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Reading Between Classes

A unique perspective on YA Literature from a junior high teacher. 

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Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality - Elizabeth Eulberg This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between ClassesCover Impressions: The cover is cute, though a bit simplistic for my taste. I might prefer if it had something in the background, like a mirror that the lipstick was scrawled on...The Gist: Lexi has spent years catering to her 7 year old sister turned pageant princess. She sews, she primps, she meets the ever-increasing demands of her overbearing mother. She is known as the girl with the "great personality" and she is ready for a change. When her best friend challenges her to put some serious effort into her personality, she reluctantly relents, if only to prove that she is a hopeless case. Armed with perfectly coifed hair and fabulously fake lashes, she receives more attention than she ever dreamed, including one very cute guy - even if it isn't really the guy she wanted. As her world changes, she begins to doubt which Lexi is the real one: the beautiful girl, or the one with the great personality?Review: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality was a fun read with a few flaws. I loved the premise and the glimpse into the world of the sister of a pageant princess. Lexi had an interesting voice and I loved that she didn't buy into the whole pageant world. She was a but too whiney for my taste and she constantly lamented her lack of beauty (which was easily solved by a modicum of makeup - really, you're hideous and a touch of concealer fixes everything? I don't think so.) I thought the sometimes rocky but always backed by love, relationship between the sisters was pretty realistic. Even though it was sometimes painful to read about, so was the relationship between the divorced mother and her daughters. The mother was truly damaged and looking for validation in all the wrong places. At one point, she made a move so heinous that I was left feeling shocked and betrayed along with Lexi and it amped up my feelings of disgust and re-engaged me with the plot of the novel. Unlike the familial relationships, I didn't feel any real connection with either of the love interests but, to be fair, I don't think Lexi really did either. They mostly served as a backdrop against which she could make new discoveries about herself. Her friends, however, had a lot of unrealized potential. They were interesting, but fell flat and undeveloped while we followed Lexi through the "popular" world. The thing that irked me about this novel was the way in which Lexi preached to pageant parents at the end. Being in a profession where I, occasionally, come across entitled, know-it-all children, I found her lecturing to be very off-putting. Her experiences with her sister and mother give her an insight into the beauty and ugliness of the pageant world, but they do not make her an expert on each family's situation not do they give her the right to judge parents who have twice (or more) her life experience.Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is, ultimately, a cute novel with a good message about self-love that would be enjoyed by most teenage girls.Teaching/Parental Notes:Age: 12 and upGender: FemaleSex: KissingViolence: Teen gets slapped by parentInappropriate Language: NoneSubstance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking