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Waking Beauty: A Novel Paperback – June 22, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
At the ripe old age of 22, Allison Penny is already sick of life. Her alcoholic mother berates her at every possible chance. The young woman is barely making it as a cleaning lady. And she is rooming with a sex fiend who only serves to remind Allison that her own love life has always and will always be in the toilet because, in a word, Allison Penny is ugly. Well, two words. Not just ugly, but fat.
But all that changes one morning when Allison miraculously awakens to find herself in a new body, one that transcends the supermodel class. Yet after all those years of being certain that a new appearance would be the answer to the pain in her heart, Allison-the-beauty discovers that perfection personified isn't necessarily all that it's cracked up to be.
What worked for me:
This was a very funny book that took a tongue-in-cheek look at the realities of what a person's appearance means in the world--especially a woman's. The choice of characters and settings were excellent, even if they weren't always fully developed. They really helped the reader to delve into the subject of a caste system based upon personal beauty or lack thereof.
I felt that the author made it easy to relate to Allison, both before and after her "miracle". I fully understood the need for Allison-the-ugly to run away into fantasyland and daydream the way she did. And I have to admit there was a certain pleasure to riding along with Allison-the-beauty during her payback times, but the vendettas I enjoyed most weren't a direct result of her new attractiveness.
The ly adverbs that popped up here and there kept catching my eye, but other than that I really enjoyed the writing style in this book.Read more ›
The story doesn't try to explain how this happened, and for me this wasn't a problem. Once you accept the premise, I felt the author did have some interesting things to say about Beauty, and how powerful a force it is in our culture.
I give this book 4 stars because I thought it was a quick, fun, entertaining read. It's not simply a Revenge book, although it's that. It's also a mirror on how our society works.
This will definitely appeal to the Bridget Jones crowd, but it's Bridget Jones with a bite that Bridget never had, and it's far sexier and funnier. This is one of those rare novels that's really worth your money. Read it and enjoy.
Underlying the transormation plot is Allison's relationship with her adoptive parents. Her adopted mother is an alcoholic, and her adoptive father has refused to see or speak to her since she was five. Allison has never sought out her birth mother, assuming her mother would reject Allison as most other people in the world have.
Waking Beauty is dark, cynical, funny, and intriguing. The characters may not be as well developed as they could be, the plot is well done and vibrant, creating an engrossing and enjoyable novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What I love about Elyse Friedman is that she doesn't shy away from life's serrated truths. (Check out her collection of short stories, "Long Story Short," for a dark twist... Read morePublished 1 month ago by BunniesKill
I read this book years ago, when I weighed close to 300 pounds. I decided to read it again, at 160. Hmmm. Read morePublished on September 22, 2012 by Kelsey May Dangelo
"Waking Beauty" is an enjoyable, and somewhat thought-provoking, fairytale. The main fault I found with the book was the over-abundance of purely evil characters. Read morePublished on December 6, 2005 by MelissaMM
I disagree with the reviews saying this is a bad book.
If you like books like Jane Green's Jemima J and Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed, you'll like this book too. Read more
UGH! I hate when models say that! With that said, I found Waking Beauty very interesting.
Allison has limp hair, golf ball skin, hunched shoulders, a flat butt,... Read more
Allison Penny considers herself misfortunate because she's overweight and her features don't fall into the realm of what society deems attractive. Read morePublished on January 11, 2005 by M. E. Wood
Imagine that you are an overweight, unattractive woman whose life revolves around your job as a cleaning lady, your patronizing roommate, and your unrequited crush on the average... Read morePublished on August 12, 2004 by Julie Lovisa
This book leaves too many questions to be answered. Why did she wake up "perfect"? Why didn't video boy want to be with her until she was beautiful? Read morePublished on July 19, 2004 by G. Alexander