by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

July 2005
ISBN: 0-373-89525-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Red Dress Ink
Trade Paperback

Although Scarlett Jane Stein is not short in the looks department, she is still unmarried at the age of thirty-nine. Men approach her constantly, but somehow she has still failed to find Mr. Right. When her Default Best Friend, Pam, suggests that her beauty may be causing her relationship problems, Scarlett agrees to a makeover. It is not the type of reality television show where plain Janes become swans; it is the opposite. Beautiful Scarlett is about to have an ugly makeover.

During her transformation, Scarlett leaves no aspect of her life unchanged. Not only does she alter her appearance by donning a pair of glasses, cutting her hair, and toning down her wardrobe but she also relocates, obtains another job and changes her name to Lettie Shaw. But when Scarlett becomes Lettie, will she suddenly find the happiness that she seeks or will she realize that the only makeover she ever needed was an internal one?

Unfortunately, A Little Change of Face is also a novel that could use a huge makeover. Although the premise of the story suggests potential for an exceptional read, the narrative comes across as far fetched and unappealing.

As the leading character in A Little Change of Face, Scarlett is a most unlikable character. Her personality is disagreeable, and her thoughts and actions are both idiotic and condescending. The simple fact that she was willing to completely rearrange her life and lie to others because of something her friend said is ridiculous. Additionally, the fact that two of her other friends, both supposedly attorneys although neither exhibited a great deal of common sense, allowed her to do something so foolhardy does not attest to Scarlett’s ability to choose her associates wisely.

The writing of this friend, the Default Best Friend at that, brings up an issue with Baratz-Logsted’s writing. Reading certain words over and over again can be very ignoring. The author’s habit of using the term Default Best Friend repetitively and simply labeling a person as Best Friend instead of using an actual name made this reviewer actually believe that the sound of long fingernails on a chalkboard could actually be agreeable.

Still it can honestly be said that Scarlett Stein, aka Lettie Shaw, will never be forgotten. It would be impossible for any reader to ever forget the entire chapter dedicated to Scarlett’s breasts or Scarlett’s opinion that attractive men cannot be found either in libraries or bookstores. It is thoughts like these that make this reviewer hope to see a change of style in Baratz-Logsted’s writing.

Reviewed in August 2005 by Natasha.

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