What if you woke up one morning and, suddenly, had everything you ever wanted? You'll find out in Beauty, by Lisa Daily (one of our "New" books).
Molly has never been pretty or popular. Not even close. Between the frizzy hair and zits, she's the epitome of adolescent awkwardness. Worse, she's snubbed by mean girls, teased by her brother, and the guy she likes doesn't know she exists (of course). Even Molly's own mother (a former beauty queen) thinks she needs help in the looks department. Or seems to. Everything comes to a head at the local fair. Feeling like her life is over, Molly wanders to the deserted edges of the carnival and encounters Dharma, a strange artist who offers to sketch Molly's portrait...with one condition: Molly must not look at the drawing (not even peek) until she gets home.
The next day, Molly awakens to discover she's become the most beautiful girl in the school. Maybe even the town. Suddenly, Molly has everything she's ever wanted: Adoration, admiration, popularity, and a date with the cutest guy in school.
Life is perfect!
Or is it?
Molly learns that having ultimate beauty and popularity aren't everything she thought it would be. Her best friend wants nothing to do with her, her beloved dog doesn't recognize her, and she's not sure if people genuinely like her for herself or only because she's beautiful. It's a nightmare!
But unless she can find Dharma and get her to un-do whatever magic spell she cast, Molly will be forever stuck in a life that isn't her own.
Beauty is predictable (it reminded me a lot of Tom Hanks' movie Big), and even a bit cliche, but enjoyable just the same. There are valuable lessons here too: Be careful what you wish for...Don't judge on appearances... etc... Molly is one of those characters who does a lot of maturing over the course of the story, beginning things as a whiny, self-absorbed brat and emerging as a well-rounded and confident young lady. I enjoyed watching her growth. And I cheered for her happy ending.
Beauty is not the most deep book you'll read this month, but it'll keep you reading. Besides, sometimes you need something light and fluffy to balance out all that heavy reading you have to do for school. --AJB