beautiful girl: a novel by Fleur Philips. Arizona: SparkPress, 2015. 179 pages. ***
Seventeen-year-old Melanie Kennicut is a beautiful, successful model controlled by her overbearing mother. Tired of being seen as a pretty face with no substance, Melanie longs to hang out with friends and live a normal life. When an accident causes numerous cuts to her face, Melanie questions whether life has played a trick on her or granted her wish. Her mother isolates her until plastic surgery can be performed and Melanie for the first time in her life, falls in love with the first guy she encounters who sees her and not her beauty.
The plot of the story is a good one, but character depth is lacking. Young Adults may identify with the feeling of not being in control of their life and future. Having a prince charming as a savior in the guise of Sam will have universal appeal, throw in a mean best friend and the drama unfolds.
I received this book through the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015. Philips tells her story well, however, there were too many subplots for full development. So many teens struggle with some of the same issues, I just think an opportunity was missed in this novel.
Fleur Philips is an award-winning author who holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. She has won numerous Young Adult Fiction awards. She lives in Whitefish, Montana with her son.