Young Adult Category
Carla Dalton knows she's a little dorky looking, but pretends she doesn't care. She concentrates on making As, hanging out with her best friend, Sue Ann, and ignoring everyone else. Her protective bubble is pierced when the Mean Girl Society makes her the latest target of their malicious web site.
Everyone starts laughing at her. She finds out what's going on from an obese girl named Thelma who was the previous target of the web site. When even one of the lunchroom ladies laughs, Carla snaps and grabs the little woman in the parking lot. The woman claims to be a leprechaun, appropriately named Leppra, and offers Carla one wish. She wishes to be the most beautiful, most popular girl in high school, which surprises the heck out of her, and annoys Leppra. Apparently, most people wish for money, which is way easier.
Carla thinks it's a dream, but wakes up the next day as Gorgeous Girl. Leppra shows up and reads the rules from her Palm Pilot. It thoroughly annoys Carla that this ancient creature has more modern technology than she does.
Carla's blown away by her mom's reaction. At first, Carla has to help her to the couch where she sits looking dazed. Eventually, though, she is amazingly cool about accepting the new daughter, although Carla continues to suspect she likes the old one best. (better)
What upsets Mom more than the magical transformation is the cruelty of the snobbish girls. She's also major disturbed that Carla was so ashamed of her looks and unhappy at school.
Carla enrolls as Alyssa Carpenter, posing as Carla's cousin from California. Carla supposedly had a breakdown. Almost immediately, Alyssa's, like, queen of the school. The jocks want to date her and The Populars want her for their group. That's fun, but she decides her mission is to make the web site creators pay for their crimes.
She goes to the computer lab to check out the geeks who created the site. Fatal move. There is a totally cute guy there. What's more, he's rude and aloof--exactly the sort of thing to attract her. Now, she has two missions, Alan and revenge. Revenge is moving to the back burner.
She connects with Alan, big time, but soon the spell is over. When she becomes plain old Carla again, she can't face him. Her mom tells Alan that Alyssa has gone back to California, taking Carla with her.
Meanwhile, Mom locates Ralph, Carla's long-departed father. Now fairly wealthy, Ralph agrees to pay for a nose job. He should--it's his nose. Finally, Carla's pretty without magic, unless you count plastic surgery as magic. She still loves Alan, but he loves Alyssa, who will always be perfect.
Carla is in her third incarnation in high school, the uncool dork, the magic beauty and the very pretty Carla. Being pretty is great, but Carla realizes her attitude was part of the problem. If she'd been friendly and bubbleless (bubbly?), she would have been happier, even with The Nose.
Alyssa had convinced the Populars that being a cheerleader was small town corny and they resigned. Now Carla and Sue Ann try out for cheerleader and make it.
Thelma and Carla cook up a plan wherein an actor friend comes to school and arrests the mean girls for causing emotional harm, with web site cruelty.
Carla gets to know her real father, who isn't as perfect as her imaginary one was, but is quite a good guy.
Best of all, Alan finally falls in love with the real Carla.
I loved this, right up to the nose job. It’s a good synopsis, crisp clean, and conveys voice really, like totally, well. The plot falls apart at the end which is one reason writing a synopsis is a good idea. When you see "cooks up a plan to have someone arrested for web site cruelty" right there in black and white, you know you've got a problem. Time for the leprauchan to return I think.
I’d never take on a book that has a teen girl having plastic surgery, but that’s just me.