Tag Archives: Beautiful

Author Interviews
January 27, 2010 posted by Nikki

Special Guest Author Interview: Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

In promotion of her new book, Beautiful, author Cindy Martinusen-Coloma is cruising the Internet on a bit of a blog tour and we thought we’d get on the bandwagon. We posted a review of Beautiful two days ago and now we’re excited to bring you an outstanding interview with Cindy herself. Grab a cup of coffee, find a comfy spot on the couch and enjoy!

**Spoiler Warning**

At the end, are Ellie and Ryan back together? Although that was never explicitly said, it sure seems like they might be…

Well…what do you think? Sometimes in my books, I leave certain things to the readers’ imaginations when the book warrants that kind of ending. This book was about Ellie’s journey of losing her identity and discovering the real essence of who she is and can be. Her sister Megan is on a similar reluctant quest but in a different way. The romantic storylines are definitely part of their journeys, but both girls have a lot of self-discovery and inner explorations to do and their boy relationships only complicate that. It’s as they start finding their way that love opens up as more of a reality.

Ryan was so in love with Ellie, but she didn’t let herself really see more of who he was – the underneath layers. Part of that was because she was hiding a lot herself, and she couldn’t even look at herself very well. It was all about performance. Ellie also wasn’t going beneath the exterior of Ryan – writing him off as just a good-looking jock who was a lot of fun. Ryan is so much more than that.

With Ellie finally discovering many truths, it brings the hope for something to grow romantically. Ryan perhaps? ☺

If Will had said he wanted to date Ellie, do you think she would have given it a go with him?

Ellie and Will’s friendship certainly developed into something more. And in fact, she did go out with him on a number of occasions. But an official date, I think her personal demons would have made her too afraid to be seen in public like that.

To me, it seemed that Ellie didn’t really grieve or even think too much about the fact that Stasia didn’t even live – what was that all about?

That’s an interesting take because I viewed Ellie as not being able to get over Stasia’s death at all. She really struggled with knowing how to cope with it, and so, she often stuffed it away as best she could. But the guilt was always there beneath the surface. I’ve seen during times of trauma, it takes a long time to process and grieve fully because there’s just the moment-by-moment need to survive. Ellie is in that mode after the accident, trying to heal, trying to cope with her new life, haunted by the guilt over being alive, bitter over what’s happened to her, etc. Her grieving of Stasia is mixed up in all of that. From times of grief in my own life and in friends’, I’ve seen how trauma brings about a new state of being compared to what is normal. It takes a long time to sort through that.

I thought it was interesting that, in addition to Ellie’s story, you chose to follow Megan’s as well. What was your motivation for this?

I like paring two opposite characters and weaving their stories together. For these two sisters, they are so different that they really don’t understand each other. When a crisis event occurs, it’s their love and sisterhood that makes them move beyond their differences to start discovering the unique qualities that they couldn’t see before. We all do this – judge someone and put them into categories. I’ve become really close with people that I initially thought were too different from me to become my friends. It’s easy to miss out on really amazing people who bring fresh perspective and a unique viewpoint to our lives because we judge a person like a book by it’s cover.

If you wanted readers to take one thing from Ellie’s story, what would that be?

That our lives don’t have meaning because of what we do (our accomplishments, our style, our careers, our attitudes) but we have and find meaning because we are unique creations, loved by God, with a magnificent ability to love others and to discover who God really is.

Find more information about Cindy and her writing at www.cindycoloma.com

Beautiful – Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
Book Reviews
January 25, 2010 posted by Nikki

Beautiful – Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

Her friends once thought she was perfect. Now she must face the mirror–and herself–to discover what true beauty is.

Ellie Summerfield has everything a girl could want–she’s beautiful, she’s Senior Class President, has a calendar full of social engagements, volunteer commitments, and church activities. In short, she’s perfect, according to most of the students at West Redding High School. But something is bothering Ellie, like a loose string on a dress she can feel but can’t see. Does she really love her boyfriend, Ryan? Who are her true friends? And is she really happy in her picture-perfect life?

Then in the course of a few minutes, the loose string in Ellie’s life completely unravels. Forever changed, she must face herself as she discovers what it really means to be beautiful.

Ellie is that girl. You know the one I mean: the one with the hot boyfriend; the one with the flawless grades; the one that everyone admires; the one that is most likely to succeed in life. There’s one in every school, and although you’d love to hate her, there just isn’t anything about her to hate.

But then something happens, something bad. Ellie and her friend Stasia are involved in a car accident. Ellie suffers a lot of injuries and winds up in the hospital with severe burns to one side of her body.

Stasia doesn’t even make it out of the car alive.

The doctors assure Ellie, that after a few years and a whole lot of surgery, that she’ll recover and the scarring will almost definitely disappear. But a few years is a long time to walk through life looking like a mutant, and suddenly Ellie decides there is plenty about herself that’s worthy of hating.

In a fit of depression, she cuts herself off from her friends. Every single one of them, including her boyfriend, Ryan. She’s no longer beautiful, so what’s even the point?

Ellie spirals further and further into a pool of depression and self-pity until one day, an old friend from way back in her past, someone that she sees as imperfect and flawed in his own way, walks back into her life.

Will has always had a crush on Ellie, even when they were little kids, and nothing has changed now. Just because her face isn’t the same as it used to be, doesn’t make her any less beautiful, in his eyes. For Will, beauty isn’t something that’s just on the outside. For Will, beauty comes from within.

Will he be able to save Ellie before she hits the bottom of the barrel? You’ll have to read for yourself to find out.

Although Ellie’s horrible self-pity was hard to endure, it was not unrealistic. As a character, I found the way she responded to the events and issues thrown at her to be very believable. I felt sorry for Ryan and her friends when Ellie simply cast them aside, but I never once thought that she was being unfair, or that her character was unrealistic.
Of all the characters within Beautiful, I admired Will and Ryan the most. Although Ellie pushed Ryan away with everything she had, he never stopped loving her, and just like Will, believed that her beauty went far deeper than the scars on her face.

A solid read that I’m sure the girls will love.

Pages: 266

Publication Date: 2009

Rating:: ★★★★☆