Recently I finished reading “Beautiful”, a 232 paged realistic fiction novel by Amy Reed.
When Cassie moves from her tiny town to a suburb of Seattle, and transitions into seventh grade she finds herself wanting a change. She doesn’t want to be boring like she used to be. So when ninth grader Alex approaches her one day and names her “the beautiful seventh grader” she is more than ecstatic to join Alex’s group of friends. Okay, so maybe not friends, more like a group of highschoolers who go to parties and do drugs together. Soon Cassie is thrown into a world of violent behavior, abusive people, and more drugs and alcohol than she could have imagined.
The character development in this story was extraordinary. Cassie, along with Alex, both change a lot through this novel. Reed made sure that the reader could connect with both characters and even with the not so important characters. Reed really showed Cassie’s development throughout this novel by portraying Cassie as the young seventh grader she is then as a highschool addict who couldn’t get enough of the thrill that partying gave her then back to the young girl she actually is.
I read this book because I’m a huge fan of Amy Reed. I’ve read every novel she has released and admire how she writes. I think the way she writes really makes the reader feel for the characters and feel like they are in their shoes.
The passage that I picked was:
“We sit down on the train tracks and Alex hands me a lighter and says, ‘Burn them’. She starts tearing the pictures out of the album and handing them to me, one by one. I hold them in my hand, the girls I watched for years, the girls I dreamt of being, the good girls, the girls who will never know me. They are over water, through trees. They are not my friends. She is. Alex is. She is my only friend” (pg. 13, Reed).
I picked this passage because I think this passage really shows when Cassie starts to change. This passage takes place after school, the first day Alex and Cassie meet. `Alex invites herself over to Cassie’s house and finds a photo album of all of her friends from back home. Alex convinces Cassie that they were fake and meant nothing to her and weren’t her friends. Alex convinces her the she is her only friend, which is not true at all.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction and anyone who likes a sob story. This novel was way more heartbreaking than I originally thought it was gonna be but was also very entertaining. I would rate this book a 10/10.
Sincerely, Sydney Roberto