Gorgeous, by Paul Rudnick (book review) – beauty more than skin deep?

book cover of Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick published by Scholastic
Red dress, white dress,
duckling becomes swan!
One day will she awaken
to find the magic gone?

Stepping cautiously out of her trailer park and into Tom Kelly’s heady world of high fashion and celebrity, shy Becky puts on the first dress he creates for her and instantly becomes Rebecca, the most beautiful woman in the world. Of course, such a magical transformation comes at a price…

Paul Rudnick has written essays, plays, movies (Addams Family Values and others), but this is his first young adult book – and he nails it! Read the first two chapters here for free, and you’ll be hooked! Find Gorgeous at your local public library or independent bookstore to see if Rebecca/Becky succeeds.

If you had one year to do something extraordinary, what would you choose to do?

Book info: Gorgeous / Paul Rudnick. Scholastic Press, 2013 [author NPR  interview]  [publisher site] [book Facebook page]

My book talk: After her mom dies suddenly, Becky calls the mysterious phone number she left, and designer Tom Kelly swears he can transform the shy teen into the most beautiful woman in the world – how could she say no? If she’d only foreseen the consequences…

What made her sweet, funny mom hide in their trailer house and overeat herself to death, Becky never knew. As she gathers up Mom’s clothes for charity, the 18-year-old finds a ring box containing just a phone number. When she dials it, the lady answering sends her a plane ticket to New York – the world’s most famous designer must see her, right now!

Her first plane trip, first limo ride, first time out of Missouri – suddenly Becky is swept into a sophisticated glass mansion overlooking the New York skyline. Tom Kelly knew her mother (why didn’t Mom ever tell her?) and promises that if Becky will wear the 3 dresses he designs for her then she’ll be the most beautiful woman in the world. There is a catch – she must fall in love and get married within one year.

Agreeing to his idea, she finds herself being measured, fitted, and fabulously attired in the most amazing red dress as Rebecca. When she accompanies Tom into the city, the reporters and bloggers go wild – who is she? The reclusive designer escorts Rebecca to her Vogue cover photo shoot, to the opera where her unearthly beauty upstages the diva. When anyone else is around, Rebecca is stunningly beautiful, but when she’s alone, the mirror shows shy, dumpy Becky is still there.

Whisked away on a motorcycle by her teen idol Jate, Rebecca effortlessly becomes a movie star in his latest action adventure. Her best friend Rocher from home joins her as she tours the world as the face of Tom Kelly Designs. When Rebecca meets and charms Prince Gregory as they open a London children’s hospital, she decides that he’s the one for her.

Will Gregory fall in love with her, too?
Could the British public accept an American as wife of the royal heir?
Can Rebecca slow down time so her year lasts long enough?

More than a Cinderella fashion story, Gorgeous  takes aim at our insatiable appetite for who’s who, beauty,and the latest style in everything, as Becky/Rebecca tries to discover her true self during twelve too-short months. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.