The classic tale of how a beauty finds inner loveliness gets a modern take.
Blake Dawkins is the queen bee of her high school, using her beauty and connections to rule. But of course, on the inside she's troubled by how empty her life is, with a politico father focused on the family's image and a broken relationship with her former best friend, Audrey (of The Boyfriend App, 2013). Then the Apple-esque Public Corp. unveils its newest product: the Pretty App, which allows users to upload their photos to be rated by other users, leading to a reality show in which one contestant will be voted the Prettiest Girl. To complicate Blake's inevitable participation, she falls for mysterious new student Leo, who encourages her just to be her real self, only for Blake to discover Leo has a connection to Public and the show. When Blake realizes her participation has been compromised, she resolves to prove she's not the mean girl she used to be by making sure the right girl wins—with some help from old and new friends. Unfortunately, the shallow Blake and her so-called struggles aren’t likely to capture readers’ interest, always a risk with this particular premise. Compounding this liability, the plot is both predictable and arbitrary, and the stilted dialogue doesn't pass muster.
A clichéd, unrealistic look at teen lives in the mobile age. (Fiction. 14-18)