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Terminally Beautiful

Terminally Beautiful - Christy Leigh Stewart, Kevin Shamel Barracade your doors! Lock the kids in their rooms! It's a dystopic mini-novel ("novella"?) from the mind of Christy Leigh Stewart! YA fans should go gaga over this one. It isn't just a dystopia; it's also a story about revenge... cathartic and cold-served revenge. I liked it well enough, but I'm left with a ton of questions: What is this institution Diana is locked up in? What is going on in this the world, that people have gone so completely off the rails, obsessing about appearances? Are some of these characters crazy, or are they following norms in a society gone crazy? (e.g. how many teenaged boys do you know getting sexual reassignment surgery because they're bored?) Hey! is this story even set on Earth? And if so, when and where? Where does Christy Leigh Stewart get her ideas, and is it safe to read her books?This is very dark stuff. The fact that it's a dystopia set in (something approximating) a mental institution for young women makes comparisons with Sucker Punch hard to avoid. The difference is that Terminally Beautiful is written by a woman, who respects her characters, so it isn't titillating. Quite the opposite, in fact. Shall I mention Girl, Interrupted perhaps? This book (because of its brevity) probably has less character development than Girl, Interrupted, but it also feels less self-indulgent. (Wynona Ryder: "Woe is me! There's nothing wrong with me, yet I feel so broken! Let's all sit around in a circle and speculate what could be wrong with me!" Pffft! Get a job.) Terminally Beautiful left me wanting more character development, so that's a good sign. The author appears to be undecided about whether the story will be continued in a sequel. Clearly, it should be.You're such a tease, Christy.