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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  3,132 ratings  ·  687 reviews
Inner beauty wants out.

When eighteen-year-old Becky Randle’s mother dies, she’s summoned from her Missouri trailer park to meet Tom Kelly, the world’s top designer. He makes her an impossible offer: He’ll create three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he’s producing a
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 28th 2013 by Scholastic Press
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Sydney It's been a while since i've read the book but i don't remember any explicit LGBTQ+ representation in the book, it's also not "spicy". It's more humor…moreIt's been a while since i've read the book but i don't remember any explicit LGBTQ+ representation in the book, it's also not "spicy". It's more humor based than anything. The book takes a good look into self image though, and accepting yourself. It's honestly a personal favorite.(less)

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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,132 ratings  ·  687 reviews

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Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: EVERYONE. Also, no one.
Rating: 3.5. Or 4. Or 2. I DON'T KNOW.

This was the most confusing reading experience EVER. EV. ER.

I'm pretty sure whatever editorial team took on this book, they completely missed the first forty or so pages. I barely made it through them: the voice is terrible, the writing is terrible, the dialogue is terrible - reading it made my eyes want to vomit. Everything was over-described. Whenever the MC, Becky, entered a room we got a laundry list of every piece of furniture, down to its make, model,
Mariana Zapata
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can name the number of books that make me laugh out loud on one hand. Maybe even on just two or three fingers to be specific. But THIS BOOK. My stomach hurt throughout so many parts of it.

When I first saw it, I was a little apprehensive about the concept but I said, "Okay." It was seven thirty in the morning when I put the book down and eleven that same morning when I woke up and picked it back up for the next three hours.

There's a lot of things I loved about it. Becky was funny, and likable
Kaethe Douglas
I've been a Rudnick fan since, let's say 1989 when his last novel, I'll Take It, was published (in the meantime I've been forced to keep up with his script writing). I love this guy. I have no idea how he manages to come out of nowhere with a Cinderella story featuring a dull teenaged trailer girl from Missouri and make it so perfect. Seriously: how did he get poverty so well? And middle America? Sure, I'm not at all surprised that he nails movie-making, and the empire of a Calvin Klein/Ralph La ...more
jv poore
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
by Paul Rudnick

What an odd little duck this is. I confess that, as I was reading it, I would occasionally stop and ask myself how I would write a review about it. Frankly, I don’t recall reading anything quite like this. Before I go too far; I love unique and weird, so all aforementioned and following descriptions are meant as compliments, not complaints.

First, this is not a book that “pulled me in”. Rather, there seemed to be a deliberate attempt to keep the reader on the outside, look
M.E. Welman (Paez)
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Spoilers ahead and I want to say I haven't enjoyed a book so very much in such a long time.

I was immediately grabbed by Mr. Rudnick's first paragraph and could not put the book down until I finished it--just now. The words flew off the page; the descriptions, characterizations (Aimee and Suzanne were so spot on) and the fact that I'm willingly being taken on an improbable ride and buying into it page after page, just made me love this book that much more.

For those of you old enough to remember
Nasty Lady MJ
May 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: My Sister (people who like fluff over substance and don't get annoyed as easy as me)
Recommended to Nasty Lady MJ by: I saw the Meg Cabot Blurb
Really 1.5 stars. To see full review click here.

This book barely gets a regular format review.

That's how disappointing it is.

I was able to find one, one redeeming feature and that was the idea of the book. Which it failed epically on.


So yeah, let's get started.

I'll start with characters because if you have lousy characters, more often than not you'll have a lousy book. And boy is our main character a piece of work. I just....I just didn't like her.

It's not like she was Zoey Redbird offen
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Gorgeous was a strange book, overall I did enjoy it, but I can’t exactly say that I loved it. There were parts that I adored and parts which had me utterly baffled, hopefully I can put my finger on what I mean in my review because I feel as if I’m on a bit of a see-saw.

When Becky’s mum dies, she makes her promise that she will say yes. Becky is heartbroken over the loss of her mum but also baffled by what her promise means, until eventually she finds out. She’s left a number by her mum and immed
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Will be published April 30, 2013, ARC from ALA.

This book was a hot mess!! Terrible dialog, and so overly descriptive is was painful. The premise was cool, but it just didn't work. The 'magic' was never really explained and while it is cool to see a person go from rags to riches, Rebecca/Becky never seemed to learn anything from her experience and it made me wonder why it happened to her in the first place. I wanted this to be funny/clever like Libba Bray's 'Beauty Queens' but it just never came

When I was in middle and early high school, I was obsessed with Meg Cabot. There was something playfully magical about her books, kind of like an incredibly fluffy cupcake that you don't want to eat because it looks too pretty. There wasn't much substance to her prose--she preferred the chatty to the poetic--but you didn't need that. And it wasn't like sugar, which is actively bad for you.

Eventually, something stopped clicking with Cabot and me. Her latest offerings just haven't hit it. I'v
Originally posted on Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

This book starts and it is intriguing. I liked Becky’s voice, felt the pain of her loss and was fascinated by the situation she finds herself in. Famous fashion designer Tom Kelley gives Becky a choice. She can stay with him in Manhattan, he will design her three dresses and she will become the most beautiful woman in the world. Or, she can go back to her trailer in the middle of nowhere America and back to her not so pretty life. Easy
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
OH, PAUL RUDNICK. I owe you an apology.

Back in June, when you sat down at my table at the ALA Young Adult authors shindig, my brain said, "Paul Rudnick...Paul Rudnick...something to do with movies?" And of course you were flawless of skin and delightfully charming of manner, and so I thought, yes, movies. Scriptwriting. Producing. Something. And I listened happily to you describe your novel, in which Becky Randle, trailer girl from East Trawley, MO, receives a mysterious offer from the incompar
shre ♡
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous was a...gorgeous novel! Every aspect of it was well played out and eye-catching. Although it started out pretty slow, I was completely hooked half-way through it. The characters were hilarious and lovable, the romance was endearing and the plot had a unique twist. A modern-day fairy-tale with many real-life conflicts. I laughed and cried my way through this wonderful book.

Like I said before, the characters were hilarious and lovable. The main characters Becky was very complex and a har
Apr 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
Rudnick does a masterful job of displaying just how depraved our society is becoming, when Scholastic chooses to publish a work so lacking in any sort of literary merit. Gorgeous is an excellent example of just how far down the pike we have come. When a book for teens has three times more f-words than the actual number of pages, it’s a bit frightening.

And yet, despite all of those unnecessary words, Rudnick does craft some hysterical scenes and situations. His characterizations, while frequently
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I'll tell you straight off the bat that the first few chapters of this are torturous to read. The writing is painfully over descriptive. Thankfully, I trudged through and found that, yes, eventually the book does get better. It's still nothing amazing, but I enjoyed it. Gorgeous is a modern day fairytale that is absolutely ridiculous and it had me laughing quietly to myself quite a bit. If you're looking for a quick, fun read, this would be a great choice. ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked this up on Scribd on a whim. I was done with my last audio book and needed something. I either wanted mystery or a fluffy contemporary and this one sounded like something I was in the mood for. It was kind of hokey and yet super cute.

You have Becky who lived with her mom who was once a model and then moved to a run down little town called Trawley and lived in a run down trailer. Her mom one day died and Becky was so lost without her. She found a number in her mom's phone. The number be
Christianna Marks
You can read this and many other reviews on my YA book blog The White Unicorn!

I have to tell you something... I'm in love with this book! I haven't read a book like this one in a long time. It kinda made me feel the same way as when I read Libba Bray's "Going Bovine"! It's one of those wild and kooky rides that is dunked into enough reality that you go along with it. Just like eating a whole bag of cookies with some really good milk, you can't stop yourself. I laughed so hard I wanted to cry an
Yamin Eaindray
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, five-stars

Gorgeous is one hell of a book that often made me stop, re-read the last few sentences, and say "what?".

I guess I get the idea of it...Rebecca's obese mother died, she found a number and called it, she met Tom Kelly, and was offered to be "The Most Beautiful Woman Who Has Ever Lived".

It sounds utterly unrealistic that three dresses can change a woman in very vague ways. And the exaggeration of Rebecca's beauty is...well...surprising. I don't believe a dress can make a girl gor
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd like to tell you about Gorgeous, even though I didn't finish it, because I think it's a good book -- for the right reader.

Becky's extremely overweight mother dies, and she finds a note with a phone number on it. She calls the number, and ends up in New York, meeting Tom Kelly, reclusive designer to the stars (think, maybe, Tommy Hilfiger?) Turns out he knew Becky's mom when she was young and a beautiful model. Tom says he can help Becky become the most beautiful girl in the world.

And he does
Marissa Moore
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous is a realistic fiction book. Anyone that likes to read about magic, finding their true selves, or drama will love this book. In the story an 18 year-old girl named Becky is given the opportunity of a lifetime. Her mother dies and leaves her the phone number of the most famous designer, Tom Kelly. She heads off to New York to see him and he tells her that he will make her the Most Beautiful Women in the World with only three dresses. She becomes Rebecca Randle instead of plain-old Becky. ...more
Dec 10, 2013 rated it did not like it

This is a world famous designer speaking to a young girl:
" 'I met your mother when she was sixteen,' said Tom. I was waiting for my car in Times Square and I looked across the street and there was this girl. Oh, she was a total hick, she was on a field trip to the city, her high school had flown everyone up north to see some godforsaken musical. But I could tell she was dazzled, by the show and the city and by being away from home for the first time. She was wearing tight, acid-washed jeans an
This Cinderella retelling was both sad and hilarious, silly and clever.
Review to come.
Serena Chase
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
(condensed from my review, posted at USA Today's HEA blog)
It was the cover art that first drew me in, but when I read the book description for Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick and realized it was a modern fairy tale with a twist, I simply had to have it. I'm a total sucker for a fairy tale, and since my sense of humor can be a bit twisted at times *wink*, it seemed like a pretty good fit.

Other than being the most originally irreverent take on a Cinderella story that I've ever read? Well, it's insanely w
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
We all like to dream “what if.” One of my favorite movies is Pretty Woman where we have a young woman who was working the streets climb the ladder of success all because someone recognized that she had potential. Someone saw that she had more to offer society and eventually her life becomes a fairy tale. In Gorgeous, Becky and her mother live in a trailer and Becky’s mother has not left the house in years. Becky has wondered about her mother’s strange behavior but has not questioned her mother a ...more
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I feel in love with GORGEOUS's hardcover jacket, but I might like the look of the paperback even better. (Plus, the white/black/red color scheme is ever so slightly more plot relevant than the black/red/blue color scheme.) GORGEOUS is the young adult debut of Paul Rudnick, a writer known for his plays and humor pieces in The New Yorker.

In this modern-day Cinderella story, Becky Randle is left adrift when her beloved mother dies. Then she finds a phone number in her mother's things, with instruct
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Where did this bizarre little book come from? I was not an easy convert but stuck with it and am glad I did; have now been utterly enchanted and seduced. Becky's beginnings are kinda contrived, Rudnick's voice stilted: girl lives in trailer park with single mom, works in small town grocery store, mom dies, girl is swept away to magical mansion of Calvin Klein who calls her plain/ugly but offers to make her the most beautiful girl in the world. HUH?!

And yet. Somewhere in between being literally
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ugh. I was hoping for so much more out of this book. Overall it was okay. It had some cute and deep parts, but there was just so much cussing and pretty much just a bunch of trashy talk of sex and other stuff that it just took away from the story. Honestly, the writing style in the beginning had a hard time hooking me in. I felt that it was disconnected, which I don't know how that's possible since it was in first-person. I don't know. The ending was just plain weird. I mean, was it God, was it ...more
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Thanks to Nicky for recommending this book! After reading the first paragraph I knew it was my mission to finish it. Rudnick weaves the supernatural into the story without sounding trite by concocting a main character who feels like someone we know. The humor in it is excellent, and it was a lot of fun to read. I just felt that the ending was too inconsistent with the rest of the book. For most of the novel, the intrigue of Becky's transformation, her relationship with her dead mother, etc., too ...more
Alethea A
May 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Ugh! bad luck with audiobooks this week. Plus, who edited this? I was having fun until everything that could have taken about 3 sentences took about 50 and I can't speed this thing up fast enough.

Slightly entertaining, could have used a better reader. I do love a Cinderella story.

Edit a few hours later:

Whoo-boy. This is pretty terrible. The beginning was somewhat promising, but it's really quite depressing and ridiculous. I think that's the point the author is trying to get across--the ridiculo
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Overall I'd say that this book was pretty cute. I did listen to it on audiobook and I did really like the voice used. The ending got a bit weird for me but it's still good and I just got over it. I'd say that it isn't the best writing ever but it was very enjoyable. Sometimes you just need that right? A book to just be fun to read. If you're looking for that kind of read then this is definitely for you. ...more
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
The message was, I guess, "good". If this is going to teach self-involved girls about social responsibility, more power etc. But for me, with the refined tastes that come with being fully double the intended reader's age, the satire was painfully heavy handed. And even to the extent that this does teach a lesson about social responsibility, it still reinforces as many lessons of privilege as it upends. So let's call this the remedial course. ...more
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Paul M. Rudnick is an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. His plays include I Hate Hamlet, Jeffrey, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla and The New Century. He also wrote for Premiere magazine under the pseudonym Libby Gelman-Waxner. He is openly gay.

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“Dysmorphia is when someone looks in the mirror, and sees something else. While I studied my own whatever I was, I decided that maybe everyone has at least a touch of dysmorphia; maybe it's impossible for anyone to ever truly know what they look like.” 15 likes
“wait," I said. "so you're saying that you proposed to me because I'm a mess and I'm a person and because we need each other, while Rebecca was —— something else? I get it, I follow you, but I'm also thinking, is the bullshit getting a little deep in here?"
"Yes, it is. You've caught me. And so fine, I will come clean, and I will tell you the absolutely true and naked reason why I want to marry you and only you, and not Rebecca."
"Because when I'm with you, I'm the pretty one.”
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