Seventh-grader Cassie moves away from the island, completely changed. She soon befriends the girls she's always dreamed of being, the smart preppy girls, only to be pulled away within the first week by Alex, a rebellious teen who's just as friendless as Cassie. Cassie quickly is sucked in to a world of sex, drugs, and begins to question love. She says, "Maybe this is all love is and all love will ever be - boys f-cking girls and pretending it's love, girls getting f-cked and pretending they like it, saying 'I love you,too,' and wanting to throw up." Then Sarah, Alex's half-sister, moves in with her after being raped by her father since she was little. Cassie and Sarah grow close, and soon Sarah's the only person she can stand, but when Cassie needs her the most, she finds out she committed suicide in fear of being found by her father. After denying a long-term plan to go to Portland with Alex, a vicious rumor is spread that completely destroys her reputation. Cassie then moves again, back to her normal self, and makes friends with another girl.
Overall, I really liked beautiful, but it did have some flaws. Cassie seemed to change overnight, and in the beginning she was a robot, doing anything Alex told her to do. Secondly, the only characters who you really got to know about were Cassie and Sarah. It would have been nice to find out more about Alex, Ethan, James, her parents, and Lenora. But seeing as this was only Amy Reed's first novel, it was very well-written and one of my favorite books.