on drugs for most of it, or drunk, and as a parent do not think that's what an impressionable young mind should be reading about. Adults though are a different story. I know many will like it. I did, just not for my daughter.
I liked the story, but I like gritty stories that take you places you'd rather not go, or touch on subjects you'd rather not discuss. If it can make the reader uncomfortable and yet filled with empathy and compassion, that's talented writing. That is what this story was for me. It has drugs and abuse in many forms and yet keeps the reader engaged.
At the end, I feel I need to know what else happens to Cassie. Will she be alright? I gotta know and feel like I'm hanging.

4.5/5


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