Gorgeous

Gorgeous

4.1 26
by Paul Rudnick
     
 

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A screamingly defiant, hugely naughty, and impossibly fun free fall past catwalks, red carpets, and even the halls of Buckingham Palace, GORGEOUS is now in paperback!

Eighteen-year-old Becky Randle is an ordinary girl who receives an impossible offer. She meets Tom Kelly, the world's top designer, and he promises to create three dresses to transform her from

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Overview


A screamingly defiant, hugely naughty, and impossibly fun free fall past catwalks, red carpets, and even the halls of Buckingham Palace, GORGEOUS is now in paperback!

Eighteen-year-old Becky Randle is an ordinary girl who receives an impossible offer. She meets Tom Kelly, the world's top designer, and he promises to create three dresses to transform her from a nothing-special girl into the Most Beautiful Woman Who Ever Lived.

Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he's producing a hidden camera show called World's Most Gullible Poor People. But she accepts, and she's remade as Rebecca. When Becky looks in the mirror, she sees herself -- an awkward mess of split ends and cankles. But when anyone else looks at Becky, they see pure five-alarm hotness .

Soon Rebecca is on the cover of Vogue and the new Hollywood darling. Then she meets Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and everything starts to crumble. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But to love her back, Gregory would have to look past the blinding Rebecca to see the real girl inside. And for that, there's not enough magic in the world.
 

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Libba Bray
…gleefully wacky and irreverent…Once Becky becomes Rebecca the novel also transforms, and readers are treated to Rudnick's considerable talents as a satirist as he uproariously eviscerates our celebrity-mad, class-conscious, appearance-obsessed, reality-TV-vapid culture with puckish delight…[Gorgeous is] a wicked good time, with moments both outlandish and touching. And as a summer beach read? Well, it's perfect.
VOYA - Kate Neff
As much as we are all told that it is someone's inner beauty that matters most, it never hurts to be gorgeous. Narrator Becky Randle finds out firsthand that as wonderful as it is to be beautiful, there is something to be said for being plain and average while still being lovely on the inside. The book opens on Becky's ordinary life in small-town Missouri with her morbidly obese mother and the trailer they call home. Becky's mother dies early in the book, and Becky is left depressed and alone, besides her best friend, Rocher. But as she is cleaning out her mother's things, Becky comes across a mysterious ring box with a phone number. Calling that number changes Becky's life forever. Soon she is in New York City becoming the new muse for fashion mega designer Tom Kelly. Tom offers Becky an irresistible deal: allow him to turn her into the most beautiful woman in the world through three custom-made dresses. Becky reluctantly accepts his offer and soon finds herself modeling, acting, and engaged to the prince of England—until she loses it all on her wedding day. The story is unconventional, Becky's voice is fresh, and the tone is light and funny throughout. There is a lot of coarse language, but Becky is an interesting and refreshing heroine for modern times and modern teens. Reviewer: Kate Neff
Kirkus Reviews
Acute, wickedly funny observations on appearance and identity punctuate this sprawling, caustic fairy tale that cheerfully skewers the fashion and film worlds and their celebrity-culture spawn. Something magical will soon befall checkout clerk Becky Randle, 18, her mother tells her, making Becky promise she'll say yes to it. After her mother's death, the mysterious yet ubiquitous designer Tom Kelly flies Becky to New York, proposing to create three dresses for her guaranteed to make her the most beautiful woman on the planet. With, at best, average looks, Becky's understandably skeptical, but Kelly delivers, and Rebecca is born. Though Rebecca's gorgeous, confident and smart, Becky stubbornly hangs onto her identity (she sees her glamorous alter ego in mirrors only when others are present). Supermodel Rebecca lands a movie role alongside the star Becky's crushed on since middle school (veteran screenwriter Rudnick's film scenes are hilarious). Soon, smitten with Rebecca, the heir to the English throne captures Becky's heart--but which of her is he in love with? While Becky's voice and cultural referents are far too sophisticated and mature for a teenager raised in a Missouri trailer park, her fears and hopes are universal. A Cinderella story with a difference, Becky's journey to reconcile her inner household drudge and outer princess starts where most fairy tales end. (Fantasy. 14 & up)
Publishers Weekly
Suppose fairy tales came true. Suppose an ordinary teenage girl from a Missouri trailer park was suddenly on the cover of Vogue, dating a Hollywood hunk, and possibly in line to be the next queen of England? That’s what happens to 18-year-old Becky Randle in playwright/screenwriter Rudnick’s YA debut, an inspired mashup of familiar stories—commoner becomes princess, ugly duckling turns beautiful—made new. Instead of three wishes, Becky, rechristened Rebecca, receives three dresses from reclusive super-designer Tom Kelly, who knew Becky’s late mother. The ensembles transform Becky into nothing less than the most beautiful woman in the world—“Once I caught sight of my reflection I was riveted, hopelessly enraptured, as if I was watching the most impossibly glamorous car accident, or the birth of the baby Jesus, if Jesus had been the world’s first supermodel”—with a couple catches. With writing that’s hilarious, profane, and profound (often within a single sentence), Rudnick casts a knowing eye on our obsession with fame, brand names, and royalty to create a feel-good story about getting what you want without letting beauty blind you to what’s real. Ages 14–up. Agent: David Kuhn, Kuhn Projects. (May)
From the Publisher

"When I wasn't laughing out loud (which was often), I was wiping away a tiny tear."
- Meg Cabot, bestselling author of The Princess Diaries series

"Paul Rudnick is a champion of truth and love and great wicked humor, whom we ignore at our peril." - David Sedaris, bestselling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day

"Rudnick's first Y.A. novel is full of magic, snark, style, heart, and hilarity." - The Atlantic Wire

Huffington Post's Five Things We're Into This Week

"[G]leefully wacky and irreverent . . . readers are treated to Rudnick's considerable talents as a satirist as he uproariously eviscerates our celebrity-mad, class-conscious, appearance-obsessed, reality-TV-vapid culture with puckish delight . . . a wicked good time, with moments both outlandish and touching. And as a summer beach read? Well, it's perfect." - Libba Bray, New York Times Book Review

"Paul Rudnick's generous, open heart, scathing wit, encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and droll humor are all in force in his latest creation, GORGEOUS, which is aptly named. I absolutely adored this book and snort-laughed through the entire thing. You will too." - Melissa de la Cruz, bestselling author of the Blue Bloods series

"Paul Rudnick's young adult debut, "Gorgeous", is not a fairy tale. "Because in real life, fairy tales always end badly." What it is is a satire sharp as a stiletto heel that takes on celebrity culture, the fashion industry, consumerism, and princess stories. Oh, and it's wickedly hilarious." - Boston Globe

"With writing that's hilarious, profane, and profound (often within a single sentence), Rudnick casts a knowing eye on our obsession with fame, brand names, and royalty to create a feel-good story about getting what you want without letting beauty blind you to what's real." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Acute, wickedly funny observations on appearance and identity punctuate this sprawling, caustic fairy tale that cheerfully skewers the fashion and film worlds and their celebrity-culture spawn. . . . A Cinderella story with a difference, Becky's journey to reconcile her inner household drudge and outer princess starts where most fairy tales end.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Totally irreverent and wonderfully refreshing.” - RT Book Reviews

Children's Literature - Cheryl Williams Chang
Becky Randle is a non-descript, introverted eighteen-year-old living in a trailer park in East Trawley, Missouri, with her morbidly obese mother whom she loves dearly. In the beginning of the story, Becky's mother dies abruptly leaving Becky alone and lost. As she is sorting through her mother's clothing, Becky stumbles across a phone number on a scrap of paper with the name Tom Kelly on it. Becky decides to call this number and her life is forever changed. This Cinderella-esque story offers Becky a life she has never known. Her Fairy Godmother is, in fact, Tom Kelly. Tom Kelly is a world-renowned clothing designer who has not been in the public eye for many years. He grants her the opportunity to be the Most Beautiful Woman in the World and requires her to wear three different one-of-a-kind dresses that will help her in this new life. The twist to the story is that her beauty comes with a price. This tale has many twists—some twists are easy to follow, but others may be confusing to the reader. Understanding that the author is male and the protagonist is female, some aspects of Becky's character do not ring true. There are occasions when the story jumps into another scene without a smooth transition. It is also odd that Becky, who does not have a lot of friends and who dearly loves her mother, spends no time grieving her once she begins her fairy tale life with Tom Kelly. The story includes sexual tension, a lot of profanity, and a few lengthy conversations about homosexuality placing this story into a young adult/adult fiction genre. Overall, though, the fiction story is entertaining. This fiction is geared for females and would make a nice addition in a high school library. Reviewer: Cheryl Williams Chang
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, CA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545464260
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/30/2013
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,311,731
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.21(d)
Lexile:
1210L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


“My mother loved Marilyn Monroe,” I told the prince.

“As did mine.”

“My mom read all of these trashy books about her.”

The prince paused and then admitted, “As did mine.”

“Really?” I said, tickled at the thought of my mom and Princess Alicia with the same taste in paperbacks.

“And that Warhol fellow also did a portrait of my mum,” the prince told me. “All in bright blue and orange, as if he’d used crayons. If Warhol was still around he’d be after you like mad. The way everyone is. People have been warning me, you know. They claim that you’re a gold-digging, predatory Hollywood siren. They say we’ll end up in the tabloids, shouting drunken filth at each other across a nightclub dance floor. They say that you’ll drag me into a fiendish morass of narcotics and cheap publicity and deviant sexual practices.”

“And what do you tell them?”

“I tell them, ‘God, I hope so.’”

Then he leaned down and kissed me.

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