FICTION

Beautiful You

Doubleday. Oct. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9780385538039. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385538046. F
COPY ISBN
There's a familiar plot for bad romance novels or romantic comedies. An awkward girl in the big city runs into a gentleman who's way out of her league. The two meet and the man begins to remake the girl from an ugly duckling into the confident, vivacious woman she never knew she wanted to be. And then the guy uses the girl to test his new line of designer sex toys. Sex toys so perfectly calibrated that women will stop pursuing careers, raising families, or even eating, choosing instead to spend all their time chasing pleasure in darkened rooms. Using the language and tropes of poorly written romances, Palahniuk springboards into a female version of his seminal work Fight Club, exploring what modern consumerist society does to women by trying to manipulate and control their sexuality.
VERDICT While writing female protagonists has never been Palahniuk's strongest suit, his latest novel has a more powerful message and compelling hook than many of his recent efforts. Full of original imagery and sensibilities, this is sure to amuse and horrify even his most ardent fans. Casual readers will be hard pressed to find anything else like it on the shelf. Highly recommended for everyone except the prudish or readers of actual romance novels. [See Prepub Alert, 4/21/14.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month