Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publish Date: April 30, 2013
Hardcover, 327 pages
I wasn't sure what I was going to think of Gorgeous going in, but I was fascinated by the premise. In the end and through the journey of the book I am really glad I read it. It's a fast-paced read that presents an interesting look at beauty and love in our society today.
The book starts off with Becky's Mom's death and moves quickly to Becky accepting the plane ticket to New York to meet Tom Kelly and start off her year of becoming the most beautiful woman in the world. Becky is really unsure how this will work, but miraculously it does with Tom Kelly at her side. I like how Becky's feelings about things while not explained all at once, are revealed through the whole book, truly developing her as a character especially as she grows and changes. She was a fascinating character who goes through some tough trials and tribulations after some really big highs so to become who she does it is really a testament to her character and I like that. And the fun part is Rocher, her best friend who can always inject some sarcasm, reality and wit is right there with her most of the time. Rocher is an amazing addition to the book. She doesn't take away from Becky but really adds that right amount of realistic best friend.
The plot moves quickly through Rebecca's year and then the time after, but I felt things were covered well and my interest level was kept high once I got into the book. Character development really moved the book forward but there are several key events that make the plot. There are life lessons to be learned and even more as I think about it as I write up this review just a few days after finishing the book. There is a lot of pop culture and even references to stars/popular people that while they have different names you will immediately associate them with someone important. I enjoyed that aspect of the book and the people that Mr. Rudnick intentionally (or unintentionally) references are iconic and timeless so whether you read this book now or ten years from now I feel these people will still be relevant.
I think Gorgeous was an amazing book. One word of warning to parents, there is strong language in the book, but other than that, I think the meaning of the book outweighs the language. The meaning that comes through is really amazing when you sit and ruminate on it. The thoughts about beauty being only part of the equation, not really doing anything to get the limelight (just being gorgeous) and possibly doing more once you get the limelight really resonated with me. I think if more people were like Becky the world could be a better place, even ordinary people who don't have the ears of politicians, royals or movie stars. Kudos to Mr. Rudnick for an entertaining and thought-provoking book!
About the Book:
Inner beauty wants out.
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
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.
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.
About the Author (from Goodreads.com):
***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free. ***