(Not actually chick-lit. I had no control over the cover)


Kirkus Reviews. Starred Review

“Fiercely funny, with a slice-and-dice take on image-obsessed popular culture. Forget compassion: this ugly duckling gets even in Canadian Friedman’s US debut.”

Now Magazine. Rating NNNN

“What Friedman has done beautifully is craft a novel that wickedly depicts the power of beauty. The narrative is candid, insightful and cynical. Friedman cuts up the Canadian class system with razor-sharp wit. Think Kafka’s Metamorphosis meets Extreme Makeover as interpreted by Robert Altman and you have an idea how brilliant Friedman is.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Bulls-eye social commentary and sharply drawn characters. Friedman offers up a spunky, spiteful revenge novel about Allison Penny, an ugly 20-something who suddenly wakes up gorgeous.”

The Globe and Mail

“Like Friedman’s first novel, Then Again, Waking Beauty offers many keen insights, and does so with playful, often biting wit. It’s a fun, somewhat serious look at an image-conscious culture and the awards and punishments it bestows.”

The Toronto Star

“Elyse Friedman, Canada’s Hot Plot Queen, has once again hit on a “Hurry up and film this” narrative. Friedman is a tough, wickedly funny writer, whose Presto! tale is less reminiscent of Disney-fied frog princesses than Fay Weldon’s barbed and brilliant The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil.”


“This modern twist on an old fairy tale is funny, sometimes dark, and completely engaging.”

Ottawa Xpress

Waking Beauty is a playful, humorous book. It’s also a serious social criticism of body image, of the beauty veneer fetishized throughout the ages. The novel is well-polished and well-crafted.”



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