Think you’d do anything for the chance to be supermodel pretty? Well, it gets messy.
In Clark’s (Parched, 2014, etc.) first adult novel, self-esteem issues compel a group of friends to renounce rational decision-making for a chance to take their looks from average to unforgettable. Evie Selby, a copywriter at a women’s magazine, is having a hard time accepting the culture of online dating. Her roommate, Krista Kumar, dropped out of law school to start an acting career, but it’s going nowhere. And their good friend Willow, a troubled photographer and daughter of a famous director, doesn’t understand what her puppy-dog boyfriend, Mark, sees in her. They’re all in bad places. If only they were prettier, right? They’d have more confidence, get more opportunities. When a shot at this lands magically in their laps, all three can’t help but grasp at the possibilities that come with trying a drop of the Pretty. Warning: now’s the time to suspend your disbelief. One drop of the Pretty potion gets them a week of long-legged, doe-eyed bliss. So, they make (terrible) excuses for the whereabouts of their real selves and walk through the doors that suddenly begin to open for them. Doors that lead to movie roles and dates with the superflirtatious novelist Velma Wolff. You'll find yourself getting sucked in as things descend into chaos, but there really isn’t a solid foundation to this story. An opportunity to build up a back story for the Pretty comes and goes in one underwhelming chapter. And while these characters promote liberating views on female sexuality, issues are either dulled by self-congratulating rants or resolved in fairy tale–esque fashion. One redeeming quality is that becoming Pretty does not involve a Cinderella-like transformation—it takes the adage “beauty is pain” to a new level.
If you like basking in over-the-top banter and don’t roll your eyes at perfectly neat endings, you’ll have a fun afternoon on the beach with this one.