About The Author

Justina Chen Headley

Justina Chen is an award-winning novelist for young adults whose most recent book, Return to Me, was called an “uplifting story” by Publishers Weekly.

North of Beautiful was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and Barnes & Noble.
Her other novels include Girl Overboard (a Junior Library Guild premiere selections) and Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), which won the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature.

Additionally, she co-founded readergirlz, a cutting-edge literacy and social media project for teens, which won the National Book Award for Innovations in Reading.

When she isn’t writing for teens, Justina is a communications strategist for executives and was the speechwriter and executive communications manager for a president of Microsoft.
She conducts popular corporate storytelling workshops and has presented at prestigious organizations ranging from the Mayo Clinic to NASDAQ and AT+T to SAS.

Q: Why did you write North of Beautiful?

A: “To tell you the truth, I was sick of our society glamorizing a really narrow definition of beauty: blonde, size 00. You know. A chance comment from an acquaintance whose son has a port wine stain completely inspired the book. When I was lauding her parenting because he’s such a confident, cool kid, she stopped me and said, “That’s because he’s a boy…” There it was, my next novel. What if a girl had a birthmark on her face? Could I tackle the notion of real beauty–true glorious beauty–with this character?”


North of Beautiful
By Justina Chen Headley

“Beauty–real everlasting beauty–lives not on our faces, but in our attitude and our actions. It lives in what we do for ourselves and for others.” I am glad that I read this book after reading Stay. If “Stay” is a book that deals with a young relationship between a teenager and her obsessive-possessive boyfriend,…

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