Author: Sylvia Lewis
Date of Publication: April 9, 2013
Formats Available: Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: Ellie Miller has always needed her space. Literally. With a touch that rots whatever she encounters, Ellie must keep people at a distance for their own good. Not that her classmates are itching to be best friends with the "freak" of the high school.
So when newcomer Nate MacPherson makes it his mission to get close to her, Ellie has her suspicions. But when he identifies her as a viviomancer who can work the forces of life and reveals himself to be a necromancer who can manipulate death, Ellie finds herself trusting Nate and the romance that is blossoming between them. Unfortunately for the two, family secrets can kill, and they will need more than their abilities to keep a zombie mom and a conglomerate of evil-doing supernaturals under control.
After spending her life pushing everyone away, Ellie's realization of the full extent of her power and willingness to let people get close to her may be the only way to save the ones she loves.
Beautiful Decay was one of those novels that had an amazing idea behind it but just didn't quite come together right. Ellie was a great character and her ability as a vivomancer was absolutely fascinating, however her relationship with Nate and the story behind him just didn't quite bring the novel together the way I had been expecting. Definitely aimed at the younger set I have a feeling I would have really enjoyed this book when I was younger but being the age I am now it just didn't click with me the same way.
Let me start off by saying I love, love, love the idea behind this novel. Ellie's ability was absolutely fascinating and I was always at the edge of my seat whenever her gloves came off. I just couldn't get enough of watching how Ellie's ability worked and learning more about her gift. Nate's gift as a necromancer was interesting as well and although the story focused a lot on his family and the things he could do with his ability, Ellie's ability was the one that stole the show. Though the abilities were interesting much of the plot surrounding them, including the reason "bad guys" were after Nate, ended up falling a little flat. When I finally got to the reasoning behind their desperation to have Nate and why they needed his father I had to stop for a minute to make sure I read it right. It made sense but, I don't know, I just thought it would be more serious.
Ellie was one of those characters I could totally relate to even though she irritated me at the same time. Ellie was an outcast, a subject of bullying and isolation, and because of that I loved her. She was quiet but strong and she put up with a lot from not only her peers at school but from her family as well. Likewise Nate had some qualities I really liked, such as the ability to stand up to the people harassing Ellie and his need to take care of his family. Even though both of them had some really strong qualities they both annoyed me a little bit too, their childish "relationship" drove me insane and there were enough high school cliche's to make anyone rip their hair out. Even though Nate and Ellie both had their weak qualities that was what made them human and overall I liked them more than I disliked them.
My biggest complaint about this novel was definitely the romance, or non-romance in this case. One moment Nate and Ellie are getting to know each other and the next moments he says "wanna go out?" she says "sure" and suddenly their boyfriend/girlfriend and magically in "love." I may be exaggerating just a little but trust me, not by much. Even though Nate and Ellie are dating for the last half of the novel much of their relationship building is skimmed over and they don't even kiss until the very end of the novel and even that feels forced and fake. I felt like the romance was the weak link in this novel and honestly the story would have been a lot stronger without it.
Despite the weak romance Beautiful Decay has an absolutely fascinating premise and great characters. I would recommend this novel to YA fans looking for something original as long as they don't mind the non-romance romance and slightly childish characters!