Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge: Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

This week's book is Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips.

About the book:

Seventeen-year-old Melanie Kennicut is beautiful. Her entire life revolves around this beauty because her overly controlling mother has been dragging her to casting calls and auditions since she was four years old. According to Joanne Kennicut, Melanie was born to follow in her footsteps. But Melanie never wanted this life. When a freak car accident leaves her with facial lacerations that will require plastic surgery, she can't help but wonder if this is the answer to her prayers. For the first time in her life, she has a chance to live like a normal teenager at least for a little while away from the photo shoots and movie sets that have dominated her entire existence. But after Melanie allows her best friend to come to the house to see her, Joanne decides to hide her daughter in Montana for the remainder of the summer. There, Melanie won't be seen by anyone they know, and her face will heal in time for the scheduled surgery in late August. Joanne’s plan backfires, however, when Melanie meets Sam, a Native American boy hired by the home's owner to tend to the property. Sam is nothing like the Hollywood boys Melanie knows he¹s poor, his father's a drunk who possesses a bizarre gift inherited from a Kootenai Shaman, and his only brother disappeared into the mountains after the death of their mother eight years before. What transpires over a mere 36 hours after Sam and Melanie meet changes both of their lives in ways they never thought possible.
This story starts right out of the gate.  Melanie is out with her friend Clarissa and they have a sort of disagreement that Melanie flees from.  Melanie gets in her car and on her way home is in a horrible wreck (don't text and drive people).  She is someone that relies on her beauty and this wreck leaves her face scarred.  Her mom is a little overbearing (and who has never been particularly loving towards Melanie) and decides it will be best for Melanie if she recuperates in Montana where no one knows her or can see her.  While they are there, Melanie meets a boy named Sam (who has a hard home life).  They get along right away and Melanie looks to him to save her.  From this point, a lot of crazy things happen in a short amount of time (not with Melanie's life, but with other people in the story) that I don't want want to give away.  There is a lot of tragedy near the end of the book.  Melanie eventually really gets to know her mother and Sam comes to terms with some of his father's issues. This book was a very fast read since so many unbelievable things happen right on top of each other.
Buy the book:
       Barnes and Noble
      Parnassus Books

About the author:

Fleur Philips is an award-winning author who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Montana. Her first novel, I Am Lucky Bird, was selected as a General Fiction Finalist for the 2011 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews. Her current novel, Crumble, was named Young Adult Winner from the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival and was selected as a Young Adult Fiction Finalist by the 2013 International Book Awards. It was also awarded the Silver Medal in the Young Adult, Mature Issues category in the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards and was a YA Fiction Finalist in the 2013 Best Book Awards from USA Book News. She lives in Whitefish, Montana with her son. Connect with Fleur at www.fleurphilips.com.

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