Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality follows Lexi, a high school girl crushing on a popular guy who only sees her as a friend. Lexi is often labeled as a girl with a great personality, or, as she describes it, undateable. Dared by her best friend, Lexi gives herself a makeover, thought she doubts that makeup will change how people see her. That is until she is suddenly noticed by the popular guys. Lexi is suddenly approached by cute guys and invited to parties, but after getting a taste of the popular life, she begins to wonder if this is the life she really wants.
Lexi is also a buddy fashion designer with her sights set on moving to New York City, but at the moment her fashionable talents are only put to use by making little kid pageant outfits for her younger and snobbier sister, Mackenzie. Mackenzie’s pageants have put a financial strain on the household, which puts a strain on Lexi’s relationship with her mother since their mother feels Lexi should be contributing to Mackenzie’s pageant funds and Lexi feels that pageants are stupid and a waste of money.
This story definitely shone more light on the beauty pageants for little kids and the extremes some parents will take to live vicariously through their children. The mother very much reminded me of some of the parents on Toddlers and Tiaras (I will admit I’ve watched a few episodes). They don’t care how much money they spend or how ridiculous it is to dress up their children like they are forty-years older than their actual age, not as long as they get to parade their child around and show how much better their kid is to someone else’s.
My least favorite character in this book was the mother, which was obviously the goal. She made me so unbelievably angry. She had no regards for her children, especially not Lexi. She was always putting so much emphasis on appearances. Her refusal to acknowledge their financial problems was insane, and I don’t know what mother would ever feel it was okay to steal money from their child who earned it, even if you claim you are going to pay them back.
Now let’s talk about Lexi’s transformation in the book. Almost every girl goes through this phase either in middle school or high school where they feel like they aren’t good enough to get guys to notice them if they act like themselves. They feel like they have to have the clothes and the makeup and look as adorable as possible in order to catch the attention of the cute boy. Lexi came across to me as a girl who had pretty high self-esteem when it came to who she was and what she wanted out of life, but she was beaten down by her mother constantly saying Mackenzie was the prettier sister. It also didn’t help that Lexi’s crush was dating a beauty queen with the perfect hair, makeup, and clothes. I think this comparison to the pageant world and Lexi’s real life put a strain on how she viewed herself and that’s why she felt like not making any effort. As the book progressed, though, Lexi seemed to become more confident when it came to her appearance, especially when she stopped trying to be one of the popular kids and accept who she was with or without makeup . Makeup is a great way to enhance your features and give you confidence, but it shouldn’t be a mask to hide behind. It should just make your true colors come through even brighter.
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The ending was a nice refreshing change. I’m a sucker for happily ever after and often don’t like it when the girl doesn’t get the guy, but the way Elizabeth Eulberg made this story play out, it made sense for Lexi to be on her own. In fact, I was hoping for her to be on her own and move to her dad’s or somewhere that wasn’t home with the mother.
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I love Elizabeth Eulberg’s books. Her characters are always so interesting and it is easy to get caught up in their world. I would probably give this about a 4 out 5. It was a fun read that I would definitely pick up again. If you are looking for something a bit different in the contemporary YA genre, I recommend that you give this a try.