NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by Justina Chen Headley

Here's a confession: I'm not always dazzled by books my friends write.

That's why I loved the moment in NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL when I forgot completely that it was penned by fellow readergirlz diva Justina Chen Headley.

I was swept into Terra's story, a compelling tale about the freedom to celebrate flaws instead of desperately trying to camouflage them.

A couple of themes lingered in my mind long after I finished the last page of the book. (Don't you love when that happens?) I found myself contemplating the power of flaws I've long despised and taking stock of some relational Great Walls that need repairing.

Best of all, I can guarantee that teen girls will love the book -- it's got unforgettable characters, a heart-thumping romance, exciting border crossings, and an intriguing mother-daughter relationship.

NEWS FLASH: I'm organizing an exclusive one week NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL blog tour during February 2009 and have a few slots open, so if you blog about teen books and want the chance to read the novel and chat with the fascinating Ms. Chen Headley, contact me at