On one of my cruddiest days ever last week, my editor, Alvina Ling, let me know that the publishing house had tweaked my book cover. I love what they did for the final final cover, placing the compass rose directly on top of Terra's cheek. It's absolutely perfect and symbolic of my girl's port wine stain.
And then as yet another present, Alvina sent me the first teen reviews for my book. Reading each review really felt like opening gift after gift. Here's one of my favorites:
"Saying that the book, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley, is not just another teen book would be a complete understatement. Her book is truly a piece of art and written beautifully. North of Beautiful is a wonderful book and I would highly recommend it to all teenagers. Throughout North of Beautiful, Justina Chen Headley brings up questions like, what is beauty and what makes something beautiful. Headley shows the reader with her book, that physical beauty is not all beauty; beauty is beyond the outward appearance. One message I got from the book was that no one is perfect and what makes one different also makes one beautiful. Although her book may be in the fiction section, North of Beautiful is very real and inspiring. I'd like to thank Justina Chen Headley for writing the book and I think her book will touch many hearts and make a difference in one's life or thinking."
Today I am thankful for my teen readers like Cassie who remind me why I write in the first place and why I write specifically for teens. Thank you for entering my worlds and spending time with my words. And most of all, thank you for understanding what I was trying to express. What makes a person different also makes her truly beautiful. You got it absolutely right. A+