Terra Rose Cooper is stunning. A tall blonde with a trim body, she could easily be a model. Except for one thing. Terra was born with a port-wine stain birthmark that covers the right cheek of her face. And she is ashamed of it. Her self-esteem suffers from it as well as being under the thumb of her controlling father. Terra longs to get away from her small Washington town and it seems like all her dreams are going to come true when she gets an acceptance letter from Williams. But, her father will not allow her to go and it seems like she is stuck under her father’s thumb, like the stain is stuck on her face no matter how many laser surgeries. But, she meets an odd, Chinese, goth boy and her future trajectory is changed. It took me awhile to get into the story but, I’m glad I perserved. It was a wonderful story of self-acceptance and beauty. The characters all have their problems and subplots that intrigue me as well as the main story - the mother’s relationship to their father, Terra’s two brothers who seem to be never there, Terra’s relationship with Erik and Karin. I also really loved the play on words. Terra’s father is a cartographer and the book is filled with map imagery of charting lives and borders… Wonderfully connected into the story that it adds another layer of the story. My favorite part is their journey to China. I’ve only been there in 2007 and it was my first time over there and travelling overseas. So it was nice to read the experiences that Terra and her mom had over there. Like seeing the hutongs and comparing it with the modern China and walking the Great Wall. Not to mention, geocaching. I never heard of it and now am very interested in finding more about it.Overall, a wonderful, reflective story.