Review: Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Dead Beautiful by Yvonne WoonDead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
Series: Dead Beautiful #1
Published by Disney Electronic Content on 2010-09-21
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Horror & Ghost Stories, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Rene 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 Rene's wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine

Renee’s sixteenth birthday should have gone off without a hitch. She’s got great friends and a perfect boyfriend, not to mention a wonderful relationship with her parents. Life, however, doesn’t always go according to plan. Renee, while taking a drive through the country with her best friend, happens upon her parents lying dead in the woods. All of a sudden, her life is turned upside down and she is shipped from sunny California to a boarding school, Gottfried Academy, in gloomy Maine.

Reading Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon was a so-so experience for me. There were things I loved, and things I could have done without, ultimately canceling each other out to create the so-so.

Y’all know I am such a huge nerd. Well, I raise my nerd flag high by saying this, but I really enjoyed reading about Gottfried Academy’s curriculum. Hey, it is the educator in me. I would have loved to go to this school and take Latin or horticulture or the arcane sciences. It sounds like Hogwarts all up in that joint and vastly more appealing than lame old Earth Science or biology. I mean, ARCANE SCIENCE. That sounds awesome.

ALSO, if you’ve taken a philosophy class, and actually enjoyed it, I will bet you can find enjoyment in Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon. There’s so many references. Descartes? Plato? Yes, plz. Sign me up, stat. I know, I know, I am in nerd OVERDRIVE today, but I just get so excited whenever the metaphor of the cave is mentioned.

However, academic awesomeness aside, Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon falls prey to that phenomenon that I often see in paranormal novels. You know what I’m talkin’ bout? The whole, I see you, you so sexy, mmm makeout, WE R IN LUVVV. Good freakin’ god. There is a scene where Renee is contemplating Dante, and she is all I lurve you sooo much, let’s drop out of school and run away together. Bad ideas, kids, bad ideas. And this is after a month of dating. I guess, when I see love in a book, I want sexual tension. I want build up. I don’t want this whole blink and you miss it courtship. Yes, I get that love sometimes creeps up on you. However, this was more wham bam thank you m’am luvvv. So, if you are down for that, then I am sure you will be able to enjoy the romance. I have my preferences, you have yours.

I mean, as far as characters go, I liked Renee. I liked how she sassed her teachers. I like that she calls people on being douchebags. I just wish she had a little more substance in her romantic entanglements.

I guess your takeaway from this review should be if you are nerdy and heart academics and don’t mind overnight love connections, you should definitely go out and buy Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon. Or if you have a penchant for the creepy, Yvonne Woon does a great job of creating a creepy atmosphere.

Other Reviews of Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon:

The Serpentine Library

The Allure of Books

Bookworming In The 21st Century


About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. haha, you ARE a nerd! Actually, I thought that way about the university in The Name of the Wind.

  2. Great review, April! I enjoyed this one, but understand what you’re saying about the quick romance epidemic. It is becoming a staple in YA literature especially paranormal & fantasy. I blame the supes heightened senses. It must be easier for them to recognize “The One” 😉

  3. What a wonderful review. I’m dying to read this book.

  4. I love this book but I wonder…did Dante die at the end of the story? What do you think? I mean, he kissed Renee….well, then of course he’ll die…again. But if he wasn’t buried after 10 days, will he become undead again? So he would have another 21years to be with Renee…

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