Since childhood, 17-year-old Ellie Summerfield has fought to overcome her grandfather's painful words by becoming driven, determined, and successful---even to the detriment of others. But when tragedy strikes, she's confronted with her deepest fears. What is her life really worth? Experience one girl's journey to rebuild herself and discover true beauty.
"Wow" is all I could say after finishing this book. Cindy Martinusen-Coloma has most definitely found her niche in writing YA fiction. This was an extremely profound and moving read yet at the same time really enjoyable to sit back and relax. It's thought that Ellie has the perfect life with everything going for her. Meanwhile her older sister Megan feels overshadowed and never noticed. Then a tragic accident happens which changes both sisters' attitudes, personalities and how they view life. I felt that I could understand why both girls acted the way they did. Everything they thought they knew had completely changed in a single incident. Even if I didn't agree with how they handled the situation, I knew and understood their actions. Their grandfather was utterly horrible. I'm appalled that even though their parents knew what was going on, nothing was done about the problem. It's really sad that Ellie had to have those words hanging over her throughout her life, it's something no child should ever have to face.
For readers wondering if you need to read Ruby Unscripted before reading this book, you do not need to. Other than the story taking place in the same school, I saw no other ties at all. This book can be completely read as a standalone. The only thing I would change about the book was the fact that nothing on the back cover hints that this is also a sister story. There's no mention of Megan anywhere on the cover therefore I was surprised that half of this book is about her. There's nothing really wrong with this other than I thought that Megan gets kinda shafted in terms of marketing for the book.
Other than this, I truly loved this book. It touches on so many levels and unlike a lot of fluff young adult books, it really makes a person think and ponder after finishing the story. Both sisters really got to me and I felt totally drawn into the story. Even though this book is categorized as Christian fiction, there is no preachiness in the story and nothing that will make a non-Christian uncomfortable. I really have enjoyed Cindy's YA books and I am totally looking forward to her next release. If you are looking for a new author in YA fiction, you MUST read these books. Simply put, Beautiful was a beautiful read. VERY HIGHLY recommended.
Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma is published by Thomas Nelson (2009)
This review copy was provided by the publisher