STARRED REVIEW
May 2013

Blinded by an ugly duckling’s beauty

By Paul Rudnick
Review by
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The actual solstice may be several weeks away, but Gorgeous ushers in the summer reading season with a bang. Becky Randle is living in a Missouri trailer park with her mom and working as a checkout girl when fate throws her a curveball. When her mom dies, she’s called to New York to meet international design icon Tom Kelly, who offers to make her three dresses that will turn her from average-on-a-good-day into the most beautiful woman in the world. Who wouldn’t bite?

The newly minted Rebecca Randle, who lands the cover of Vogue and a hit movie in record time, is only visible when someone else is looking at her; when they leave, she morphs back into Becky. Things are further complicated when she meets gawky but adorable Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and falls in love. For the relationship to work, he’ll have to find Becky behind the gloss and sparkle of Rebecca. To say “wacky hijinks ensue” would be putting it mildly.

Author Paul Rudnick brings his biting wit to this fierce, foul-mouthed and very funny fairy tale. The worlds of fashion, celebrity obsession and the royal family are skewed and skewered for big laughs—the names of Tom Kelly’s signature fragrances alone are worth the price of admission (“Intoxicated” causes a memorable girl-fight).

References to My Fair Lady are not coincidental, but the wonderfully snarky social commentary will also connect with fans of Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens. The laughter complements a big-hearted story with a clear moral: “Inner beauty wants out.” So don’t just read Gorgeous: Be gorgeous, because you are.

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Gorgeous

Gorgeous

By Paul Rudnick
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545464260

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