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Most Helpful Favorable Review
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.
I honestly didn't know what I would think of this book when I fi
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg is the story of Lexi, a girl who has watched her sister be paraded around in pageants and objectified by judges. She has been told for years that she has a great personality but isn't as pretty as her seven year-old sister. After putting up with this treatment for years, she decides to do a makeover and see if anyone will notice her. She just might lose herself along the way. Is there really anything worthwhile in trying to fit into what society wants? What good can come from hours of makeup, picking out clothes, and doing hair? Sure, maybe it might be worth it. But not if you forget yourself in what everyone else wants from you.
posted by BailsChris on March 9, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
Rating: 2.5 Lexi is used to being the unnoticed one. Her sis
Lexi is used to being the unnoticed one. Her sister, Mackenzie, is part of the pageant set, so Lexi’s world and weekends pretty much revolve around Mac. The plus side is that her crush, Logan, usually goes to the shows; the downside is he’s there to chee...
Lexi is used to being the unnoticed one. Her sister, Mackenzie, is part of the pageant set, so Lexi’s world and weekends pretty much revolve around Mac. The plus side is that her crush, Logan, usually goes to the shows; the downside is he’s there to cheer on his girlfriend. Then, a bet with one of her best friends pushes Lexi from wallflower to noticed, and at first, she’s happy about it. But the family dynamic has shifted, she’s worried about her mother spending money she doesn’t have and she’s not sure that she’s liking what she’s turned into.
The set-up of this book, from the beauty pageant world to the overweight, unhappy mother and the blossoming girl are all ripe with possibility. Unfortunately, the potential was not fulfilled.
The fact that Lexi’s sister gets all of the attention, the mom uses food and pageants as a substitute for happiness; I get that. I can also easily understand Lexi getting marginalized because she’s not the focus, not the “pretty” one. I even understand her mixed feelings about making “improvements” to herself with makeup, a new hairstyle and clothing and whether that makes her no better than the pageant people. These are all great, realistic issues.
So what kept me from connecting to this book? First of all, I don’t think that Lexi held herself to the same standards that she held others. She has this huge crush on Logan, and the adjective “hottest” is used. She thinks he’s amazing and sweet, too, but she is obviously attracted to him. And when she has her makeover? She’s later angry that the guys who now noticed her had never liked her before. The narrative made it sound like she really didn’t care about how she looked, so - duh - of course if the makeover makes you look different, people are going to notice.
Her pageant-going sister, Mackenzie, is seven years old. As Lexi starts to take more care in her appearance, Mac gets very upset. This is when I first noticed that Mac spoke like she was 25, not seven. She had observations that a kid that age, especially one that’s self-centered, just wouldn’t have. They seemed very mature for a child.
Also, about Logan. He’s just being himself, then, as soon as she stops liking him, she smells cigarettes and beer on his breath, something we never saw before. It seemed like overkill, a way to get the reader to agree with why Lexi ends her super long-standing crush.
I am all about girl power, but I am wary of books where characters say things like “I have never done this before because I am usually so shy...” or “I usually keep my mouth shut, but now I have all of this confidence...” Yes, I think YA is about changes and growing up; but sometimes these revelations are more of a plot device than realistic. I felt like Lexi honestly did improve when she cared more about her appearance; there is nothing wrong with that. Then she negated it all - she couldn’t see that by having others notice her, maybe wasn’t a totally bad thing. It’s easy to get someone’s attention, harder to keep it. She still would have had to use her personality for people to stay interested, right?
Truly, real live girls should not base their self-esteem on what others think or how a person looks, but there is a happy medium there, one where a girl can put on mascara and wear clothes that look good on her without feeling like she’s sold her soul to Sephora or Forever 21.
The Bottom Line: I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, it seems more cautionary tale than good story, and it suffers because of it.
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg was published March 1, 2013 by Point. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to NetGalley, the Publisher and the Author.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 13 and up
You Might Want to Know: Mild profanity
posted by InkandPage on March 2, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 6, 2013
I thought this book was going to be funny, so I picked it up whi
I thought this book was going to be funny, so I picked it up while I was in the mood for something humorous. Initially I was disappointed that it wasn't a laugh out loud type of book, especially since the blurb claims it is "hilarious", but it was still very entertaining.
Lexi is a sweet girl with a great personality, but she is tired of being stuck in the friend zone. Eventually, she accepts a friend's challenge to put more effort into her appearance. She then has to start navigating the tricky world of boys, jealous baby sisters, and insecure popular girls. The story itself is interesting, and the inclusion of beauty pageants and the behind-the-scenes look at the pageant families adds something fresh to an otherwise formulaic plot.
My biggest gripe with the story is Logan. This is a bit of a spoiler, so don't read this if you don't want to know anything. All through the book, Logan comes across as sweet, caring, and sincere. He is desperately clinging on to the last shreds of his relationship with his girlfriend, and he is super nice to Lexi. As soon as he and Lexi go out, he suddenly turns into a jerk. I just didn't find the way that whole thing played out to be very believable. I did love Taylor and I thought he was a great addition to the story. He was a good example of how a boy should treat a girl. I am interested to see if this will turn into a series.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 28, 2013
This is a book that has very large, loud feelings about the beau
This is a book that has very large, loud feelings about the beauty industry, and, more specifically, about the pageant circuit, which, let’s be honest, is ridiculous. I don’t have an issue with any of that—I like opinionated books and I don’t feel particularly friendly toward the pageant industry even though I’m a girl who was in pageants in high school. (Only two. For scholarship money. Truth.) But I think that maybe this book was a little too harsh in places. It’s criticizing the very superficial world we live in and the expectation that girls look a specific way—hair done, make-up on, dressed to impress—but also acknowledges that the main character, Lexi, who undergoes a drastic make-over, feels better about herself when she puts effort into her appearance. Which is a feeling that I think is valid. It’s okay to feel good about yourself when you put effort into it.
I think what my problem with this book is, is that it never exactly explains to what lengths Lexi is going to—if it’s just a matter of a adding mascara and a curling iron to your beauty repertoire, I don’t think that’s something to criticize. It’s when a person is trying to hide behind make-up and beauty products that you run into other issues. And maybe that is the point that the author, Elizabeth Eulberg is trying to make, but I think it sort of got muddled somewhere in this book that is, in a lot of ways, a tirade against pageants and superficiality.
But don’t get me wrong I like everything that Eulberg, is saying here. I just also think that there is a happy medium that could have been more openly acknowledged.
Something else that I feel schizophrenic about is Lexi. There was something about her that I didn’t like. Which is fine. I’m all for having characters who aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and don’t fit into a particular character stereotype or mold. But what I think is interesting is that because I didn’t really love Lexi it colored my feelings toward the book, which, when I think about it, I enjoyed. I like the message, I like that mistakes are made, and that relationships—with both peers and parents—are messy, and I like that this is more realistic than a predictable plot where everything wraps up complete with a perfectly tied bow at the end.
So what I’m saying is that there are a lot of great things happening here, but that I had a hard time with it because of Lexi. Which is just an interesting thing to ponder as a reader. I like being challenged, so this is good for me.
Anyway! You also need to know that there is a boy in this book named Taylor Riggins. I called him Tim Riggins in my brain the entire time. Obviously. And there’s a really great mean girl take-down scene that will have you wanting to high-five everyone around you.
Overall, I think this is a smart, observant book about the role that beauty plays not only in high school, but the society we live in, that also hits on reconciling your insecurites and learning to love yourself, with and without make-up.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 23, 2014
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