Elizabeth K.'s Reviews > Outside Beauty

Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
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's review
Aug 05, 09

bookshelves: 2008-new-reads
Read in December, 2008

Wow, this was great. YA novel, about four sisters who are actually half sisters because their mother more or less makes a living by serial dating men and then breaking their hearts when she moves on to the next guy. The sisters, who range in age from 16 down to 6, get daily lessons from their mom about poise, graceful posture, preventing wrinkles, appraising jewelry, and attracting men. Most of the action takes place during a summer when the girls are separated as each goes to stay with her own father. When I started reading this, I was thinking what the heck kind of messed up scenario is this for a young adult book? But I was completely sold by the time I was half-way through, and the author does a great job of taking a character like the mother who by all rights should be pretty unlikeable, and showing how true it is that her daughters love her and appreciate her even as they start realizing some of the ways in which they do not want to be like her. I don't have any sisters and this book makes me wish I did.

Grade: A+
Recommended: To anyone who enjoys YA literature.
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