Yesterday, I finished reading Elizabeth Eulberg’s Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality. I suspected I would enjoy this book because I’d read two of Eulberg’s other books (Prom & Prejudice, Take a Bow), and I adored them. Thankfully, I was right (as I so often am). In addition to a fabulous title, readers are also given a wonderful story. I think many girls–both young and old–will be able to relate to the character of Lexi, a fun, smart girl with a great personality, who is often overshadowed by what passes for beauty in the world around her.
Lexi’s always been known as a girl with a great personality. But when she spends her weekends following her mom and seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, on the pageant circuit, hearing about how beautiful her little sister is, Lexi gets a little tired of looks mattering so much. She hates the artificiality of the entire pageant world, how pageants have turned her sister into a little monster, and the fact that her mom focuses all of her attention–and money–on pageants and pays little attention to her eldest daughter unless she’s considering how Lexi can help Mackenzie’s pageant prospects.
Lexi’s friends convince her that she’s great the way she is, but they admit that she could highlight some of the features that she tends to downplay. So Lexi decides to venture into the world of makeup, hair care products, and form-fitting clothes…and the result is a little shocking to her. For the first time, she’s the one getting noticed for her looks. She’s being asked out and noticed by the popular crowd. While Lexi is officially offended that people only started noticing her when she “glammed up,” a part of her is thrilled with the added attention. Is this what keeps those pageant girls going week after week?
Pretty soon, though, the pressure gets to be too much for Lexi. Yes, she does like some of the makeup and hair stuff, but she doesn’t really feel like she’s being true to herself anymore. Even when she snags the attention of not one but two popular guys, she questions why they really want to be with her.
Also, tensions are rising between Lexi and her mom. No matter what Lexi does or says–or even what little Mackenzie does or says–her mom is all about the pageants, and the family is running the risk of losing everything to keep Mackenzie in these pageants. When Lexi’s mom does the unthinkable, Lexi must examine what really makes her beautiful and what she may have to do to finally open her mother’s eyes to the truth.
So how does this girl with the great personality finally get her revenge on those who think “beauty” is everything? Find out for yourself when you read this fantastic book by Elizabeth Eulberg!
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I loved–and identified with–Lexi’s character, her friends were awesome, and, even though I’ve never had much experience with the pageant world and its ups and downs, I felt bad for the toll it was taking on Lexi. I appreciated how Lexi came to term with her own image and realized that the only person she needed to please was herself.
I will say, though, that I absolutely despised Lexi’s mom. I’ve never watched an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras or Dance Moms or anything like that, but she’s what I imagine when I even think about the parents on those “reality TV” programs. Completely out of touch with what really matters to–and what’s best for–their children. I finished this book nearly 18 hours ago, and I’m still mad at Lexi’s mom for her atrocious behavior.
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is, I think, an excellent book for readers in middle grades on up. It examines what we–girls, especially–really think about beauty and body image. By the end of the book, the main character learns that being herself is the best thing she can do, and that’s a lesson that all young women–and those of us who are a bit older–could stand to learn.
For more information on this book and others by author Elizabeth Eulberg, visit http://www.elizabetheulberg.com/.