Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: May 1, 2013

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.

A screamingly defiant, hugely naughty, and impossibly fun free fall past the cat walks, the red carpets, and even the halls of Buckingham Palace, Gorgeous does the impossible: It makes you see yourself clearly for the first time.


The cover and the premise of this book really caught my attention when I first saw it. It seemed like an interesting mix of magic and self-esteem/inner beauty.

Becky is 18 years old and lives in a trailer park in East Trawley, Missouri, with her mom. She is very close to her mom, but there are some things from her mom’s past that she has never revealed to Becky.

“Things have happened to me, all sorts of things, grown-up things and I just, I got overwhelmed. I let myself get overwhelmed. And I don’t think that’s been fair to you, not one little bit. But something is going to happen to you. And it’s going to be magical. “She was gripping my hand very tightly and looking right into my eyes. “And it might be scary and you might not know what it means, not at first. But it’s going to change your life, forever. And Becky, I want you to swear to me, because I love you so much, and because you deserve everything, you deserve the whole world, so Becky, when the magic shows up — I want you to say yes.” Paul Rudnick, Gorgeous

When her mom dies, after being sick for almost a year, she receives the opportunity of a lifetime; cash plus a trip to New York.

In NY, world-renowned designer, Tom Kelley offers her the chance to be the world’s most beautiful woman with the help of three dresses; one red, one white, and one black., she is hesitant, but eventually agrees to his terms.

Beck has some self-esteem issues. She feels awkward, didn’t really fit in at school, and believes she really is no one special, easily to be forgotten. However she does want more out of her life aside from working as a store clerk in her hometown, she is just afraid to really go after it. With the help of Tom, she begins to feel like her dreams might come true.

Even though they use a small sample of her blood when designing the magical dresses, which I am assuming aids in the magic, it would have been nice to find out how the magic was actually possible. 

But once it begins to work, Becky becomes Rebecca. And she finds out that if she is in the company of at least one other person, she looks like a gorgeous beauty, but when she is alone, she looks like her original normal self. Once the public sees Rebecca, they become so enraptured by her beauty, that all they want to do is stare, take pictures, and wonder who she is.

As great as it is to feel admired and for people to believe you are really beautiful, Becky soon discovers that there is catch to this magic.
Becky does fall in love (a little fast), but the romance does not take center-stage in this story.

I’m not sure how I exactly felt about this book. The plot was interesting, but it was not a story that I couldn’t put down. But maybe it was just me. Overall it was entertaining and I liked it; just not as much as I was hoping I would. Gorgeous takes the reader on a journey with Becky as she learns of her mother’s past, her father, and of inner beauty and the importance of self-worth.

Rating: 3 out of 5. 

**I received this book courtesy of Scholastic Press in exchange for nothing, but my honest opinion.**


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