Friday, June 05, 2015

A Different Me, by Deborah Blumenthal

For years, Allie has wanted to change her nose.  As she starts to research the process of rhinoplasty (i.e., a nose job), she meets two other girls on-line who are planning on having the same procedure.  Each girl has their own reason.  And as the young women go through their procedures, they respond differently.  And, as they do, Allie begins to question what she is hoping to accomplish.  Input from friends at school and the intervention of a romantic interest play a role as well.

The novel follows a predictable dramatic arc and reaches a conclusion that -- while sweet and poignant -- is basically predictable.  I don't mind having a decent old chestnut (i.e., beauty comes from within) rehashed, but this edition of it is crowded with characters.  Less, in my opinion, is always more and when you need a scorecard to keep track of all the people who come and go, one wonders if the tale would have been simpler with fewer of them.  It certainly would have allowed more space for character development and proving the worth of their inclusion.  As is, the romantic lead is pretty much thrown away.  And some of the cameos (like a brief appearance by a teen-aged author) are bizarre non-sequiturs.

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