Saturday, April 12, 2014

Revenge of the Not-So-Pretty Girl by Carolita Blythe

Have you ever been told something so many times, you started to believe it? Even when you knew it was not true?  In Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty-Girl by Carolita Blythe, fourteen year-old, Faye, has started to believe she is not-so-pretty and, along with her friends, Caroline and Gillian, takes her frustrations out on the least likely of victims: an eighty-year-old former movie star.  As a misguided teen in Brooklyn, struggling to survive the dual existence of living in a rough neighborhood while attending a parochial school without her neighborhood friends, Faye straddles both worlds, yearning for affirmation and a self-concept skewed by years of abuse.

As Faye's life intersects with her unlikely victim, Evelyn Ryder, a once beautiful Hollywood star, Faye realizes more about family, love, loyalty, and forgiveness than she ever imagined! This novel will keep young readers on the edge of their seats, rooting for Faye and, at times, wondering how she got herself into this mess in the first place!

I would recommend this text for a high school audience as a great text to reflect on themes such as body image and confidence, abuse, and persevering no matter the circumstance of your life.  In particular, Revenge of a Not-so-pretty Girl could be paired with The Other Wes Moore and Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun to discuss self-confidence, overcoming adversity, making wise decisions, and creating a sense of belonging and community as a developing teen in urban America.


Laura Elizabeth said...

I would have liked to hear more about how Faye victimizes the former movie star. I felt that this could have told more to capture interest for the book rather than just enough to push through the review.
But I definitely think that the way you opened, by asking us as readers to relate to the main character, by bring up times in our lives when we've been made to doubt the truth, was a really great way to open your review!

Heather Nelson said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks for your feedback! I agree; I honestly struggled with the synopsis part of this, as I did not want to give away what happens to their relationship. It was a tricky balance, but I agree with your constructive criticism. Thanks!