Author: Yvonne Woon
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Published: 1st May 2011
Series: Dead Beautiful #1
Source: Own Copy
At Gottfried Academy, just one kiss will take your breath away. After Renee discovers her parents dead in what appears to be a strange double murder, she is sent to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, 'crude sciences', and Latin: the Language of the Dead. Here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student who harbors a deadly secret, but to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. Despite himself, Dante cannot control his attraction to Renee either and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. But Dante's not the only one with secrets...Gottfried Academy has a few of its own. When Renee begins to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a former student, she begins to realize just how deadly these secrets are...Dark romance meets haunting murder mystery in this captivating tale of love, death and destiny. - From GoodreadsI think it took me about a month to read the first chapter of this book. I always seemed to pick it up when I was in the wrong mood to read, when I was so tired I could barely finish a page or I would start to read and then get distracted by something else. Once I finally sat down to properly read this book it found it really easy to involved in the story and I managed to finish in a couple of days.
The story begins with Renee finding her parents dead and having to move to the other side of the country to live with her grandfather to promptly sends her to Gottfried Academy. This is a school where no electricity is used, only candles after dark and Latin is the main language studied. Soon after starting the school year she meets Dante. Dante is beautiful, aloof and super cool.
I found the story in this book to be really slow to start. To me it felt like the first half of the book was spent getting to know Renee and her friends; Dante, Eleanor and Nathan, and describing the surroundings. I also felt like the descriptions of Dante only happened a tiny bit at a time. Now I know this was as Renee got to know him, we would get to know him, but to me there were somethings that could have been mentioned earlier.
So once we got into the story and finding out about what is really going on at the school, who is who and what they are doing, I really enjoyed it. I thought the supernatural angle (I'm not going to ruin any surprises) was really interesting, well thought out and has loads going for it. I think if I had to summarise the last half of the book it would take me a while as lots happened. the story had me guessing as I was reading, and trying to predict what would happen, not only in the rest of the book, but the rest of the series.
I can see this being a series I really enjoy as long as the next few books can get right to the action and don't linger too long on reminding us what happened previously. I will defiantly be picking up a copy Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful #2) as soon as it comes out.