Format: Hardcover, 261 pages
A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.
Don’t mess with a girl with a Great Personality.
Everybody loves Lexi. She’s popular, smart, funny…but she’s never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).
Lexi’s sick of it. She’s sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She’s sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She’s sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she’s sick of having all her family’s money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.
The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren’t going to know what hit them. Because Lexi’s going to play the beauty game – and she’s in it to win it.
What the synopsis doesn’t tell you is that Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is about more than just appearance vs. inner beauty. It’s about Lexi’s family, and her struggles after her parents divorce. To me, this is a family book with a lot of comedy, and a nice shot of self-esteem.
Lexi’s mom is obsessed with her sister Mackenzie’s pageant career, even though the family can’t afford the thousands of dollars that they sink into pageanting for hair, makeup, clothes, choreography, etc. Mackenzie, meanwhile, has turned into a total brat who only thinks of herself and ensures that Lexi never has a weekend off because she thinks everyone should be on Team Mackenzie, helping her win.
Lexi not only feels like the ugly sister , but she also has to work constantly just to ensure that she can eat right (her mom and sister seem to exist only on fast processed foods), have a life with her friends, and save money to go to a summer program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. No wonder she’s fed up with her life.
Lexi’s struggle to find herself after her father leaves is the most interesting part of the story for me. Lexi’s low self-esteem is such a symptom of her role in the family, and her father’s abandonment. She really believes that she *is* nothing but the ugly older sister. That’s scary to me, because even from the beginning we see that she’s a funny, awesome person. But her problems stem a lot more from her struggle to find a place – and a parent – who can accept her as she is. Yes, there’s a lot of emphasis on Lexi’s outer appearance, but through all of her makeover, we see that Lexi just wants to belong somewhere.
This book was, to me, very much a character study and not so much of a novel. Yes, there was a plot that was kept moving pretty well – but in a lot of ways, the plot was there only to serve the character’s growth. I actively noticed this, and it bothered me. I know this is the way it’s supposed to be – and I’m the girl who’s all about developed characters – but for me, something about book felt a little thin. The plot was a little predictable – almost too much so, so that it felt like the characters almost became mouthpieces for the ideas that the author wanted to present.
All that aside, I still really enjoyed this book, because it was so personal to me. I was one of those Great Personality girls like Lexi. The difference is that I never tried to become a Glam Girl like Lexi did, or to walk in a Popular person’s shoes. But I totally identified with Lexi’s struggle. Even if it feels superficial, being told that you just have just a great personality over and over can be trying, and it can really work a number on your self-confidence.
For me, this was a refreshing, light, and comical read. I was glad to read it now, but I would have been gladder to read it in high school. It’s a book that really thinks about appearance versus personality, and I think it’s one that will help a lot of teenage girls who might be struggling with self-esteem issues.
Cute Guys: There are two. They’re both pretty cute. It’s not really a love triangle…but that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Sister, Sister: I mentioned Mackenzie, Lexi’s pageant-y sister earlier…let’s just say there’s more to her than you realize at the beginning.
The Final Word
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality was a super-fast read for me – I read it in about three hours, straight through. I really couldn’t put it down. It’s a light, fast read that goes nicely into self-esteem issues, with a lot of comedy and heart.
Recommended for: People looking for a between-two-heavy-books read, teenage girls, anyone who remembers how it feels to be a Great Personality girl.
Giveaway (US/Canada only):