Waking Beauty: A Novel Paperback – Jun 22 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Friedman (Then Again) offers up a spunky, spiteful revenge novel about Allison Penny, an ugly 20-something who suddenly wakes up gorgeous—a silly conceit counterbalanced by bulls-eye social commentary and sharply drawn characters. Allison's roommate, Virginie, and her boyfriend, Fraser, have long made Allison's life hell; pretty much everybody is inconsiderate of pretransformation Allison, including her own adoptive mother. Her only friend is Nathan, a video store clerk and aspiring film critic. Early chapters catalogue the injustices of a world in which unattractive people can't get ahead, while later chapters satisfyingly knock down the pins lined up earlier: Allison gets revenge on Virginie, Fraser, her mother and a supporting cast of shop girls, literati and other pretentious types. But she hasn't become beautiful just to get revenge, has she? "Did I have some sort of beauty duty to perform? And if so, what would it be? Posing naked for a PETA billboard? Administering blowjobs to ugly outcasts?" No, but there's a lesson here: "it's what's on the outside that counts." Beautiful Allison gets handsome suitors, job offers—even her mother's affection. But she's kept her sharp, sardonic view of all things superficial, and she still loves homely Nathan. Friedman thumbs her nose at many of the conventions of chick lit, and the nasty bite of her prose offers plenty of guilty pleasure.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Allison Penny, a self-described "troll," is an overweight, unattractive, depressed 22-year-old with a dead-end cleaning job; a disparaging, alcoholic mother; a father who won't acknowledge her; and a roommate who is just plain mean. Her life is on the fast track to nowhere, until one morning, with no explanation, Allison wakes up stunningly beautiful. What's a girl to do but take her new body for a test drive before her luck runs out? It is in this new body that Allison experiences everything she had been missing. In the end she has to learn how to live in the new body and all the problems that come with it, including getting her inner beauty to match her outer beauty. This modern twist on an old fairy tale is funny, sometimes dark, and completely engaging, but the moral is a little pessimistic--it's what's on the outside that counts. But the book's only real flaw lies in a couple of sexual passages that are raw and somewhat out of tone with the rest of the book. Carolyn Kubisz
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
However, one magical Saturday morning, Allison wakes up in the body of a Goddess. After fainting and getting over the initial shock, Allison is able to examine her wonderfully perfect body. And perfect it is: she has blond locks, large blue eyes, puffy, pouty lips and gorgeous white teeth. Her buttocks look wonderful, her breasts are perfect and she is a model of perfection. Out with the old Allison, in with the new.
Allison, shocked at her transformation, wonders if she uttered an incantation, took a potion, did something different. After racking her brain, she comes up with nothing but decides to enjoy life to the fullest now that she can get everything she has been denied.
She goes out into the world and is offered a modeling contract almost right away. She meets a man and has sex with him; she goes shopping and even tries on clothes in the store. She begins to realize that beauty is power and now she can get everything she wants. Things are not what they seem. Beautiful people have a set of problems all their own.
Trying to come to grips with her new looks, Allison is able to fool everyone into thinking that the old Allison had to leave suddenly. Now she is like a fly on the wall, listening to what everyone thought of fat, ugly Allison. Armed with her beauty, she is able to get access to a world from which she was previously shut out.Read more ›
This will definitely appeal to the Bridget Jones crowd, but it's Bridget Jones with a bite that Bridget never had, and it's far sexier and funnier. This is one of those rare novels that's really worth your money. Read it and enjoy.
Granted this was a modern sort of fairytale but the characters were too caricature like. They didn't have much depth and their behaviors, except for Allison, were too predictable.
It is a quick, easy read but there is something missing.
Most recent customer reviews
Catchy title and premise. Colourful writing with funny moments. After the transformation is made, the book becomes somewhat of a fairy tale which made it hard to believe, at... Read morePublished on Dec 15 2004
This is the story about an overweight, exceptionally homely woman who wakes up one morning with the body and face of a supermodel. Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by sb-lynn
This book leaves too many questions to be answered. Why did she wake up "perfect"? Why didn't video boy want to be with her until she was beautiful? Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by G. Alexander
This book was awful. The plot, the characters, the writing ... the author was exceptionally lazy. I wasn't expecting Shakespeare, but this was one of the worst books I've read in a... Read morePublished on July 12 2004