Thursday, 23 May 2013

Review: Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: 30th April 2013
My rating: 3 stars


Inner beauty wants out. When eighteen-year-old Becky Randle’s mother dies, she’s summoned from her Missouri trailer park to meet Tom Kelly, the world’s top designer. He makes her an impossible offer: He’ll create three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived. Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he’s producing a hidden camera show called World’s Most Gullible Poor People. But she accepts, and she’s remade as Rebecca. When Becky looks in the mirror, she sees herself – an awkward mess of split ends and cankles. But when anyone else looks at Becky, they see pure five-alarm hotness. Soon Rebecca is on the cover of Vogue, the new Hollywood darling, and dating celebrities. Then Becky meets Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and everything starts to crumble. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But to love her back, Gregory would have to look past the blinding Rebecca to see the real girl inside. And Becky knows there’s not enough magic in the world. A screamingly defiant, hugely naughty, and impossibly fun free fall past the cat walks, the red carpets, and even the halls of Buckingham Palace, Gorgeous does the impossible: It makes you see yourself clearly for the first time.

But instead I'm the most useless sort of Prince; I'm a idiot with a closetful of extremely uncomfortable formal clothing and a trunkful of extremely impressive engraved stationery for writing notes of abject apology to everyone. And I have no idea what to do, because after everything you've told me and after the fact that I've chosen to believe it, I'm still left with only one very real question."
"Which question?"
"Who are you?"
 
Gorgeous was a strange book, overall I did enjoy it, but I can’t exactly say that I loved it. There were parts that I adored and parts which had me utterly baffled, hopefully I can put my finger on what I mean in my review because I feel as if I’m on a bit of a see-saw.

When Becky’s mum dies, she makes her promise that she will say yes. Becky is heartbroken over the loss of her mum but also baffled by what her promise means, until eventually she finds out.  She’s left a number by her mum and immediately she’d plucked from normal Becky Randle from East Trawley to top super model for Tom Kelly Rebecca Randle. Within the first few weeks she’s making movies with heart throb Jate Mallow and covering Vogue magazine. But she doesn’t get how Tom did it, he designed her one beautiful red dress and it changed her dramatically, Becky’s more confident than she’s ever been, but her features have also changed within an instance, she’s hardly recognisable as Becky Randle, but super imposes as a glamorous model. What exactly has Tom Kelly done? And what are the repercussions? Becky can’t just expect this all for free can she?

Everything happened so suddenly for Becky that I did not understand anything either. Becky did deserve her time in the limelight she’d been living 17 years in a trailer with her mother who was eating herself away. But what I wanted to know was why Tom Kelly picked Becky amongst millions and how did he work his magic? Some of the explanations behind Becky’s big change I wasn’t expecting, but one of the big surprises I didn’t really get the purpose of, even when I think about it weeks after finishing Gorgeous I’m still confused about.

Despite my qualms about the mystery, there were some decent secondary characters which made this book for me; Rocher and Prince Gregory. What I liked about both of the characters was that they weren’t afraid to say what they thought. I definitely prefer characters that get to the point instead of faffing about. Also despite following a dark shady path, the story is laced with some nice humorous scenes along the way; one of my favourites was Rocher’s kerfuffle with Lady Jessalyn at Ascot.

At times I did feel like giving up on Gorgeous as there were passages which were so rambly, descriptions of people could go on for a bit, which at times I did find unnecessary. But I think the ending to Gorgeous did win me over. So if you’re looking for a different type of read with an unexpected twist, a story about growing up and finding your place in the world I would definitely recommend giving Gorgeous a try.


27 comments:

  1. These are the hardest to review. When you do like the book overall but then there are some moments in book you can't get over with. I have seen this book around and I love the cover. But I think I'll skip. Great review Jasprit :)

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  2. Great review hun, I have to say that quote makes me want to try and read this again but I couldn't get into it. I'm glad you enjoyed it though. x

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  3. This doesn't sound like my kind of read, but I did enjoy your review. Great insight!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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  4. I'm the same way, I like it when characters say it like it is as it saves so much unnecessary drama. And I hate ramble-y descriptions, I often find myself skimming over them.

    It's always nice to have a touch of humour in books that are quite dark. I'm sorry that you didn't completely love this one, Jasprit. Great review!

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  5. great review. I have been waiting to see some reviews come out for this book to see if i would like to read it. I am not sure Its my kind of book.

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  6. What a beautiful cover! Sounds like an interesting premise, might give it a go :) x

    http://natashangan.com/

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  7. I'm surprised to say that I actually really like the premise for this one! Usually, it wouldn't be even remotely close to my cup of tea, but I guess our tastes change. Despite the flaws and what might be tiny plot holes with a underwhelming amount of closure, I think I want to give this one a go. I really appreciate you writing such a balanced review, Jasprit :)

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  8. I have not heard of this before but it does have an interesting vibe to it. I'm glad you were able to enjoy it even though you had some issues. Great review! :)

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  9. Seems liked a flawed book but generally readable. I dislike when a story's plot rushes to the bit moment and has confusing explantations. Fantastic critical review Jasprit! I can completely feel the see saw feeling.

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  10. "At times I did feel like giving up on Gorgeous as there were passages which were so rambly, descriptions of people could go on for a bit, which at times I did find unnecessary."

    Couldn't agree more Jasprit! That was one of the main issues I had with this book as well, he would just completely lose me in all the description, and I found myself skimming a lot. I thought it was a strange little read to, but I did love Rocher and Gregory as you did, they kept me flipping the pages:)

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  11. the descriptions sound like it would turn me off, but R and G sound great and engaging

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  12. I was so bored with this one that I didn't read very far. It was practically unbearable for me. I, as you, was so confused. And I agreee - everything happened so fast. I didn't meet Gregory so I can't really express my thoughts on him, but lucky for you that you actually found something to looked forward to.

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  13. I'm not sure if I'd like to read this one. The story sounds interesting but I think I'd want to know more about why Tom picks Becky out of the crowd. Glad to see that you liked some of the secondary characters. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. I want this one! It's sounds awesome! Great review!

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  15. Well that is a disappointment! I have this for review and I was so hoping it was going to be great. I am curious about the mystery and all of that but discouraged about the writing and lack of explanation :(

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  16. I'm glad it was a relatively good book, and there were parts you adored. Always a plus. I think I'll pass though; the summary didn't interest me to begin with, so it's probably something I wouldn't really enjoy.

    -Lauren

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  17. I really love the idea of this one, but from your description, I don't think the style would sit well with me and the qualms you had with this one would irritate me much more, I can tell. Still, I'm glad you were able to enjoy it and it seems so different from anything out there which is a definite plus. Great review, dear!(:

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  18. I completely agree with your review. I had some of the same thoughts. I just didn't really care that much about what happened or even why. I think Rudnick was trying too hard to make a bigger statement, and lost some of the qualities that really make a book enjoyable.

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  19. I noticed this book popping around recently, well said review! The lack of explanation would definitely bother me as well

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  20. Haven't heard about Gorgeous before, but it sounds like such a good summer read! Will have to get my hands on it soon and find out myself how I like it. Thanks for your honest review!

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  21. I haven't heard of this book before, but the blurb is really fascinating. It sounds sort of like a modern fairytale. Though I'm sorry you had some lingering questions, Jasprit, and that some things were confusing—that really tends to ruin a book, or at least cause some issues.

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  22. This book cover is SO pretty! Although I'm not sure how I feel about picking this book up to read the pages. It sounds like quite a weird book, and I hate being confused/having questions. At least some characters were redeeming, but I think this is not for me. Thanks for your thoughts! :)

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  23. I have to admit, I wasn't too crazy about the blurb for this, and I'm naturally suspicious of books involving celebs and such anyway. And adding long, rambling passages and a middling rating...I'm probably okay with skipping. :) I appreciate your review, Rachel! Especially since it confirms my decision, hah.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  24. I think it's kind of unbelievable how the MC was able to transform from a trailer park resident to a model super quick and it sounds very weird. I don't think I'd like it at all, but thanks for your honest review, Jasprit :) That book will look great on a shelf, Love the cover!

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  25. I heard about this one a while ago and it sounds interesting because it is kind of different from what I've read. However, I am not sure I would be able to enjoy it because I don't like it when things happen all of a sudden without a good reason. It just bothers me how someone might be the 'chosen one' when there are billions of other people.
    Great review Jasprit! :)

    Rashika @ Tangled in Pages

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  26. Sometimes long rambly descriptions can bore me half to death, but this book doesn't sound too bad overall. I just don't think I'll hurry to get my hands on it either. Great review!

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  27. It sounds very unique and strange so I might pick this one up. The cover is great! But I think I'll go slightly nuts wondering the same questions as you, like...WHY? It sounds weird. But great review!

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