By Paul Rudnick
Scholastic, $18.99, 336 pages
Paul Rudnick’s Gorgeous is a modern retelling of a “rags to riches” tale. Becky Randle is a normal girl from a poor neighborhood in East Trawley Missouri, who is given a unique, magical opportunity. Upon the death of her mother, Becky follows they mysterious sound of her mother’s ringtone and discovers a card with the number of Tom Kelly, the biggest name in fashion. He offers to make her three dresses, and to turn her into the most beautiful woman in the world. Thus begins the life of Rebecca Randle, but when everyone is falling over Rebecca, is there any room left for Becky?
“Rebecca wasn’t just perfect, she was a party and she was teaching me what it was like to love every inch of my body and everything it could do.”
While this is on the surface a typical Cinderella type tale, there is much more going in in this book than a girl given a taste of life as part of the rich and famous. Becky is a surprisingly deep character, who struggles with her own identity while she is masquerading as Rebecca to the rest of the world. Gorgeous is both humorous, and introspective, with a dash of supernatural to keep it unique. A quirky growing up story, Gorgeous is a wonderful book, well worth the read.
Reviewed by Whitney Smyth