Book Review: Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Dead Beautiful is the debut novel from Yvonne Woon. It was published by Usborne and has a release date of 1st May. The book is 512 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy.

After Renee discovers both of parents dead in what appears to be a double murder, she is placed in the care of her Grandfather, who she has not seen for quite some time. As his granddaughter, there is only one place suitable for Renee. Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious school dedicated to subjects like philosophy and Latin. Here, she meets Dante who has way more secrets than should be possible. Despite getting off to a bad start, Renee and Dante cannot control their feelings together, even when dating is strictly forbidden at the school.

A dark and terrifying mystery reveals itself at Gottfried and Renee begins to question everything she has been told about the school. Is Dante everything she thought he was or is he a part of something bigger. Something deadly.

What I thought
To start off, I have to say how much I love the cover for Dead Beautiful. The contrast between the green and black give the book a dark and eerie feeling even before you begin to read the story. Before I got sent this book, I had fallen a little bit in love with the cover and would have bought it if I saw it myself in a shop. The cover model, her pose and the surroundings, really catch your attention and draw you in, making you wonder what the book is about.

Renee was a great female MC and one that I really liked. Not only is she intelligent, outspoken and a strong character, she doesn’t really care too much about what others think about her. Renee knows how to speak her mind and doesn’t really care if people think she is in the right or not. I loved how strong a character she was and the fact that she was coping with so much all at once and dealing with it all so well. Having to deal with a new school, new people and having a new guardian all at the same time after the death of both parents would have been way too much for me!

Seeing as Renee was first put into the care of her Grandfather, I would have liked to have seen this explored more. Very little time is spent on the two characters together and this was a real shame. I think that a lot more could have been said about this aspect of the story and that it should have bothered Renee more than it did. Maybe the second book in this series will expand on Renee and her Grandfather’s relationship though.

I have heard mixed opinions about the main male character and love interest, Dante, but I absolutely adored him. As a male character, he was pretty much everything I could have ever wanted him to be. Not too much is given away about him for quite some time and this gave him a strange and mysterious persona throughout. Dante is smoking hot but at the same time he is deep, meaningful, different, shy and all round amazing. There was so much for me to love about this guy and so much that wasn’t shown on the surface. The real Dante wasn’t brought out of his shell for a little while though but it was nice to see the progression of his character as the plot got into full swing.

Dead Beautiful has quite a dark feel to the story which begins with the cover. I knew that there was going to be a lot of mystery and a lot that wouldn’t be explained for some time but I really enjoyed this. I loved not knowing what was really going on and how the story was going to pan out. Once I thought I had everything figured out, something else happened and I found myself being proved completely wrong. Some of the story does move along at a quite slow pace but I think that was needed. It really drew out the intensity of the story and what was happening to Renee.

One of the biggest things that I loved about this book was the inclusion of Latin and philosophy. Latin plays a pretty major part in the story and I found everything about it fascinating! I love when a story adds in that something extra that makes it stand out to everything else. I was a little worried to begin with about how much Latin was going to be used and how easy it would be to understand but I needn’t have worried. Nothing is overdone and it is all made very easy to understand, especially as I had no prior knowledge of Latin at all.

Because of Latin and what it stood for, a seriously hot male character and plenty of mystery and intrigue, Dead Beautiful will be a book that I remember for a long time.


  1. I love for there to be some mystery in my books! Sounds like a fab read!

  2. Just started this one. Its excellent so far & like you I love the cover x

  3. I am too a sucker for the pretty cover. I HAVE to read this one. Great review :D

  4. I'm really keen to read this one, it sounds wonderful and the cover really is gorgeous.


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