Waking Beauty: A Novel
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Waking Beauty: A Novel

2.99 of 5 stars 2.99  ·  rating details  ·  194 ratings  ·  34 reviews
What would you do if you went to bed ugly, fat, and depressed and woke up the next morning in the body of a goddess?
This is exactly the miracle that befalls Allison Penny, who has spent most of her twenty-two years on this earth in a serious slump (to say the least).

Having long since given up on her life, Allison is stuck in an apartment with an evil sexpot roommate, tra...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 19th 2010 by Crown (first published June 22nd 2004)
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Bryanne Salazar
I read this book 16 years ago, when I was less invested in feminism and deeply unhappy with my post-baby body. I remember loving the book, loving that a "fat, ugly and depressed" young woman could wake up with the body of a supermodel and finally get the life she deserved. However - now, as someone older and wiser (and wider) I have different feelings. The message, whether the author meant it or not, is that physical, not internal beauty, trumps all. It leaves the physically imperfect reader fee...more
I think this had shallow answers to a deeper problem.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janice (Janicu)
Allison is very ugly but wakes up one day looking like a model. No reason is ever given for this, just that one day she wakes up looking nothing like she used to. The only thing she has lost is her great voice and can no longer sing with the range she had before. Immediately she sets out to see what she can do now that she has outside beauty. This includes getting revenge on those who treated her badly, like her cute but mean roommate and a jerk at the offices she cleans. She also tries out dati...more
Zhao Yi
I bought this book because I needed something to read for a flight.

On the one hand, it's fluff.

On the other hand, I went back to it a couple of times because there was an aspect of wish fulfillment. I'm no triple-bagger, but there are times in every person's life (especially for women) where they wished they were either something they were not or something better than what they were. I read this book when I was wishing I was just five pounds lighter, just a little taller, etc.

However, I was and...more
A ugly, fat girl who works as a janitor goes to bed one night and wakes up the next day beautiful. Cute, right? Wrong.

I kept skimming through the pages waiting for something good to happen, but nothing really did. The author tried too hard to make us feel sorry for the poor fat ugly girl as she scarfs Snickers bars and multiple falafels. (What is a falafel anyway??) I think the author really wanted to make this a sexy story, but really, to me, the whole story line just translated into stupid, k...more
Mar 20, 2011 Suzanne rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: Diva Scavenger Hunt - tiara
I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. it was definitely an interesting premise. There were some Bushnellesque witticisms and some bona fide moments where the reader is routing for Allison; I found myself thinking, 'yes, absolutely, I'd do that if I woke up stunningly beautiful one day.' But, there were more moments where I didn't like Allison very much ("old" and "new.") It seems from the book jacket that the author's message is supposed to be something along the lines of inner beauty is...more
So "Waking Beauty" has a great concept.

"Ugly Duckling" hates her life and her looks, goes to bed and wakes up as a "Swan."

I just didn't buy it. I wanted to really like this book but I just really feel that the whole thing just fell flat. I'm not sure where it went wrong, it could be that the author introduces a character with no relationship ties to the story and I found myself skimming back through to see if I missed something.

Then (without revealing too much), she drops a major character and n...more
Karen Dambrosia
good book makes you want to be a better person
The cover of this book is entirely misleading. I picked it up looking for a quick summer time read and instead found a darkly funny, pessimistic, entirely addictive novel about our appearance obsessed society. I simply love the way Elyse Friedman writes. There are obvious problems with the plot line, (certain things never being explained or resolved) but I love the book despite this. It's one of those books I find myself coming back to over and over again.
The ending saved it, I suppose. Honestly, I didn't like this book much at the beginning or in the middle. The main character's outlook on life is bitter and sardonic, which maybe some people appreciate, but I didn't. There are a few more sex details than I'd care for too. The author does, however, use excellent vocabulary and superb diction, which coupled by the pessimistic outlook, made for an ironic read.
As it turns out, Allison's problem isn't that she's fat and unattractive. Allison's real problem is that she has an ugly soul.

Every couple of years, I read this book again, just to see if maybe I can find something that I missed. After four reads, I'm convinced that I haven't missed anything.
Allison, who lives in Toronto, is fat and ugly. She wakes up one day as s beautiful woman. Moral of the story is that it really IS what's on the OUTSIDE that counts. She stays beautiful but stays with Nathan, who she liked before she was beautiful.
Occasionally funny, but it couldn't maintain my interest. It was hard to empathize with the heroine when after her transformation, we discover that she's happy to get really ugly. But hey, as long as she "finds herself", it's all okay!
So basically Allison spents the first few hours/days as "Beauty" trying to lose her virginity. I should had given up reading this crap when she gets a lick job from some construction worker she happen to past by.
Katy Dunn
Terrible book. The main character is horribly mean and shallow - I quit in the third or fourth chapter. I don't know why I would choose to spend time with this personality and continue reading the book.
It's quite an interesting book. Didn't hate it but didn't love it. I read this a while back. It was a random pick from the library. It was a little better than what I was expecting. It's a fun quick read.
May 18, 2007 Carolyn rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't believe in fairy tales
Shelves: chicklit
An ugly girl wakes up gorgeous. Throughout the book, she lives her fantasies as a pretty girl, and uses her looks to get what she wants. She never wakes up ugly, or thinks that her life was better ugly.
♥ Marlene♥
Well I really enjoyed this little book. Finished it yesterday.
Just a fun very witty dark humour book.
So different than other chick lit books. I am going to check if she wrote more books.
Light and easy to read, but I didn't like the overall message that the book presented, even though it was in a satirical way. But, it was interesting that it didn't end at all the way I expected.
This book started off really slow. I almost put it back on my book shelf but once it got to the point of the story I got sucked in. I loved it up until the ending. Otherwise a good book.
hilarious book - I only wish it was a little longer. Plus, who doesn't want to read a book about a woman who's ugly her whole life and then suddenly wakes up looking like a Supermodel?
Noelle Campbell
Interesting, if a little crude and too worldly. It's kinda sad, but I suppose typical, of what someone would do if they woke up beautiful.
A good (if unrealistic) story... I could've done without most of the crude sexual descriptions. But the ending made it a worthwhile read.
Moriah B24
I think this is a very good book if you are into girl comedies. It keeps my attention. I have trouble putting it down. : )
Kind of dumb and really dirty.
There was no real meaning to the story. No real plot or climax.
Story of a horribly ugly girl who wakes up beautiful and how her life changes.
Three plus 1/2! Very clever. Fun to read a Toronto-based fantasy.
Granted, I read this years ago, but I thought it was hilarious then.
Every girl's dream... plus a good summer/vacation read.
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