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Gorgeous
     

Gorgeous

4.0 28
by Paul Rudnick
 

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When Becky Randle's mother dies, Becky is whisked from her trailer park home to New York. There she meets Tom Kelly, the world's top designer, who presents Becky with an impossible offer: He'll design three dresses to transform the very average Becky into the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Soon Becky is remade as Rebecca - pure five-alarm hotness to

Overview


When Becky Randle's mother dies, Becky is whisked from her trailer park home to New York. There she meets Tom Kelly, the world's top designer, who presents Becky with an impossible offer: He'll design three dresses to transform the very average Becky into the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Soon Becky is remade as Rebecca - pure five-alarm hotness to the outside world and an awkward mess of cankles and split ends when she's alone. With Rebecca's remarkable beauty as her passport, soon Becky's life resembles a fairy tale. She stars in a movie, VOGUE calls, and she starts to date Prince Gregory, heir to the English throne. That's when everything crumbles. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But the idea of a prince looking past Rebecca's blinding beauty to see the real girl inside? There's not enough magic in the world.

Defiant, naughty, and impossibly fun, GORGEOUS answers a question that bewilders us all: Just who the hell IS that in the mirror?

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.
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
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
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
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 9 Up—Rudnick brings his bawdy humor and keen eye for the human condition to young adult fiction. He tells the story of Becky Randle, a plain Jane whose life is turned upside down when a fashion designer promises to create three custom dresses for her and transform her into the most beautiful woman in the world. All of sudden Becky is the stunning Rebecca, appearing on the cover of Vogue and in a blockbuster movie and falling in love with the Prince of England. She wonders if the Prince could ever really love "Becky" without the Rebecca trappings, and things quickly begin to fall apart. Narrator Elizabeth Morton has no easy task here, creating two very different voices for one character. She uses a middle range with a soft edge tinged with a southern accent (Becky is from Missouri) to portray sweet, shy, and insecure Becky, and moves smoothly to Rebecca's deeper range, filling her with confidence and cockiness. Morton also does a laudable job with the host of other characters. Especially impressive is her voicing of Becky's over-the-top best friend, Rocher, a tough cookie with a potty mouth whose lines are uproariously funny, largely due to Morton's delivery. She does struggle from time to time with getting the right amount of base in her voice for the male characters, but usually does sound convincing. Prince Gregory is her strongest effort as she captures his insecurity and dry sense of humor. This is sheer escapist fun for listeners who can handle the rough language.—Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI
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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545569088
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/30/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.10(d)
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.

Meet the Author


Paul Rudnick is a frequent contributer to the NEW YORKER and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, as well as an Obie Award-winning playwright, and the screenwriter for ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES and IN & OUT. This is his first young adult novel.

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Gorgeous 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book I wasn't exactly sure what it was going to be like. Books like this can go in so many wrong directions. The beginning was just a little boring for me but once Prince Gregory came along I fell in love!! This is easily one of my favorite books. The messages that it sends are, to me, fantastic! I really enjoyed Becky/Rebecca's interactions with the other characters in the book.   I definitely recommend this book for everyone. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm really critical on books and I was a bit reluctant to buy it seeing that it sounded a bit cliche but as soon as I began reading, I was swept into the story! I liked the Prince Gregory thing (he's like a mirror of the Duke William of England), and the family story behind it all. Now, I can say that I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes thier good dose of romance and comedy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting book with many unexpected plot twists. It ending gives an interesting take on the true meaning of beauty. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have read in a long time! Love the twist. 281 pages. Well worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!
Ashley-at-Nook-of-Books More than 1 year ago
3/5 I don't know how I feel about this book. There were parts I liked, and then more I didn't. I am not even sure how to explain my feelings in words, because I am so mixed. There were times when this reminded me of the movie, "Shallow Hal." I know this is a satire, but I just did not enjoy it or find it as hilarious as other reviewers. I almost put this book down several times. It borders on ridiculous a lot of the time. Our main character's mother is fat. Ok, so what right? Well over and over it is talked about how pretty she was before, and I felt like she was made out to be less of a person because she was obese. Then let's talk about Becky, herself. She leads a dull life ( and is evidently ugly) until she offered three dresses to make her beautiful. After she wears the first one, she becomes famous and loved. Often it is talked about how being beautiful is the only thing that matters. Also, I hated the best friend. Her stupid actions and to not being a friend at all to Becky. Then her language. I felt like she laid the F bomb every other word, and it was just beyond annoying. Then the book takes a better approached. To be loved for ones self instead of looks. That is the only redeeming quality in this book. I have read a lot of reviews that thought this was funny, and charming. I, honestly, spent the entire time finding it dumb and it is not one that leaves a lasting impression on me. I would not recommend this to others. I guess I just missed the joke and the point of this one.
Anonymous 12 months ago
The story was very confusing during important parts of the story .so i could not understand the details and had to make inferences
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I was caught on the description if this book and seemed interested. I bought the book excited but felt my hope leave me when I started the first chapters. In the beginning of the book, I hated the main character. I felt she was moody, ungrateful, rude, and constantly swearing to the point where I could barely stand her. But I loved the story line so much, I continued reading. I saw more of Becky and Rebecca, and though we didn't have exactly the same thoughts, I ended up connecting to her and Roche eventually. I loved Tom and the prince. All I must say is, my first impression wasn't gold but in the end the story was great and I would reccomend this to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm the kind of person who loves reading practically anything and very much enjoys getting lost in a book. This one, while it had an interesting premise as described in the summary, proved to be very difficult to read. It was 300 pages of disjointed thoughts and ideas that seemed designed only to fill in the space between one plot point to another. The book was impossible to loose yourself in because of having to go back to reread and figure out what was said. What would normally take me a day or two to read took me a month and I solely read it in a desperation to at least give it a chance. I'm sorry, but no to this book. Good, interesting premise, but a horrible read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
296 pages - very different style
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't tell you enough how tickled and gratefull and how proud I am that you may have entered the amount of pages(281) (see)via my request about us all doing that for each other.If you doing that had nothing to do with me I want to thank you for being considerant and kind.I really hope that this catches on because it might be a decideing factor whether to purchase or not. ONE MORE ENORMOUS THANK YOU Granny B.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AllBookedUp More than 1 year ago
Rags to Riches Tale that Tackles Real Issues Who doesn't love a great retelling of a classic fairytale? A unique spin on an old-time classic tale. That is exactly what Paul Rudnick did with Gorgeous. On the surface this story might feel very Young Adult (rags to riches), but when you start to peel back the layers, Rudnick really creates a story for all ages with lessons in self discovery, social media, influence and the dissection of wealth, power and beauty in a way that is very accessible to those young and old. Imagine living an ordinary life, having an ordinary job with ordinary dreams and aspirations. Then you turn 18 and find yourself with a rude life awakening when you come home to find you only living parent dead. With nowhere to turn and just a mysterious phone number to follow, Becky Randle beings her journey in this coming of age Cinderella-like story. Becky meets influential designer, Tom Kelly who offers Becky the deal of a lifetime, one she could not possibly decline: he’ll design three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived - Rebecca Randle. Rebecca soon finds herself on the cover of magazines and starring in movies and falling for the heir to the British Throne, Gregory, Prince of England! This newfound beauty of course comes with perks as well as disadvantages and of course there is a catch: Becky needs to fall in love and get married within a year to retain her beauty. But what happens when Becky finds herself in love but wonders if the love in return is for kind-hearted Becky or gorgeous Rebecca? From the comedic Rocher and the outrageous Tom Kelly to the eccentric Queen of England (and her pack of corgis) and everyone in between, Rudnick does an amazing job building an outstanding cast of characters who all play a role in shaping this unique story. The plot is delicately mapped out and the stories intertwined to create a perfect web that is set to entangle your interest. The pace is just about right, maybe a little slow out of the gate but certainly picking up speed and setting a racing pace for the end that will keep you guessing how this Cinderella story will unfold. This is a perfect read for that trip to the beach or for an upcoming book club to discuss some very real issues that we all face in today's world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
read the book in two days! It was very well put together and if you decide to read it, you will understand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started this book believing that I would hate Rebecca Randle, but boy, was I proven wrong. Read it, gasp at the plot levels, excuse the language, but laugh at it's explicit colorfulness, and cherish this book to make you feel thag you do not have to be the Most Beautiful Woman Who Ever Lived to fulfill your dreams.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I realy wasn't feeling the story at first, but as I continued reading I felt a connection with Becky. A connectionI think most girls can relate with. Am I pretty? Do people even notice me? But on the way to answering those questions you find out who you really are, and when you kniw who you are life just falls into place. They should make a movie from this I'd love to see Tom Kelly's dresses! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! It was everything I love in a story; romantic, very funny and mysterious until the very end. The characters are amusing and loveable which made it an easy read. Paul Rudnick did a remarkable job weaving an important lesson about beauty into a creative and witty piece of fiction and I think anyone would enjoy reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I recommend it to any teen girls. The only thing I didn't like was that some parts were slow and boring, but otherwise an amazing novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly loved the book it was wonderful there was romance and love mystery and suspense. I felt sorry for becky at times and cheered for her at others. Paul Rudnick is a truly wonderful auther who brought this book to life for me. I feel that anyone who reads this book will love and adore it. It teaches you that beauty is not as important as people make it out to be. A kind heart and love is worth so much more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it looks very well written. I love the story line.