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Download Outside Beauty Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Outside Beauty, by Cynthia Kadohata Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (693 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cynthia Kadohata Narrator: Sue Jean Kim Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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There's only one way Shelby and her sisters can describe their mother: she's a sexpot. She collects men (and loans, spending money, and gifts of all kinds) from all over the country. Sure, she's atypical, but she's also more than a pretty face and nail polish -- she's confident and brave and lives lifeon her own terms. And her daughters adore her, and work together to keep the family grounded in a way their mother can't.

Then a late-night car crash shatters everything, including their mother's arm and face. Suddenly, the family is scattered across the country, each girl being sent to live with her respective father. While Helen undergoes surgery and post-surgery, the sisters try to adjust to a life without each other. The trouble is, they're NOT adjusting, and the youngest, Maddie, is so terrified of her father that she's withdrawing...from her sisters, and from herself. That's when Shelby realizes something must be done -- something drastic -- to reclaim her family. At turns wickedly funny and unflinchingly haunting, Outside Beauty showcases Cynthia Kadohata's unerring ability to explore the bonds that bind. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Kadohata’s gifts for creating and containing drama and for careful definition of character prove as powerful as ever in this wise, tender and compelling novel.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Newbery Honor winner Cynthia Kadohata creates another unique yet realistic family that explores the ties that bind.” 


  • “The sisters have distinct, authentic voices, and their conversations are smooth, snappy, and believable. The male characters are well drawn too, especially Shelby’s sweet, hilarious father, who gets the best lines in the book.” 

    School Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Susan P | 2/6/2014

    " I liked this one. Four sisters, all by different fathers, adore their beautiful, eccentric mother. She's one of those people who is so striking that she's managed to get by her whole life by relying on her looks. She's constantly coming up with new boyfriends, using them for what they can give her, and then dumping them. Imagine her panic then, when she is in a serious car accident and her face is badly scarred. While she is recovering the hospital, her daughters are split up and sent to live with their fathers. They've never been apart before, and the adjustment is difficult, especially for the youngest sister whose father is somewhat of a tyrant. A good story about the importance of family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brittany | 1/28/2014

    " This was a cute loss of innocence novel. The four sisters learn a little more about each other when they are forced to separate due to circumstances beyond their control, then when they all spent every moment together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jenny | 1/26/2014

    " 265 pages Four sisters, Marilyn, Shelby, Lakey, and Maddie, adore their mother, Helen Kimura. Helen isn't your typical mother, she is always concerned with beauty and her latest boyfriend, and the girls all have different fathers. When Helen is in a car accident, the girls are forced to go live with their respective fathers, and no one is happy. The four are inseperable, and the youngest, Maddie, is being smothered by her father's strict ideas of child rearing. Shelby attempts to bring her sister to live with her and her father, Jiro, but her attempt to run away doesn't work. It isn't until a complication with their mother brings the four back together that they make a clean getaway. But running away isn't the answer, and the four will have to decide what family really is . . . "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Nomi | 1/21/2014

    " I was so embarrassed for this author. Her other two books that I read, Kira-kira and Weedflower were wonderful and this was just awful. A mother is obsessed with her looks and has four daughters with different men. She has no real job to speak of other than bewitching men and trying to (I assume) get them to pay for everything. In spite of this pathetic behavior the daughters all worship their mother and have an unhealthy attachment to each other. After the mother is in a car accident the girls have to go live with their respective fathers. This is when I felt like an editor should have stepped in and addressed these ethnic stereotypes: One sister's father is Italian, and he is portrayed as as a low-class but loveable criminal, (it's implied that his business dealings and associates are of a questionable nature), his sister is unattractive and has a bushy moustache-is this necessary? Another sister's father is Anglo/WASP and he is very cold and obsessed with discipline. Then this is interesting, the author went out of her way to break this stereotype (which I do applaud her for) of the Chinese father-he's a burly, cool, outdoorsy, guy who does physical labor. I'm not sure what to make of the Japanese father, a good man but terrible dresser? Whatever. This was awful. Oh yeah, also, the book is set in 1983 for no apparent reason because there is nothing 80s about it at all except that the sisters write letters to each other and they use a pay phone. "

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