Personal Note: I joined my work's softball team, which had its first game last night (we won and I scored a run!) Consequently I am super behind on commenting but will be checking out what was posted on my blog as well as on all of yours tonight and over the weekend.
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I've read all of Eulberg's previous work and I feel like I really click with her writing style so I was thrilled to check this one out especially as I would certainly consider myself a girl with a great personality (ahem :)
Our main character is Lexi and she has long bemoaned the way that boys skip over her, recognizing that she's fun and funny but paying attention to the pretty girls. In an effort to encourage boldness in her friend, she is dared to give herself a style makeover, amping up her look and soon garnering that attention she's always desired. But does Lexi want a boyfriend who only likes her because of her looks? Adding to her situation is her younger sister's beauty pageant entries, which her mother insists they entirely rearrange their lives around and which is bankrupting the family.
So there are sort of two main stories here: Lexi's outer makeover (because her inner personality is fabulous!) and the family's involvement in pageants, with the two colliding and overlapping but which I wanted to address separately. The makeover storyline is pretty predictable with me calling most of the plot points far in advance (re: the boys) and feeling comforted when they did in fact come to pass.
The plot with her mother and sister was a bit more surprising to me. The younger sister Mackenzie initially seems to be a huge brat with the mother catering to their every whim (the parents are divorced with the father basically dropping his family) but as the story progresses, there are more nuances. Mackenzie doesn't seem to love pageants as much as she used to and the mother is seeking solace in the competitions that she can't find elsewhere. She is a bit on the villainous side (wait til you read what she does to Lexi!) but they do have some good confrontations that will hopefully lead to a better home life. When I read, I sometimes feel a little overprotective of characters and this was the case here, indicating to me that Lexi is a very sympathetic girl. I think a lot of readers will be able to empathize with at least part of her situation.
Overall: Another great entry from Eulberg, tackling some deeper issues in a smart and mostly humorous way.
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