Beauty

ISBN: 0689862350
ISBN 13: 9780689862359
By: Nancy Butcher

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Genres

Fairy Tale Fairy Tales Fairytales Fantasy Maybe Paranormal Retellings To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Beauty to die for...Queen Veda of Ran does not believe in growing old gracefully. In fact she will shun anything that makes her look or feel less than the fairest in the land including her daughter, Ana.Luckily Ana has both beauty and intelligence. She realizes the way to remain close to her beloved mother is to make herself ugly. Ana does everything she can to maintain her new disheveled appearance: She doesn't bathe for days, doesn't wash or brush her hair, and bites her nails down to the quick. Her plan works. She has finally won her mother's love. Then Ana realizes all the lovely young girls of Ran are being sent to the prestigious Academy for Girls, including Ana's best friend, Pell. When Ana's told she must go too, she resists. She doesn't want to leave her loving mother. But Ana has no choice. She goes and once there learns how potent a drug beauty can be.

Reader's Thoughts

Tori

2005- I'm a big fan of fairy tale retellings, and that's what I thought I was getting when I picked up this slim book. Instead, I got a story that seems to take about 3/4ths of the book to set up, and then wraps up so quickly you wonder if pages have fallen out of your copy. Ana is the daughter of a vain, beautiful mother, who only seems to love Ana if she is not a threat to her beauty. To gain her mother's love, Ana gains weight, doesn't wash her hair, and picks up other icky habits. Then Ana's best friend gets an invitation to attend a private girl's boarding school and before she knows it, Ana is send away to join her. Add in a little strange man that follows her mother everywhere and we're about halfway through the book. The story continues to feel like set up to a major plot twist, but the rest of the book just sort of...happens...and it's over. Not recommended.

Susan

Ana is nothing like her glamorous mother, Queen Veda, whose hair is black as ravens and whose lips are red as roses. Alas, Queen Veda loathes anyone whose beauty dares to rival her own—including her only daughter. And despite Ana’s attempts to be plain and earn her mother’s affection, she’s sent away to the kingdom’s exclusive boarding school.At the Academy, Ana is devastated when her only friend abandons her for the popular girls. Isolated and alone, Ana resolves to look like a true princess to earn the acceptance she desires. But when she uncovers the dangerous secret that makes all of the girls at the Academy so gorgeous, just how far will Ana go to fit in?While there were some good things about Ana standing firm, some of the plot was disappointing and the story ended abruptly without many details. It could have been far richer and interesting. The little man who made potions for Queen Veda- who the heck was he? It was pretty clean, which I did appreciate.

Jules Goud

This is a very interesting take on Snow White.Ana wants what she can't have. She becomes "ugly" so that her mother can love her. Ana thinks that their is nothing wrong with her mother. Queen Veda wants to be the fairest one in the land and uses her beauty consultant to achieve her goal. This is Snow White without the Prince Charming.I didn't like Ana. A mother needs to love you for who you are. If you are "pretty", then she should love you. Yes, maybe she had some moments but that means diddle squat. Mothers love you for you, not because you are "ugly".It was a unique twist on the Snow White tale, I do have to say. The fact that Ohlin made it potions and pills that were the downfall, it sorta connected with society today. Some people will do many things to make sure that people think they are beautiful. Here is the thing. Nobody can make you believe you're beautiful. If you don't believe, you will always think that you are ugly.Nice, fast read and interesting take on Snow White, the evil Queen and the mirror.

WJ

I understood where Nancy Ohlin was going with Beauty but I don't think that the premise was executed very well. It's meant to a self-empowering story and I appreciated that there was no prince introduced to swop in and save the day. Instead it's entirely up to Tati/Ana to save her friends. However, I think that the plot was rather simplistic and it was just missing that extra something that Thorn Abbey had (and I'm not talking about a love interest). Ana's very desperate for her mother's love. Her mother is Queen Veda, the most beautiful woman in the kingdom of Ran. However, Ana knows that her mother can't stand for her position to be challenged and deliberately sabotages herself so that she looks ugly and can continue to enjoy some of her mother's attention and care. However, the Beauty Consultant warns Queen Veda that she will not remain so youthful-looking and beautiful forever and that her daughter, Ana, will rival her beauty one day. Later, Ana is sent to an exclusive boarding school with her best friend Pella and strangely enough, the school is filled with many beautiful girls as well as a handsome (though smarmy) headmaster/teacher.I think just by reading the description you probably have a good idea of where the story is going to go with this. And yes, it's every bit as predictable as the blurb makes it sound. I was really hoping that there would be a great twist at the end or some entertaining character but nope, it's quite a formulaic story and it was predictable. (view spoiler)[ Getting young girls to take a pill that siphons off some youthfulness to the queen could've been a pretty cool idea. However, when you call the pill Beauty it really takes away any possible intrigue to the pill. (hide spoiler)]Ana was also one of the most dullest MC that I've read about recently. Although she's supposed to be sixteen years old, I don't think her maturity level is quite there yet. (view spoiler)[ She doesn't seem to realize that no matter what she does, her mother's obsession with beauty would always take precedence over her. This lesson's only drilled in at the end of the book O.O And she takes forever to figure out what was going on as well. (hide spoiler)] And Ana's also got to be one of the most placid and obedient teenager too, eager to do whatever her mother asks her to. (view spoiler)[ And her only joy in life seems to be about feeding rabbits??? I don't get it. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Karin

Ana wants to be ugly. She has worked very hard at it, ever since she was twelve years old. Ever since the day a man complimented her on her beauty and she saw the look of hatred, jealousy, and anger in her mother's eyes. Now she doesn't bathe, doesn't trim her toenails, doesn't brush her hair, and eats nothing but pastries, bread, and moldy cheeses. Her nutrition has left her body pudgy and her face blemished. She is happy because she seems to have her mother's favor; however, staying ugly takes a lot of effort. Queen Veda, Ana's mother, is a calculating ruler. Vanity is her main focus and she is never without her strange Beauty Consultant. He is a creepy little man that is always lurking around. His eyes turn red whenever he approves of the way the Queen looks. He mixes beauty potions and creates creams out of ingredients like spiders and leaves for the Queen to use to maintain her beautiful appearance. It is Queen Veda's jealousy that leads her to devise her most diabolical plan ever. The Queen creates a new Academy for the best and brightest girls of the land. About fifty girls receive personal invitations to attend this prestigious academy and Pell, Ana's best friend, is one of them. Ana is heartbroken, thinking that she will lose her best friend forever. But on the advice of the Beauty Consultant, Queen Veda sends Ana to the Academy, too. Pell and Ana are thrilled to be attending a school that will provide rigorous academics, while at the same time being roommates. However, a sinister plot awaits all the girls that attend the Academy. BEAUTY is a fast-paced fairy tale that pulls at your heartstrings. The reader will cheer for Ana when she finally realizes the truth about her mother. The sinister plan could have been more sinister and the ending a little more complex, but overall this is a fascinating story, definitely one for fans of queens, princesses, and fairy tales.

Bronwen

A short but enjoyable read.

Susan

Beauty isn't worth dying for!

Kari

This and other reviews can be found on my blog, Ramblings of a Reader.I sat down to read this yesterday, and I honestly didn't get up until I was done {very engrossing + shorter book + Little D was taking his long nap = getting stuff done!}. Beauty combined newer YA with {dare I say it?} a bit of classic Disney. The story was great, and the plotline was really good, but there are some "buts"... I'll get to that in a minute. First, characters!Ana is a love-starved young woman when she's first introduced. She craves her mother's love and affection, and has seen the only way she can obtain that is by trying to be as hideous as possible {think Snow White and her stepmother type of relationship, if Snow White was aware that her stepmom }. And the author does describe her as being pretty hideous {boils, zits, pock-marks, green and black nails, no personal hygiene whatsoever}, so it is a little weird that she can go from that to absolutely stunning within a short period of time when she goes to the Academy and starts actually cleaning herself up. But its also kind of interesting that Ana {our Snow} knows her mother resents her for the beauty people saw in Ana when she was young {before she started to make herself physically repulsive to earn her mother's love}.Ana craves her mother's love like its a drug. She will do anything for it, which is evident by the way she treats herself. Its a little sad to read a story about a girl who will pretty much harm herself to make her mother not hate her {I honestly can't write that her mother even likes her... I just can't...}. Thank goodness she goes to the Academy, because she finally gets some self-worth and starts to value herself and treat her body like something she cares about {no more junk food 24/7, taking baths, just overall learning decent hygiene}. Too bad for her, that also makes her look more and more beautiful {beauty from the inside is able to blossom on the outside as well!}.We all know the premiss of the Snow White story: girl is beautiful, stepmother is jealous when girl becomes more beautiful than her, stepmother hires someone to kill girl. The twisted part to this story is the stepmother is her actual birth mother who eventually wants her dead.I enjoyed this book, but it was a little too anticlimactic for me. I had to read the ending twice just to be sure I didn't miss something, it all happened so fast. It was only 175 pages, and I think the first 145 or so felt like it was just the beginning of the story {not in a bad way}. Some of the characters could have used better development, but I am also used to read slightly longer books, so 175 pages doesn't seem like enough to do a really in depth story. Overall it was a nice read, but for such a quick read I think I would go with something a little "fluffier".

Audrey *Ebook and Romance Lover*

Beauty is like a modern fairy-tale with a mixture of all the princess stories. Ana is a really beautiful princess. Ana wants to be very ugly. She has tried ever since she was twelve and could see her mother's hatred when someone complemented her beauty. Now she doesn't bathe, brush her hair, doesn't trim her nails, and eats nothing but nasty food and pastries. The way she eats has left her body looking fat and her face blemished. She is happy because this pleases her mother. But it still makes her sad. Queen Veda is her mother and the most beautiful women in the kingdom. Beauty and looks is her main focus. She is never without her Beauty Consultant. He is a strange little man who's eyes turn red every time the queen looks beautiful. He mixes and makes beauty potions and creates creams out of ingredients such like spiders and leaves for the Queen to use to maintain her beautiful face and body. It is the Queen Veda's jealousy for her daughter that makes her make the most evil plan yet. The Queen creates an academy for the best, beautiful, brightest girls in the kingdom. About fifty girls receive personal invitations including her beautiful best friend Pell. Ana is heartbroken thinking she will lose her best friend forever. But on the advice of her beauty consultant the Queen sends Ana away to the academy. Pell and Ana are very happy to be going. Ana suddenly starts seeing suspicious things. Is the academy really what it is?

Jodie

Ana has known her place for many years now. Growing up under the Queen's beautiful shadow, she knows that looks are the most important thing to her mother. Nobody should ever attempt to be at the same level as the Queen. Even if it's her own daughter. Never being able to experience life in it's fullest, Ana knows that if her mother is happy, then that is all that should matter. If only the woman would give her some attention every now and then, all would be perfect. She's alright with not bathing or brushing her hair. Setting of a radar within the Queen that her daughter could ever be beautiful would lead to such tragic events. It's when Ana starts hearing of other girls getting accepted into a private school only allowed for the elite, that something in Ana stirs. She wants to be accepted. She wants to be loved. This is her chance of finally being open and herself. She can be away from her mother's watchful eye and flourish. The school isn't what anyone had expected. Certainly not Ana. And as time goes by, she learns what the school's main purpose is, just as her mother learns hidden truths.

Jennifer Wardrip

Reviewed by Karin Perry for TeensReadToo.comAna wants to be ugly. She has worked very hard at it, ever since she was twelve years old. Ever since the day a man complimented her on her beauty and she saw the look of hatred, jealousy, and anger in her mother's eyes. Now she doesn't bathe, doesn't trim her toenails, doesn't brush her hair, and eats nothing but pastries, bread, and moldy cheeses. Her nutrition has left her body pudgy and her face blemished. She is happy because she seems to have her mother's favor; however, staying ugly takes a lot of effort. Queen Veda, Ana's mother, is a calculating ruler. Vanity is her main focus and she is never without her strange Beauty Consultant. He is a creepy little man that is always lurking around. His eyes turn red whenever he approves of the way the Queen looks. He mixes beauty potions and creates creams out of ingredients like spiders and leaves for the Queen to use to maintain her beautiful appearance. It is Queen Veda's jealousy that leads her to devise her most diabolical plan ever. The Queen creates a new Academy for the best and brightest girls of the land. About fifty girls receive personal invitations to attend this prestigious academy and Pell, Ana's best friend, is one of them. Ana is heartbroken, thinking that she will lose her best friend forever. But on the advice of the Beauty Consultant, Queen Veda sends Ana to the Academy, too. Pell and Ana are thrilled to be attending a school that will provide rigorous academics, while at the same time being roommates. However, a sinister plot awaits all the girls that attend the Academy. BEAUTY is a fast-paced fairy tale that pulls at your heartstrings. The reader will cheer for Ana when she finally realizes the truth about her mother. The sinister plan could have been more sinister and the ending a little more complex, but overall this is a fascinating story, definitely one for fans of queens, princesses, and fairy tales.

Katie

This was an interesting read but I thought there was to much plot set up and not enough of the actual plot action. The end happened very quickly and I felt like it could have been a little longer with a little more on the end because it ended very rapidly and suddenly. Overall it was a quick read that gave me a bit of a break from what I normally read. It was also very dark which I don't always love. I thought Ana was an interesting character but I wish she would have had more of a character arc than what she had.

KassandraAllie

Interesting concept, but it seemed rushed and a lot was not explained. For a girl who's about to be sixteen Ana is very immature and speaks mostly like a child, the tone I got from the writing was that she was closer to twelve.

Maggie

I thought the plot was good and I thought the theme was that people will do anything to be beautiful even if it means hurting others. The reason why I only gave it four stars was because I did not like how the author made Queen Veda's character I thought it was too much even with the theme of the story pretty much being lust for beauty. She did not love her daughter just because of her lust to be the most beautiful person in Ran. I kept thinking to myself she is just to cruel. I also did not like how Queen Veda used Andreas to try to kill Ana and she forced him to drug the girls and trick them. The reason why they fell for it was because of Andreas character of charisma and charming looks they were drawn to him. Girls like Pell who loved doing things to look gorgues couldnt see that he was tricking them they were blinded by his looks. I liked Ana the most because she was forceful in her beliefs and not accustomed by the desire to be beautiful her character was more generous she wanted to be smart before being pretty. I liked how she stood up to her mother and became Queen in the end. Overall I give this story a B because I feel the author was doing to much to state the theme of the story I felt it was a little over the top.

Stephanie Ward

'Beauty' is a retelling of the Snow White fairy tale. It follows main character Tatiana Anatolia - known as Ana - as she goes about her daily life as the princess of Ran. Her mother, Veda, is the queen of Ran and the most beautiful woman that Ana has ever seen. Ana used to be beautiful too, but that all changed on her twelfth birthday, when a visiting dignitary gave her a compliment and she saw how angry it made her mother. Ana has been actively keeping herself ugly ever since that day four years ago, mostly by eating pastries and not bathing. Soon, Ana and her best friend Pell are invited to study at the new and esteemed Academy in the mountains. Ana notices that all the girls that attend the Academy are beautiful and she can't help but question the real reason they are all at the Academy. Soon, the girls begin taking a strange pill called Beauty and they fall extremely ill. Ana must discover the truth about Beauty and the Academy in order to save her friends, but what she finds instead just might be the end of her.This was a really well written retelling of the Snow White fairy tale and I loved the story as a whole. The plot was definitely told in a fairy tale fashion, but it also contained a bit of mystery as Ana tries to discover the truth behind Beauty and the Academy. The book wasn't very long at all and I feel that much of the story got cut off too early because of that. The plot was an excellent one - intriguing and enchanting - and it would have been so much better if it could have developed more. The characters were also well done, but they didn't have the chance to experience much growth and the reader didn't have enough time to connect with them as they should have. Like with the plot, I think that the potential was definitely there and the only thing that should've been different is the length of the book. With more pages, the characters and the plot both would've been able to ripen into an exceptional novel. However, for the short length that we did get, the book was impressive. I love fairy tale retellings and the author definitely delivered with this one. Like all fairy tales, this one speaks of deeper issues such as family, friendship, love, betrayal, and self confidence, among others. The reader is able to take away a valuable lesson about beauty and its true worth. I am definitely eager to read more titles by the author and I definitely would recommend this book to fans of YA fantasy and fairy tale retellings.Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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