Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg | Rating: ★★★★☆
As a note, a finished copy of this novel was sent to me by the
publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my
opinions in any way.
I initially picked up this novel because the title had me thinking it was to be a light and delicious tale of a spiteful teen ready to, playfully, get back at her peers for perhaps ignoring her for most of the years they attended class together. Some real, dishy revenge — you know?
But it wasn’t. And although that is what originally drew me in and made me think this was a to read novel; it isn’t what kept me around and while I was wrong about the general idea behind this story, it wasn’t a bad thing. Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is a light, feel good novel that will be good for the soul as you turn the pages for insight on our narrator, Lexi’s, day to day life. It’s a great read in the contemporary young adult genre that will sure to have you laughing and loving the characters.
Through the novel you also see a bit of behind the scenes of those (rather disgusting) pageants for little kids and what living with a stage mom can be like. Lexi deals frequently with the oddities of that world via her seven year old sister and her overly enthusiastic, divorced and overweight mother who clearly loves beauty pageants more than her daughters.
Yes, her mother is one of those mother’s who lives through her daughter. Think the sort of mother you see on Toddlers and Tiara’s who needs to step back and do some serious thinking.
It’s every bit as irritating as you think. Her mom is insufferable and not just in the typical sort of “ugh, Mom!” way. She even takes to, before the end of the novel, stealing from Lexi’s money she’s saved back after working and constantly trying to make Lexi feel like the bad guy. It’s totally gross and it’s no wonder Lexi doesn’t see herself as beautiful.
Her mom literally won’t let her. And I feel terrible for both Lexi and her younger sister, Mac.
Off that note, Lexi’s story is pleasant and still has a twinge of sarcasm to it that makes it fun to read, even if the story isn’t really anything new or groundbreaking.
Her friendships with her two best friends — Benny and Cam — are a great addition to the story and their scenes together are examples of the friendships you need while you’re in high school. Friends like this are supportive, fun and keep you grounded — they hit all the right marks.
Through Lexi we see her take on a new “glam” appearance, mostly due to something she and Benny planned (Benny’s end of the bargain is to talk to his secret crush, Chris!), and she grabs the attention of many people in school. Positive vibes from most, but we do have a stereotypical mean/fake girl in Brooke, who in spite of how poorly she treats everyone: Lexi still wants her approval.
Lexi also hopes to catch the attention of her dream guy, Logan, who (like most in their class) doesn’t see Lexi as a girl. Not really. She’s totally funny, though. And has, like, a great personality!
You know the story.
(Spoilers) But in doing this she finds herself in a relationship with a guy who is actually really good for her — Taylor. Their scenes are sweet and light and funny and honestly, they are both really great for one another. I wanted them together more than Logan and Lexi; I wanted to see more of Taylor. I felt really bad that Lexi didn’t see what she had for a long time and hope that the two really do work things out with each other, now that Lexi knows she and Logan aren’t right for one another.
I’m glad that the story acknowledges that it’s okay to want outer beauty. That you should follow what you really, really want. But you can’t break yourself and turn into something you’re not just for the sake of others. You have to really genuinely want something and feel comfortable in doing so. That it’s okay to participate in beauty pageants but it’s not okay to be forced into them or force another person into that world.
Inner and outer beauty is subjective, especially when trying to find it for yourself, and overall the messages behind this novel are both helpful and beautiful. And when Lexi begins to see this clearly, and she gives a speech to Brooke, her mother and Logan (on separate occasions) it’s really a great moment in the story that ties it all up together.
Elizabeth Eulberg, once more, brought us a story that teenagers will enjoy and perhaps learn something from. She keeps us entertained with the sarcasm and the romance, but keeps us there for what lay at the center of the novel. And this is what makes her stories so good to read.
I definitely recommend buying this story just in time for the summer.