“It’s good to be pretty. I’m really lucky.” So begins the story of thirteen-year-old Olivia, or Liv, who started winning beauty pageants at age three. Lately she’s been wondering, however, if that’s all she is. She gets a chance to find out when she meets a runaway named Dan and they embark on a trip to Chicago, each determined to uncover family secrets. This story of two teens from very different backgrounds making their way in a world preoccupied with physical appearance sparkles with wry humor, romance, and a revealing behind-the-scenes glimpse at the world of beauty pageants.
Gina Willner-Pardo is the author of 15 books, including Jason and the Losers and Figuring Out Frances, which won the Bank Street College of Education Josette Frank Award. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Prettiest Doll 3.7 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
At 50+ years old, I rarely read tween books, if at all. The cover caught my attention and I’m sure glad it did. This is a gem of a book, so good that I read it non-stop on a recent rainy afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed the complete lack of a boring, formulaic plot, an unfortunate occurrence in many popular books today. Life is messy, people are complex, and this book captures that without becoming maudlin or sluggish. The characters are truly interesting. Their life choices difficult, uncomfortable, and with consequence. I keep wondering what kind of people Liv and Dan turn out to be…how does this experience change their future…do they meet again…do they stay friends. I sure hope there is a sequel.
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