by Paul Rudnick
Becky Randle has always been fairly average. She's gone to school. She's taken care of her mother. She's been a good best friend. But she's nothing really special.
When her mother dies and leaves her with nothing but a condemned trailer and a phone number, Becky takes the chance and calls. And that call takes her further than she ever could have imagined.
Now she gets to move to New York, live in luxury, and be the muse of Tom Kelly himself! The great Tom Kelly! The master of design! The couturier of all couturiers! There is nothing better.
And when Tom Kelly offers you three dresses that are guaranteed to make you the most beautiful woman in the world, you take them and all that comes with them. This includes Hollywood, the best parties, and even royalty.
But Tom reveals to Becky, a.k.a. Rebecca, that she has exactly one year to find true love and get married or it all disappears.
What's a trailer park girl to do?
Final thoughts: The premise in interesting. It's a lot Cinderella with a little My Fair Lady mixed in (with an obvious reference in case the reader didn't get it). Instead of midnight to find her Prince Charming, she has a year, but it's really hard to care. All of the characters are without any depth at all. Most are shallow beyond reason. Prince Gregory is almost literally Prince William and every other royal in the book has a real life counterpart. Even Diana is mentioned repeatedly (as Princess Alicia). It is so very frustrating! It felt like some teen girl's fantasy about Prince William. "Oh, la! If only P.W. knew me, he'd totally fall in love with me and want to marry me right away. But I'd never even get to meet him if I weren't one of the pretty people. ::sigh:: Maybe there's some magic that can make me super, freakin' beautiful so that I can meet him, he'll fall in love with me, and then when the magic fades, he'll still see how awesome I am." If Rudnick were female, I'd be 100% certain this was the motive for the book. As it is, it feels like a story he was telling a female relative. Additionally, the magic is never really explained, though Becky seems to accept it as if were nothing new. There's a ridiculous scene where Becky fights an actual terrorist and wins. There's all the insults to everyone out there from the English population being ugly (yes, the entire population), to how pretty people are super shallow. And all the explaining... So much explaining!!! CONSTANT EXPLAINING!!!! Page after page about things the reader doesn't need to know. There were also tons of made-up product names, like a person couldn't just use toothpaste; he had to use this special brand of toothpaste. There's no consistency and Becky constantly runs away from her problems, making her a horrible role model in so very many ways.