Select one of the keywords
Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl    by Carolita Blythe order for
Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl
by Carolita Blythe
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Carolita Blythe's Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl is one of those little YA gems that often go overlooked. Part of the reason is it is difficult to classify. While historical fiction needs to be set at least fifty years in the past from the date the book is written, within the YA genre, contemporary means right now, so where does a non-romantic, slice-of-life story set in 1984 fit?

Fourteen-year-old Faye Andrews has felt lost ever since her father left, following his dream of becoming a musician. Since her mother works long hours each day to support the two of them, Faye is left mostly on her own, which has led her to fall in with the wrong girls. Her friends Caroline and Gillian are always looking to score money or clothing and she has always gone along so that she could try to fit in with the other girls at Bishop Marshall High School. One day, though, Caroline's scheming leads to their mugging an elderly lady inside her apartment and leaving her for dead. Faye's conscience begins to weigh on her until she returns to check on the lady, finding her alive but not in the greatest condition. Running from other problems in her life, Faye finds herself spending more and more time at the old lady's apartment, eventually learning the truth about her new friend and herself.

Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl is very much a slice-of-life novel. As it should, it meanders through the second semester of Faye's freshman year as she slowly starts to come into her own. It is very character driven, and while there is some action, it is by no means fast-paced, but just a good, solid read. The only detractor is that the title does not really fit with the story. Faye sees herself as a not-so-pretty girl, but revenge is never really a factor in her life.

Despite its sort of misleading title, Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl is a wonderful story of learning to be yourself. Carolita Blythe truly captures what it must have been like for a girl growing up in 1984 Brooklyn.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews