Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Title: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point
Release date: March 1st 2013
Pages: 272
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought
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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.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I've read The Lonely Hearts Club, and it was a cute, fun read. And from what I've heard, that's what you can generally expect from Elizabeth Eulberg's novels - nothing too deep or meaningful, but always entertaining. That's what Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is, too, and sometimes you just need a quick, fun read that doesn't make you think too much.

There's two parts to Lexi's story: the family storyline and the high-school-drama storyline. I really liked the family storyline: the beauty pageant stuff is fun to read about, and I enjoyed getting to know the members of her family. (I guess "enjoy" isn't the right word, because there were times I wanted to punch each one of them in the face. But I definitely liked reading about them because they're well-developed characters.) Then there's the high school drama, which I'll admit is cliched and therefore wasn't always that great to read. But I didn't mind too much; Cam and Benny are good supporting characters, and for once, I actually liked the love triangle, if just for the unusual outcome.

Lexi is a very typical main character, which is both good and bad. She can be a little annoying in her typical teenager-y ways of thinking, but at the same time, that makes her easy to relate to.  Her narration is nice to read, keeping me entertained and making Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality a quick read.

The message, though, is something I was kind of confused about. At first, Lexi plays down her beauty, always in baggy t-shirts with her hair in a ponytail and no makeup. Then, she gets a makeover and dresses nice and wears a ton of makeup. The message is never really clear about whether or not that is supposed to be a good thing, though - in some ways, the book argues that you shouldn't have to change yourself to be appreciated by others. But Lexi not giving her looks any effort isn't portrayed as a good thing, either. I was confused about what message, exactly, the author wanted to convey about beauty and body image.

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is an entertaining read, but not much more. I had hoped for a stronger girl-power message, a theme I have come to expect from lighter reads such as this one. Still, Elizabeth Eulberg's writing is good, and the story is fun, so if you're looking for an entertaining, lighthearted read that doesn't require much thinking on your part, give this one a try!


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