Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Enchanting Review: Gorgeous

Contemporary YA
ISBN# 978-0-06-089046-9
278 pages
Hardcover – Available now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Allison Avery has always felt invisible. The middle child sandwiched between older, smart, talented, and accomplished Quinn and younger, pretty, and popular Phoebe, Allison thinks herself the epitome of mediocrity. It doesn’t help that she feels like an ugly duckling in public. And with not-quite-supportive friends, distracted sisters, and parents with their own financial problems, no one has really told her different.

But that all changes the first time Allison hands out with Roxie, a used-to-be big city girl also rumored to be a model. Suddenly Allison realizes she’s tired of being the girl in the shadows. So, she makes a deal with the devil. In exchange for gorgeousness, all Allison has to do is let the devil possess her cell phone. Sounds like a great deal, right? Not. Allison’s looks may have earned her more popularity, but do her new friends like her for her—or her face? And is her semi-finalist spot in a competition to find America’s next teen model all what it’s cracked up to be? And now that the devil’s control of her phone is wreaking havoc with her personal and social life, Allison has to ask herself—is beauty really worth this?

GOEGEOUS is a witty, unusual, and ultimately charming tale of a girl trying to figure out who she is. Allison is a very likable character every teen girl will be able to relate to in some way; she’s very unsure of herself, both in intelligence and looks, she feels dwarfed by the accomplishments of those around her, and she doesn’t know who she can completely trust. That’s why she gives so little thought to the devil’s deal when she’s offered beauty. She’s just floundering for some confidence, something she can be proud of. This novel is very successful in conveying the importance of learning to love yourself. Despite that people should care about personality rather than image, beauty can be vital to that process of finding confidence, more for the reward of feeling beautiful than just being so. Vail, I felt, was also very effective in this message. For me, that’s what set GORGEOUS apart from other novels about body image and beauty even if it all comes down to inner beauty. It also helps that Allison’s business with the devil was continually mysterious. In all, GORGEOUS is a sweet story that will be enjoyed by women of all ages.

A resident of New York City, Rachel Vail has written many novels for young adults. GORGEOUS is the second installment in the Avery sisters trilogy; the first book, LUCKY, follows Phoebe’s story. Rachel can be visited online at her website: www.rachelvail.com

Rachael Stein
Enchanting Reviews
August 2009

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