- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (June 22 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400051061
- ISBN-13: 978-1400051069
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,282,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Waking Beauty: A Novel Paperback – Jun 22 2004
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
The story doesn't try to explain how this happened, and for me this wasn't a problem. Once you accept the premise, I felt the author did have some interesting things to say about Beauty, and how powerful a force it is in our culture.
I give this book 4 stars because I thought it was a quick, fun, entertaining read. It's not simply a Revenge book, although it's that. It's also a mirror on how our society works.
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. She is one of the beautiful people now and things are going to change. Though, not necessarily for the better. Beautiful people have a whole other set of worries. It is not what is on the inside that counts, it's on the outside.
Allison is launched into a voyage of self discovery that shakes her to the very core. What she learns about herself will change her life forever...
Simply put, I loved this book. I loved every blessed moment. Friedman has created one of the most hilarious heroines since Bridget Jones. Allison Penny is darkly funny and her take on the world is real, candid and wonderfully truthful. "Waking Beauty" is also laugh out loud funny.
I loved the fairy tale aspect of this novel and the fact that it was made more real. There were no hours of midnight here, or princes. This is a tale of "What if..." What if you went to bed ugly and woke up beautiful? Everyone will identify with Allison and her feelings. We have all been ugly at one time in our lives.
I loved all the characters in this book. From Allison to her love interest Nathan, everyone was so well drawn. It was as if I knew Allison, or someone like her. The other characters were the same. There is someone for everyone in this book. What I love about Friedman's characters is that they are so real and so true to life.
Again, I can't stress it enough, I loved this book. If you have ever at one point felt ugly in your life, or beautiful, this is the book for you. Read it! You'll laugh your butt off and want to read it again.