Goodreads description:Don’t mess with a girl with a great personality!
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
First off, I’m not sure what “revenge” the title speaks of, because aside from some tell-offs, there isn’t an act of revenge. Unless living well is the best revenge? Anyway, Lexi is the older sister but she plays second fiddle to pageant girl Mackenzie. Mac is seven, nine years younger than Lexi. Mac is in the spotlight and their mother is obsessed with pageants. I’ve never watched Toddlers & Tiaras, but I have seen enough commercials to relate the book to the show. Her mom likes the attention she gets, not realizing that a lot of it isn’t positive. She spends money they don’t have on things they don’t need and takes advantage of Lexi along the way.
Lexi doesn’t mind helping but is tired of being in the background and feeling second best. She has a job, dreams of being a fashion designer, and works hard. But she’d also like to be known for more than her personality, she’d like to be pretty and special. Not only does she feels like she fades compared to Mac, but her crush Logan’s girlfriend is also a pageant girl. She decides to make a change in her life and with the support and dares/bets/challenges of her friends, starts dressing differently.
I really enjoyed Lexi’s outlook, she felt like a realistic teen. Her conversations with Benny and Cam seemed like how I would have talked with my friends. Benny is big and friendly and gay, making him a bit of an outcast in their Texas town. Cam used to be popular but now focuses on school, and she’s one of the smartest people in their school. The three of them are good friends and really supportive of each other, which was really nice.
One thing that annoyed me was all the Group Titles they used. Popular Posse, Glamour Girls, and Chosen Ones are the names I remember. I hate names like this in any book. Are they trying to be like Mean Girls? Did anyone come up with names for groups in high school? We didn’t at mine. There were popular people and I just thought of them as popular people. Group names rarely add anything to the book for me and just frustrate me. Another big annoyance were public scenes. There were at least three occasions that bugged me, but the last and biggest was cringe worthy. I actually skimmed most of the scene because I was so embarrassed for everyone involved. I didn’t think it was necessary, and diminishes the actual message of the scene.
Overall, I was glad that Lexi learned to stand up for herself and was more comfortable in her own skin. Plus, she gained some perspective on personalities in general. I wasn’t interested in the pageant aspect but as an offset to image issues and great personalities, it makes sense. And even Mac learned lessons about herself. It also didn’t end in a neatly tied package, but I would have liked a little more resolution. I can’t see myself wanting to reread it, but I can see myself recommending it to someone who is interested in a quick contemporary with good friendships and great personalities.