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5.0 3
by Lisa Daily

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What's it like to be the most beautiful girl in the world?

Molly desperately wants to be beautiful. And that's what she tells Dharma, the mysterious portrait artist who sketches her face at the town fair just minutes after she's humiliated in front of Hudson, the guy of her dreams. When Molly wakes up the following morning, she's the most beautiful girl in


What's it like to be the most beautiful girl in the world?

Molly desperately wants to be beautiful. And that's what she tells Dharma, the mysterious portrait artist who sketches her face at the town fair just minutes after she's humiliated in front of Hudson, the guy of her dreams. When Molly wakes up the following morning, she's the most beautiful girl in Miracle, Ohio. Babies coo in her arms, her house fills with flowers from dozens of drooling boys, and she's chosen to be a model for the hottest store in town. Best of all, Hudson finally falls for her.

But Molly soon discovers that beauty--and her wish--comes with a price. She's faced with an impossible choice: Will reclaiming her true identity mean letting go of Hudson for good?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her first YA novel, adult author Daily offers a modern fairy tale, a cross between Big and “Cinderella,” which begins at a fair in Miracle, Ohio. After a humiliating incident, sophomore Molly Davis flees to the edge of the fairgrounds, where she meets a mysterious artist who draws her portrait as Molly wishes she was “the most beautiful girl in Miracle.” Molly’s wish comes true, and suddenly she is the center of attention at school, impressing even the most popular kids with her dazzling good looks. All goes well until Molly’s new fans threaten to crowd out her old friends and, under the evil influence of the school’s former queen bee, Molly feels herself changing on the inside, and not for the better. While the book offers some variances on familiar themes, stock characters are overplayed, and the plot relies heavily on coincidence (such as the convenient ways Molly avoids showing her new face to her parents). The message is blatant, but die-hard romantics will enjoy the heroine’s acts of redemption and the happily-ever-after conclusion. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jenny Bent, Trident Media Group. (May)
VOYA - Rebecca Moore
Sixteen-year-old Molly knows she will never be beautiful and that her hot neighbor Hudson will never notice her. After a humiliating incident at the state fair, Molly confesses to enigmatic portraitist Dharma her wish for true beauty. The day after Dharma sketches her, Molly wakes up gorgeous. At first she loves her new life; everyone crowds around her and gives her things for free. The beautiful mean girls draw her into their circle, and Hudson—along with most of the other boys at school—asks her out. Soon, though, Molly finds herself imitating the mean girls, treating her former friends with callous inattention or even cruelty. Eventually she realizes that she just wants to be her true self. Can she find Dharma and get one more sketch? And will Hudson still love her afterward? (One guess.) This light, entertaining entry in the "be careful what you wish for" category is smoothly written, full of colorful details, and predictable from start to finish. Girl makes wish, girl gets wish, girl learns perils of beauty, girl accepts true self. Its characters are stock as well: the unattractive girl, the mean girl(s), the hot neighbor, the quirky friend. The part that rings most true—Molly's fear that her ex-pageant mom will prefer her new face—should have emerged earlier and could have given the book more depth. Girls in search of a fun, undemanding read will thoroughly enjoy this book and may feel better about their own looks afterward. Reviewer: Rebecca Moore
VOYA - Nina Anikeeva
This modern-day fairy tale is quite enjoyable, masterfully capturing and portraying events and incidents common to high school life. It also paints a vivid mental picture with varying sentence structure and figurative language; however, being written in first-person, Molly's thoughts seem inconsistent at times. Her point of view changes rapidly as she gets used to being popular, which could possibly confuse or seem unrealistic to the reader. Reviewer: Nina Anikeeva, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Usman Moazzam
Beauty is a book whose title is small and simple, but the actual story is so much more than that. It involves friendship, sacrifice, a little bit of magic, and a lot of beauty and romance. The book proves the lesson of the story: the outside is not what matters most in someone—it is the inside. Molly is in high school, and that is the exact age range for the book's intended readers. Reviewer: Usman Moazzam, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—With her frizzy brown hair, gangly body, and average features, Molly is nothing special to look at. Still, she does have the best of BFFs, Kemper and Hayley, though lately Hayley has been acting as if she'd prefer a friend upgrade. Specifically, an upgrade to super popular classmate Ashley's circle. One night, at the Ohio State Fair, Hayley betrays Molly to win in-crowd points. Mortified, Molly runs off and finds herself in a seemingly abandoned area. There she meets an artist who offers to do a free portrait—just so she can get in some practice on a slow night. As the quiet of the night washes over Molly, she finds herself relaxing and spilling her troubles to the stranger. When the portrait is done, rolled, and stored in a tube-with a warning not to look—Molly heads straight home to bed, unbelievably exhausted. When she wakes up the next morning, she's beautiful, mesmerizing, and captivating. But will her newfound beauty, which is what she's always wanted, bring her true happiness? Molly's story is, on the surface, pretty standard fare. What distinguishes this novel is the easy flow of the writing and the believability of the characters. Molly is a great heroine, overcome by getting exactly what she wants. The plausible secondary characters make mistakes and have flaws. The plot adds some new elements to the traditional premise, making it more readable and adding some comic flair. The result is a fun, breezy story that teen girls will thoroughly enjoy.—Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
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Penguin Group
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Lisa Daily lives in Sarasota, Florida. Beauty is her first novel for young adults.

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Beauty: First Edition 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
What if you could be stunningly beautiful? Would you make the wish regardless of the costs? Molly did not realize that her melancholy wish for beauty at the town fair would be granted by the kind, but rather odd sketch artist drawing her portrait. After waking up the next day dreamily beautiful, Molly’s life changes in many ways. Everyone wants to be her friend, her crush takes an interest in her, and she is voted into the homecoming court. Molly quickly realizes that with her beauty, comes power. Molly is able to dictate fashion, ditch class, and determine her classmates’ popularity. Over the course of a week, Molly’s looks are not the only part of her that changes. Can she recover her true goodness and looks? Lisa Daily’s first novel is a definite success. Readers will cheer for Molly as she succeeds and worry about her when she begins to slip. Molly is a funny narrator with a great sense of humor. Reading from her perspective was never boring. This novel is perfect for teen girls, but adult readers would have fun reading as well. Most women and girls have been in situations like those described in the book and can relate to Molly as a friend and empathize with her. I give Beauty five out of five stars.
_CrackerJill_ More than 1 year ago
this book is just lovely. i read it at my neighborhood library and have been searching for it ever since so i could indulge myself in it once more. i am only 13 and have read many great books because i am well known at my school for reading and have won many awards because of it. the librarian is like my best friend (that was a joke). i moved away which made it harder to locate this book. but thanks to barnes & noble i was able to read the entire book online once more. thank you Barnes & Noble
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was wondering what age group this for?