Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Thin, Rich, Pretty" by Beth Harbison

At age thirteen Nicola, Holly and Lexi were cabinmates at summer camp. Shy, plain Nicola and plump Holly were outsiders who formed a lasting bond with each other. Rich, spoiled Lexi was a part of the in crowd and quickly became the nemesis of Nicola and Holly. Then one night Nicola and Holly pulled off a daring act of vengeance against Lexi, one that would have repercussions for years.


Twenty years later the women have grown up, moved on, and are each facing a defining struggle in their lives. Nicola is an almost-famous actress who will do anything to be pretty, including plastic surgery. Holly is a successful art gallery owner who will do anything to be thin, including starving herself to lose weight at her boyfriend's request. Lexi has found herself suddenly broke and without a home and will do anything to be rich again.


Thin, Rich, Pretty is the story of three women who believe that happiness lies just beyond their reach and who will do what they can to grasp it. But it's also a story of finding contentment in our lives with who we are and how true friendships will help to reveal all.


The story of these women and how they grow into mature women is beautiful. At the age of thirteen we all have so many struggles with identity and so many ideas of what we want to become. But it is not until we are adults that we understand how these struggles shape our identities and how life can take unexpected turns so that we don't always arrive where we had planned.


Because the women each struggle with a different issue, all readers will be able to identify with them. Readers will also relate to the characters' journey of finding out who they really are, and wishing we knew then what we know now.


The storyline of Nicola and Holly's act of revenge at thirteen doesn't seem to play as a big a part of the story as one would think. While it does reveal some personal pains of the characters, as they grow older it becomes something that is pushed to the back of their minds and doesn't seem to influence who they have become. The resolving of the issue is lacklustre and doesn't seem to have much effect on the characters or readers in the way one would have expected.


Overall, this is a quick and easy read. I was able to read the book in one day and stayed up late because I wanted to finish it. The story jumps between the past and present creating the right amount of suspense that makes you want to keep turning the pages to find how everything plays out.

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