The Transformation: Beth has always been "The Beast",that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth's only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she's selected to be her choir's soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.
The Love Affair: When Beth's choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek's untethered passion,for music, and for Beth, leaves her breathless. Because in Derek's eyes? She's not The Beast, she's The Beauty.
The Impossible Choice: When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?
The Heartbreak: The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek's been hiding a dark secret from her that could shatter everything.
Beth has always been known as “The Beast” in her school because of her appearance. Tall, pimply with glasses, her only and best friend Scott is the only person who knows her for who she really is. With feelings developing for Scott slowly, a very confused Beth gets a complete makeover when she is selected as her choir's soprano soloist. And then she is off to Switzerland for the competition, where amidst the beautiful backdrop, awesome cheese and great music, Beth is swept off her feet by handsome, broody and extremely talented Derek. When she returns, Scoot bares his soul to her but Beth feels that Derek is the right choice for her. But there’s secret that Derek is keeping and that is driving them apart than the physical distance between them.
That’s about it – the summary covers the plot pretty well and if you have read enough Young Adult Novels, then you’ll be able to guess Derek’s secret pretty easily. Beth is a character I didn’t like much. She clearly had feelings for her short-geeky friend Scott. But after the make over when Derek focused his attention on her – she melt! I mean come on, choosing a guy you know for a couple of days and who hasn’t seen the real you over your best friend who has stood by you during your ‘beastly days’ and had taken the pain to actually know you is pretty shallow. Of all the people, I would have expected better from someone who had been in Beth’s shoes. Derek on the other hand is another person who I do not like so much. I mean I may understand his motivations for not telling his secret to Beth, but I do not condone it. He was simply selfish in leading on Beth to what was surely a road to heartbreak.
Meadow and Scott are the saving grace of the story. Though at the beginning Meadow is portrayed as a rich spoilt brat, she completely stunned me. She is a fun, friendly, understanding and actually an honest girl, who totally saves the day for Beth. Later on I thought that the initial impression of her may have been like that since the author portrayed her through Beth’s eyes. Scott on the other hand was such a sweet girl. He was the first person to look at Beth beyond her not so pleasing outward appearance and he truly loved Beth. He never gave up on her.
My only knowledge of choir is what I have seen on TV. They all do look good, but I wonder in reality if appearance is such a big issue that a person like Beth had to go over a complete makeover. I for one don’t care what a singer or a music director looks like. It’s the music that touches us and not their faces. I mean look at Susan Boyle – people judged her by her appearance at the auditions but when she started to sing – I didn’t stop to wonder about her appearance second time.
Author’s style of writing is pretty simple and she managed to touch my heart with the not so happy scenes even though I was pretty pissed with both the protagonists. I found the book a bit slow though.