Book Review: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

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Title/Author: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Published: March 1st, 2013 by Point

Hardcover, 272 pages

How I Got This Book: Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?: I fell in love with Eulberg’s first novel, The Lonely Hearts Club (review here) and had this obsession with reading EVERYTHING ELSE she has written! So I started with the one that just came out!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “Everybody loves Lexi. She’s popular, smart, funny…but she’s never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi’s sick of it. She’s sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She’s sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She’s sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she’s sick of having all her family’s money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren’t going to know what hit them. Because Lexi’s going to play the beauty game – and she’s in it to win it.”–From Goodreads

Link to Goodreads here.

My Review of this Work:

It was love at first read for me and Elizabeth Eulberg. I just loved every single element about her first novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, and pledged to read all of her works! I knew that this book was coming out, so I put it on hold and got it from my library first! I was really excited to pick up another novel by this witty woman with so much spunk! So imagine my surprise when I found this book to be WAY more than snark and sass!

The primary setting of this book is the beauty pageant world. The world of toddlers and tiaras is intense and stressful, and Eulberg captures its essence perfectly. Lexi is the older sister of the pageant star, and she spends most of her free time assisting her mother and her little sister Mackenzie.  Both her mother and her sister are so self-absorbed, they don’t understand Lexi at all. Lexi has a job to pay for the things she wants because her mother constantly goes into debt because of these pageants. When Lexi’s best friend challenges her to put some effort into her own self, she embarks on a personal journey where she learns exactly what is important in life.

The characters in this story really drive the plot and development of this novel.  Each and every character has a major influence on Lexi’s personal journey throughout this novel. Her mother has done lasting emotional damage for Lexi’s sense of self. A physically removed father only enforces this feeling of abandonment and loneliness. Her best friends are the two people that really keep her connected to the world on a day to day basis. And yet, by the end of the novel, she begins to learn how to stand on her own two feet with an inner strength she didn’t know she had.

By and large, the Lexi’s mother is the absolute worst mother I have read in a really long time, if not ever. As I was reading this novel, I found myself cringing at the horrific emotional abuse she imposes on her daughter. When you read this character, you feel like she has to be the most exaggerated character in known existence. But I was a Family Studies major, so I know that this mother figure, while abusive to the extreme, is not exaggerated. There really are parents out there that are so incredibly self-absorbed that they act exactly like Lexi’s mother. And that just breaks my heart. I found myself really sympathizing with Lexi, because the amount of crap that she has to deal with day after day would be so crippling, and you can see the wear and tear on Lexi’s mental health throughout this story.

Don’t worry–for all of the deep and hard issues in this novel, there is still a fair amount of Eulberg sass and flair. Revenge of the Girl with a Great Personality focuses on many important aspects of a teenage girl’s life. It really sends out a great message, and it is still entertaining, just with more serious undertones.  I cannot wait to read Elizabeth Eulberg’s other works. She is definitely becoming one of my favorite realistic YA authors!

My Bookshelf Rating:

3shelf3

A Middle Shelf Book!

I found this book to be humorous and entertaining, as is my typical experience with Elizabeth Eulberg. I really liked Lexi, and I liked how her character grows through this novel. Unlike The Lonely Hearts Club, Revenge of the Girl deals with a lot of really difficult issues that just ripped my heart in two. Family issues, emotional issues, they give this book a much more serious dynamic. A solid 3.5 star read!

Love and #TheVoice,

Jennifer

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