Kirkus Reviews QR Code
GORGEOUS by Paul Rudnick


by Paul Rudnick

Age Range: 14 - 18

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-46426-0
Publisher: Scholastic

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)