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Review: Gorgeous (Paul Rudnick)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 327
Publisher: April 30th 2013 by Scholastic Press
ISBN:  9780545464260
Genre: romance, fantasy
Source: eARC from Netgalley

GorgeousInner beauty wants out.

When eighteen-year-old Becky Randle’s mother dies, she’s summoned from her Missouri trailer park to meet Tom Kelly, the world’s top designer. He makes her an impossible offer: He’ll create three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he’s producing a hidden camera show called World’s Most Gullible Poor People. But she accepts, and she’s remade as Rebecca. When Becky looks in the mirror, she sees herself – an awkward mess of split ends and cankles. But when anyone else looks at Becky, they see pure five-alarm hotness.

Soon Rebecca is on the cover of Vogue, the new Hollywood darling, and dating celebrities. Then Becky meets Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and everything starts to crumble. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But to love her back, Gregory would have to look past the blinding Rebecca to see the real girl inside. And Becky knows there’s not enough magic in the world.

Have you ever had a love-hate relationship with a book that left you so confused you really didn't know what you think about it? Well, that is me with Gorgeous.

On the one hand I hated this book with a passion. I almost stopped reading it because it irked me on so many levels. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what I did not like, so I'll just list them.

1. The language used by the supporting character/best friend. I get her personality. I could actually picture her better than the main characters, but her use of certain phrases did not sit well with me.

2. The plot was straight forward and obvious. I saw every twist and turn for miles. I might as well be a cyborg because I was cruising on auto-pilot the whole time while reading. I know this isn't necessarily a bad thing because sometimes we want a "beach read" but I was really expecting something more. When you add my mild boredom to my other issues, it put me over the edge.

3. This book's sense of schizophrenia. It didn't know what genre it really wanted to be in. Was it a fairytale like book, a contemporary romance, or something else all together? Wish I knew! I'm still trying to figure that out.

4. The main character. Simply put, she was boring. The author spent a lot of time describing the other characters and bringing them to life, but Becky never managed to feel real.

I know it seems like I am bashing Gorgeous into the ground, but it had a redeeming value. I understand the message the author was trying to get across. Yes, it was reached in a very frustrating way, but the intentions were good. Inner beauty is more important than outward beauty, and Becky eventually learns that. Unfortunately though, having a strong final 20 pages does not make up for the other problems.

I can say, though, that the characters were very witty. I found myself laughing and giving a wry smile because I could hear the sarcasm. The dialogue was certainly well written and believable.


  1. Hmmmm. I can't decide how I feel about this one. I have been debating reading it for a while but hear a lot of mixed reviews.


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