Tuesday, April 10, 2012

North of Beautiful

North of Beautiful

Terra Cooper has always hidden her true self from the world, hidden her true beauty and her heart. She was born with a port-wine stain and has spent most of life covering it up with makeup. In doing so, she covers herself up, masks her identity. The rest of Terra, physically, is perfect. Flawless skin, teeth, hair, figure. She has a hot football player boyfriend, Eric, and a best friend Karin. Her mother's life is focused around getting Terra's face fixed through various methods. Her father makes extremely criticizing remarks at her and her mother. He's very controlling and verbally abusive. It's not wonder Terra struggles with her identity, when all anyone sees is her flaws. When Terra meets Jacob, her view of herself and her life is about to change.

I loved Terra as much as I could ever love a character, which is saying a lot. I identify with her so much. We both love maps. We are both artistas. We both have imperfections and flaws. We both went through journeys that changed us. We both want to travel the world. We both applied to Williams College (I did not get in and did not go there) We have similar fathers. And yet we still have people who love us. For who we are. Just as simple as that.

What I love the most, though, is how Terra grows in China. She's such a delicately crafted character, a masterpiece. So original and easy to identify with. There's so much wisdom in this book, and I wish I could just hold onto it forever. I wish I owned this book. I love the cover too, because it fits. A compass on her face, guiding her rather than her port wine stain. Because it's her focal point, until it changes. Until she understand the difference between beauty and true beauty. S know something to be as true as it ever was, there is a difference between the two.

Here are some quotes:

Getting lost is just another way of saying 'going exploring.

Beauty--real everlasting beauty--lives not on our faces, but in our attitude and our actions. It lives in what we do for ourselves and for others.

Inertia is so easy -- don't fix what's not broken. Leave well enough alone. So we end up accepting what is broken, mistaking complaining for action, procrastinating for deliberation.

True beauty seeps into you. It doesn't make you forget yourself, but totally the opposite. It connects you with everything and fills you with awe that you share the same space with something that glorious. Like a sunrise or a clear blue day or the most extraordinary piece of glass. And then suddenly...you have this epiphany that there's more to the world than just you and what you want or even who you are.

When the creative impulse sweeps over you, grab it. You grab it and honor it and use it, because momentum is a rare gift.

There is real comfort in being quiet.

But even quashed rebellions leave us different. Because freedom may be a forbidden fruit in tyrannies, but once tasted, it is unforgettable.

What would it be like to look in the mirror and actually accept what you see? Not loathe the reflection, or despise it, or be resigned to it? But to like it?

For more quotes go here: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3272800