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Gorgeous Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545464269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545464260
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-An unsuspecting teen goes from a trailer park to the cover of Vogue in this darkly comedic tale of self-discovery. While grieving her mother's death, Becky is presented with an offer she can't refuse: a famous designer will create three dresses to transform her into the world's most beautiful woman, as he did for her mother before she faded into obscurity. Thus, Becky is magically transported into a life of glamour as the confident, stunning Rebecca. Naturally, there's a catch: she has one year to get married or risk losing her new identity, and she sets her sights on a prince. Though the premise sounds like frothy wish-fulfillment, the story offers biting satire on consumerism and the fashion industry, and an absurd send-up of the British royal family. Becky is likable, though her stream-of-consciousness narration often derails momentum, and the over-the-top humor sometimes misses the mark. The prince, angry after discovering that Becky is not Rebecca, goes on a hyperbolic rant with the threat, "I swear to God I will strangle you with my bare hands and then I will hurl your lifeless body from the rooftop, where it will land directly in front of an ice cream truck and the driver will use what's left of your gall bladder to create a repulsive new flavor called Apple Strawberry Compulsive Liar Swirl." On the same page, Becky muses that his words make her love him more. While some readers might be amused, others will be annoyed or offended, if they care at all.-Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

After her 400-pound mother dies, plain-looking Becky, 18, comes across a mysterious phone number, calls it, and is whisked away to New York to meet iconic fashion magnate Tom Kelley, who has avoided the spotlight for 20 years. This überstylish Willy Wonka loved Becky’s mother back when she was—brace yourself, kid—a model, and so he makes Becky an offer: he will design three dresses that will transform her into “Rebecca,” aka the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. The catch? She has to fall in love and marry within one year or it all goes poof. What sounds like standard Cinderella-based chick lit becomes much more in the hands of playwright-screenwriter Rudnick (In & Out, Jeffrey). This digs deeper than the books it will be shelved alongside, featuring dense, visionary fashion creations; genuinely charming banter that make improbable romances probable; and veins of affecting commentary about the risks of beauty and the power of fame. An emotional distance from Becky keeps this from being a home run, but it’s nonetheless a unique and impressive feat. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

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Customer Reviews

Too many felt very superficial and lacked depth.
Taylor (Reading is the Thing
I loved the idea, and the author did a great job at developing it.
Terese Katz
I'm a teen librarian and read A LOT of teen books.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Bloom on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book came to my attention because my wife was reading it and kept laughing from the couch and reading me lines that had me laughing too. It's not the kind of thing I generally read, but I got curious and picked it up when she had finished tearing through it. Then I tore through it too. Girl and prince stories are not what I usually go for, but this book was so flat out hilarious, wicked and smart, that I devoured it. I haven't laughed this hard because of a book since I can remember. If you want a read that is pure fun, this is for you.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on May 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Paul Rudnick's YA novel debut, GORGEOUS, deliciously blends Cinderella and The Ugly Ducking into a modern, salacious fairy tale that is a pure guilty pleasure read.

Becky Randle has lived in a trailer park in East Trawley, Missouri her entire life. Shackled with a morbidly obese mother and "nada special" to look at herself, Becky has learned to despise mirrors and considers them "more dangerous than guns or crystal meth, because they're cheap, readily available, and everyone's addicted." She instead experiences life through gossip magazines and TV sitcoms and pretends not to care that her classmates dubbed her an "uggabug." But all of this changes when Becky's mother dies unexpectedly, and Becky discovers a slip of paper with a mysterious phone number on it. The number belongs to Tom Kelly, the top designer in the world (think Calvin Klein.) "Tom Kelly was like sugar, or TV or God. He wasn't a man, he was a thing, and he'd always been there." Upon calling the number, Becky is whisked off to NYC, where she learns that not only did Tom Kelly know her mother but that her mother was once famously gorgeous and the face of the Tom Kelly ad campaign. Tom Kelly wants to do the same for Becky, and he makes her the offer of a lifetime.

He will create three dresses for her (one red, one white and one black), which will transform her into the most beautiful woman in the whole world. Like stop-in-the-middle-of-the-street-and-stare beautiful; possibly-get-hit-by-a-car-and-not-care-because-she's-so-gorgeous beautiful. What's the catch? Becky has to fall in love and get married within a year to stay beautiful, and this beauty only exists in the eyes of other; when Becky looks in the mirror alone she sees her true self.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Shelbel83 on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am about half way through this book and it takes everything I have to keep going. I am not saying it is bad, but I can't connect to Becky or the story. So you become the most beautiful girl in the world and fall in love with a prince you meet so you can do good? I want to see/read about the love story! Not "I loved him when I was 11 from news stories!" No! I want my Cameron Quick/Marcus Flutie. I want to be swept away and end up wishing for a guy like that. I want to love this book so much! Meg Cabot loved it! But I can read a 250-300 page book in 6 hours, I am on day two. So much promise but the "I am so beautiful! The hot guys loves me instantly!" Is just not working for me. How did she become so beautiful? How has she gone years being insecure and now she is "I am so beautiful! OMG!" Maybe I am projecting, but if someone made me perfect it would take more that a few hours for it to sink in and me to accept it. The author is talented but it just didn't hit home with me .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By katie on May 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was really unique and this book is something that everyone should read. This book taught me about who I truly am and who and what I will possibly become if I just try really hard and follow my heart. I really saw me in Becky because I am also someone who sometimes acts shy, but unlike Becky I actually want to come out of my shell and have some if not all the attention on me. I don't want to be self centered or selfish but I just really want to not act like I'm afraid of who I am or who and what I will most likely become in the future. This book taught me to not judge people based on how they look and don't be too focused on how I look instead of looking at who I truly am on the inside. It taught me to never be afraid of the future but just embrace it and have fun while I can. This book changed my outlook on life and on who I truly am as a person. No one is ugly and no one is extremely perfect and beautiful because if you feel good then you would look good too. All I know is that this book taught me to never look too closlely on what's on the outside of someone but the inside. The characters were amazing and even though this book kept rambling on for a while about one particular thing it still kept me reading the book. Overall I give this book 4.6 stars. You should definitely read this book if you haven't already. You won't regret it.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By BookGeek on April 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book starts and it is intriguing. I liked Becky's voice, felt the pain of her loss and was fascinated by the situation she finds herself in. Famous fashion designer Tom Kelley gives Becky a choice. She can stay with him in Manhattan, he will design her three dresses and she will become the most beautiful woman in the world. Or, she can go back to her trailer in the middle of nowhere America and back to her not so pretty life. Easy enough choice. I kept reading, because this prospect was amazing to me. I expected magic, or a crazy make over or the idea that Becky was beautiful all along.

Here's the issue with that. There is some kind of magic, or supernatural element that makes Becky become the beautiful Rebecca, but it is not really explained. So, it just seems to me that a fashion designer puts a girl in a dress and she is beautiful. There is no real life lesson, or goal, or anything. This is just a silly book, where silly things happen. Sure, there are some underlying messages about appearance and our culture, but it is nothing new. It is not unique or different. It's the same old story and it annoyed me.

I am twenty-four years old, so these kinds of books do not effect me. The issue is, that while reading this book, I remembered a 14 year old me. The girl who was not pretty, too tall and wore glasses. The girl who could not figure out what to do with my kinky short hair and the fact that my legs were too long and my thighs too straight to fit into jeans like the other girls. I think about the 18 year old me, who finally put on make up and a nice dress turned to the mirror and just saw me staring back.
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