Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Number of Pages: 272
Release Date: March 1, 2013
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Don't mess with a girl with a great personality!
Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).
Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.
The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.
A cute, quick read set in the world of little-girl beauty pageants.
So over Christmas break my sister made me watch some child pageant reality show on TLC or whatever, not the Honey Boo-Boo one (which, I'm sorry, is truly the most despicable thing on TV--the show, not the girl), but some other show that follows a group of child pageant contestants, but is really about the crazy moms and families (my sister is a perfectly intelligent woman btw, she just has horrible taste in TV shows). So I watched this show in absolute horror as these poor little girls in these atrocious outfits and way-too-much makeup danced around the stage while their mothers mirrored their dances in the aisles. I was saddened by the way the mothers and "trainers" cut up the competition. Calling the other little girls names and just in generally being totally trashy to one another. A little girl shouldn't be judged by her looks (and neither should women, of course). Kids should be able to play and discover and...whatever else kids do these days, without having to worry about what they look like. I'm not saying that some of those pageant girls don't enjoy doing the pageants, but I'm sure that a good portion of them do not like them, but do them anyway to please their pageant mothers. Anyway, I'm just against the whole thing. That's pretty much what this rant was trying to say.
Anyhoo, Revenge of the Girl with a Great Personality follows Lexi, a smart, funny teenaged girl who lives with her mother and little sister, Mackenzie. Mackenzie, who I believe is 9, is a little pageant girl, and their mother is the epitome of a pageant mother. Their mom is a hugely-overweight, lives-in-a-trailer, spends-all-their-money-on-pageants pageant mother. All she seems to care about is Mackenzie and her pageants, ignoring Lexi unless she is needed to sew a costume or take Mackenzie somewhere. And Lexi is sick of it.
Lexi has spent the past few years dressing down in an effort to separate herself from her family. She never wears make-up and is always in something baggy and comfortable, but that changes after she makes a deal with her best friend, Benny. If Benny asks out the boy he likes, then she will start making an effort in her appearance--wearing make-up and dressing up nicer. To her surprise, the transformation actually garners her some attention from both nice guy, Taylor and from her mega-crush Logan, who happens to have a pageant queen girlfriend.
I enjoyed Revenge of the Girl. Like Ms. Eulberg's previous books, this one is fast-paced, light, and easy to read. I really liked Lexi's character and enjoyed her journey and I loved Benny and their third friend, Cam. I didn't love the characterization of her mother--I'm so sick of the trailer-park mom stereotype. I mean, for real, not everyone who lives in a trailer is a fat, horrible person. Why are there so few good parents in YA books these days? However, to be fair, part of the story is definitely about the problem with pageant moms...so I understand why she had suck.
Also, I couldn't help but think about this scene in this one movie--Not Another Teen Movie--where the sister of the boy who made the bet about the unpopular girl (spoofing on She's All That) comes over to do a makeover and literally just takes off the girl's glasses and takes her hair out of the ponytail and then says, "There I'm a genius." I'm kind of skeptical that just putting on a dress and some make-up would make the entire popular clique stand up and take notice of somebody. Pretty girls are pretty without makeup...that's why they are pretty. But whatever.
Overall, I did enjoy this book--even with these little gripes and would recommend it to anyone wanting to read a quick, cute YA contemporary. I really enjoy Elizabeth Eulberg's writing and will continue to look out for her next book.
*I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.*