16043633Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
Release Date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Audio Books
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Inner 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.

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. – Goodreads

Review:

This book was never on my radar, which is actually really weird to say. Between various internet websites, listservs, being at my library, my used book store, working at a library, it is hard to say that this book wasn’t on my radar. But it wasn’t, and then I went to the ALA YALSA breakfast and I met Paul Rudnick. His passionate speech about his book put it on my radar. I quickly wrote down his name and this book and couldn’t wait to read it. And then I read my friends reviews and I found out that this book fell into two camps: you love it/you hate it.

I am pretty firmly in camp love. Adore. Becky’s narration is spot on epic and it isn’t typical YA narration. She is snarky, she has a mouth on her and she isn’t afraid to use it. I found her to be a completely realistic, particularly for what was going on in her life: something completely UN-realistic. I found her humor to be a lot like mine. It’s quirky. You’re either going to love it or hate it. Much like Becky herself. There were times I wanted to slap her and tell her to figure her shit out and then I remembered being 18. Being 18 is hard enough. Being 18, having your mother just die, and leaving middle of nowhere Missouri for New York City is a change.

At first, Becky is given this red dress, this red dress that doesn’t make her feel different at all. Then she hears the gasps and she looks into the mirror and notices how “beautiful” she is. At that exact moment she decided she is “Rebecca” of course with her inner dialogue we, the reader, knows she is still Becky, not full of the confidence she exudes.

I enjoyed the bits of Becky being Rebecca, because inside she was constant “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON” and that, to me, was extremely realistic. It was stupid to her that people were treating her differently because she didn’t completely get it. And then Jate entered the picture. Jate, the famous movie star who asks her to be part of his picture and to be his girlfriend. Because Jate has a secret of his own. So they work with each other. Through Jate and the magic dress, Becky is able to meet Prince Gregory, the future King of England.

Prince Gregory, who Becky, not Rebecca, starts to fall in love with. It’s hard to tell who Gregory is falling in love with. Is he falling in love with Rebecca, the beautiful girl, or Becky the snarky personality. This of course comes to a pivotal moment in the book, in which Becky figures important things out for herself.

To me, this book worked in part due to the narrator. I am not sure I could have handled reading it because it was that whimsical and silly. But the narrator made it work and I couldn’t wait to get into my car and listen to it to know what was going to happen next. The narrator and of course the characters. From Becky to her BFF Rocher, I loved and adored this book from start to end.