Just like Beauty is a brilliantly inventive debut novel that blends adolescent angst and cultural satire and is set in a disconcertingly not-so-distant future complete with high-tech food, mutant animals, socially sanctioned violence, and despoliation of the planet. This surprising combination gives author Lisa Lerner a fresh and funny way to explore family dynamics, gender roles, competitiveness, and the "beauty myth" in a society that keeps reinventing them anew for each generation.
A plague of mutant grasshoppers is invading American suburbia. An underground suicide cult is gaining national prominence. Gangs of teenage boys with blow torches run amok. But what really has 14-year-old Edie Stein distracted from her town's annual Feminine Woman of Conscience Pageant is Lana Grimaldi, the sexy girl next door. How does a feminine woman of conscience deal with her?
Just like Beauty offers a comically trenchant look at where our culture is heading and the absurdity that passes for ordinary.