Apr 19, 2012

Review: Beauty by Lisa Daily

Title: Beauty
Author: Lisa Daily
Publisher:  Razorbill
Publication Date: 5.10.2012
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary, Modern Fairytale
Series: No
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
What's it like to be the most beautiful girl in the world?

Molly desperately wants to be beautiful. And that's what she tells Dharma, the mysterious portrait artist who sketches her face at the town fair just minutes after she's humiliated in front of Hudson, the guy of her dreams. When Molly wakes up the following morning, she's the most beautiful girl in Miracle, Ohio. Babies coo in her arms, her house fills with flowers from dozens of drooling boys, and she's chosen to be a model for the hottest store in town. Best of all, Hudson finally falls for her.

But Molly soon discovers that beauty--and her wish--comes with a price. She's faced with an impossible choice: Will reclaiming her true identity mean letting go of Hudson for good

I don’t think there’s a single girl (unless you are one of the 5% of the population gifted with natural beauty), who doesn’t wish they could magically become the IT girl. Maybe not the most stunning girl around, but we all have flaws and imperfections (especially as girls) that make us unsure, self-conscious, and awkward.

In Beauty, Lisa Daily brings all those internal issues that I know I faced as a teenager, and even as a woman today, to the foreground. Molly is just your average girl. She has zits and frizzy hair and occasionally falls over her own two feet. She’s awkward and gangly and tripped her way right into my heart. When she is given this incredible gift of beauty at a carnival, I cheered for her.

I’ll admit it: I have wished for the exact same thing. I see a girl with shiny, straight hair and look at my own curly, occasionally frizzed out mess and glower internally. Seeing Molly get something I had so fervently wished for as a teen made my heart happy.

Only, then it wasn’t so happy. With this beauty came a new boy, new friends, and a new attitude … which honestly started to suck. Pretty soon Molly was not only blowing off her old friends, but maliciously making fun of them with the popular girls. While I get that the message is be careful what you wish for, one of my only complaints is that I felt Daily took Molly’s transformation a bit too far. The things she did to people turned my stomach.

This book is very predictable. The most obvious ending is the correct one, but there’s still a deeply rooted message here that I think is vital for girls—and women—today. Do I think all beautiful girls are cruel monsters? No, but if you place beauty on a pedestal above all else, then you’ll lose that special spark that sets you apart from everyone else.


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