Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

272p. Scholastic/Point. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-47699-7; ebook $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-52078-2
Gr 7 Up—Lexi is never the center of attention, and she's totally okay with that. Ever since her younger sister, Mackenzie, was born, her mother has dragged her to pageants all over Texas so that Mackenzie can get dolled up to win a prize that never seems to come. Lexi's mom has spent so much money on Mac's pageants that the family is running out. Still, Lexi has her job at a clothing store in the mall and her two best friends, Cam and Benny. After one especially awful day, Lexi and Benny dream up a scheme that involves both of them going outside their comfort zones. Lexi will start trying to emulate the popular girls at school and Benny will finally talk to his crush, Chris. As things start changing, Lexi wonders if she didn't like her old self better than the new one. Eulberg's message about self-acceptance doesn't come across as preachy, and Lexi is a good narrator. She's funny and spunky and readers will not only enjoy her story, but also will appreciate the glimpses into the pageant lifestyle. Although it seems as though this is a lighthearted romp through the Little Miss scene, it does have serious tones underneath. Lexi's mom is extremely unlikable and challenging, and her dad is pretty flaky, too. Readers will root for Lexi to not only get what she wants, but also for her to realize that she was pretty awesome to begin with. References to drinking are littered throughout, but this is all-in-all a pretty tame read.—Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR

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