Are you looking for a fun book that will have you laughing and cheering? I may have the author for you. Elizabeth Eulberg has written four fun teen novel, and with her fourth book, she cements her place as a writer of fast-paced and thoughtful stories.
Her newest books, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, follows Lexi, a teenager who, almost every weekend, is dragged to beauty pageants that her seven-year-old sister competes in. After being surrounded by the beautiful pageant people, Lexi is convinced that she is just a girl with a good personality. She loves fashion, but because of her low self-esteem, she doesn’t bother trying to look fashionable. She’s convinced she’s a lost cause. But when her best friend issues a challenge, she can’t help but accept. She has to start dressing like one of the glamorous girls and start putting herself out there. Before she knows it, she has gone from being the funny girl with the great personality to one of the popular girls. But can she accept her new-found status when she knows her new friends wouldn’t give her the time of day before?
On top of her troubles at school, Lexi feels like she doesn’t fit in at home, where her mom spends all of her time and more than all of her money on pageants. Lexi can’t help but resent her bratty little sister, who is spoiled and seems to inexplicably resent Lexi. To top it off, Lexi can’t even confide in her mother, because whenever Lexi expresses concern over the family’s money situation, her mother doesn’t listen. As Lexi’s frustration grows, she has to decide what she wants and what she’s willing to do to get it.
This is a fast read in the very best way. Lexi is a bright character, and you really get a sense of her personality with the first person narration. This fun novel will have you eager to figure out how Lexi will get out from under her mother’s thumb, resolve her long-standing crush with the guy who only sees her as a friend, and come to terms with her feelings about her own style. As with most Eulberg novels, there are moments when you can’t help but cheer. It feels like a triumph when Lexi finally voices her frustration and stands up for herself. Sure, it can be a little cheesy, but sometimes, that is just what you want in a book!
If you read and liked Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, you might want to try some of Eulberg’s other novels. The first book of hers that I read was Take a Bow, and it may be my favourite. It follows a group of high schoolers who attend a prestigious performing arts school in New York City (think the school in Fame). As with many of her books, the main character is somewhat self-effacing, a girl who isn’t overflowing with confidence, a problem that is exacerbated by her undermining best friend. In this book, the story is told from a few different perspectives, which it’s another fast read.
In Prom and Prejudice, Eulberg’s second novel, the main character is one of the two scholarship students at a fancy New York City boarding school. She doesn’t fit in and she has a bit of a bone to pick with all the rich kids, including a rather handsome young man; this is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, so if you’re familiar with the original story, you sort of know where it’s all going, but it’s still a fun ride.
Her first book, which got a lot of excited praise when it was first published, is called The Lonely Hearts Club, and its an uplifting story about a group of girls who decide that they are tired of changing themselves for guys. They form a club for like-minded teen girls who want to focus on friendship and refuse to go on dates. Complications arise, of course, when the club’s founding member finds herself falling for a guy, one who seems to genuinely like her.
After reading all of her books, I think it’s fair to say that Eulberg’s novels celebrate finding the strength to be yourself no matter the circumstance. These are nice, light reads, and you’ll probably finish them with a smile on your face!