Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon.
After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California’s Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, “crude sciences,” and Latin: the Language of the Dead. It’s here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn.
As they get to know each other better, Dante can’t seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee’s life.
Dante’s not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own… Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why.
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. (Synopsis from goodreads).
I received a free copy of this book via Natgalley in exchange for an honest review.
General review (No spoilers)
When I first requested this I thought it looked like a nice book, it did not give away much from the synopsis, when I checked out some reviews on goodreads just before I started reading it, and I saw it shelved under a genre I do not read. (Big spoiler if I reveal). So I was a little bit unsure when I started but then I fell in love, there was always something at the back of my mind telling me, that soon it was going to come to a part I did not like, but it was carried out beautifully with masterful precision. It was clever and the author had obviously done her homework. I loved the setting. The school, had some strange rules but they were explained later on. The characters were interesting and apart from Nathanial, I felt like they grew throughout the book. As soon as I finished the book, I went a bought the second book in the series.
Favourite Quote –
“A hop, a swish, an arabesque, in an elaborate gentleman’s ballet.”
5 out of 5 stars.
Step by Step Overview
0% – The plot reminds me a little of The Last Academy. I saw people have shelved it under “Zombies”, I hate zombies books, but let’s see what this is like.
10% – Nice writing style, mystery surrounding her parents deaths and how she knew where they were. Why did her parents and her grandfather have a fight that left them not speaking for years? I wonder who the school is for. Is it a school for zombies or zombie hunters?
20% – Let me guess Renee is going to start going out with the beautiful outcast. Twilight with zombies anyone? Dating is banned why? Why does she keep saying she will never go to her home town again, won’t she visit?
30% – Eating dirt? Ewwww, there are a lot of similarities between this book and Twilight. Dante is basically Edward and and Renee is Bella but less whiny.
40% – Is Eleanor going to go missing, the Latin society will be behind it. I don’t like it when girls drop their grades to impress a guy.
50% – What has Renee worked out? Is she going to find find out what actually happened to her parents? I’m guessing something happens when two students kiss, what about Renee’s parents though? So students all have different skills? I am really enjoying this so far.
60% – Is Dante slowly sucking the life out of her? Where is Eleanor and what happened to her?
70% – Someone really does not want them to find any information do they? The author is really good at creating suspense.
80% – Will she still want Dante? I like explanation about why the undead have an affinity for Latin? I am guessing Eleanor is one the undead now.
90% – Could Dante have Renee’s soul?
100% – I loved this book. The ending was unexpected and fabulous. I am looking forward to reading the next one and anything else this author writes.