October 13, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Beauty Junkies

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Alex Kuczynski
publisher
Doubleday
genre
Nonfiction
We gave it a B-

New York Times reporter Alex Kuczynski has both covered and lived the American obsession with cosmetic surgery. In the chatty survey Beauty Junkies, she includes gross-out tales of extreme procedures (labiaplasty and toe shortening) as well as her own tamer experiences with Botox, collagen, and liposuction. Like any workmanlike women’s magazine piece stretched to 278 pages — which is exactly how this reads — Junkies has factoids aplenty (”tummy tucks are up 144 percent”), some vaguely embarrassing personal anecdotes (a kid at a swimming pool points out Kuczynski’s lipo scars), and far too many skin-deep insights (”In the end it all comes down to sex”).

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