Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Braless in Wonderland by Debbie Reed Fischer

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Ah, sand so we have the book that inspired what later became Girl Week. (More on this later in the Week.) Description:

Allee Rosen is a lot of things: high school senior, overachiever, brain. The one thing Allee is not is supermodel material—at least that’s what she thinks until modeling scouts spot her and she moves to Miami to work with an elite modeling agency. Suddenly Allee is swept up in a whirlwind of designer labels, photo shoots, go-sees and some seriously backstabbing models.
Whereas the focus of the Violet books is on Violet herself, this book gives explores the industry more. That’s the biggest difference I can think of between the two, for those who’re wondering.

Anyway, on to the actual book: I was charmed, and probably liked it more than the average person will. This is my exact kind of book—vivid characters, an outrageous scenario, and a whole lotta humor. It’s very fun and you also end up learning something. (I’m always on the lookout for smart light reads, so if you’ve got a suggestion, email me!) I mean, Debbie Reed Fischer worked as a booker at a modeling agency, so it’s obviously she’s got a lot of business savvy to impart. It’s all shown throughout the story, and just the crazy nature of the industry makes it so there’s never a boring moment.

Oh, and also, you can’t go wrong with Alice in the Wonderland parallels. I’m just saying.

There’s a feminist undertone here that appealed to me. This story is about Allee, and Allee alone, to the point where there’s never even a love interest. When was the last time you read a YA sans the romance? Think about it. I’m not saying men ruin everything (quite the contrary...!), but I’m a huge romance fan and it’s just something I noticed. Allee is a very independent character throughout, which is what earned her presence in this week.

There’s nothing bad I can say about this one, really. It reminded me a bit of Artichoke’s Heart in that it’s a character-driven book with surprising depth a lot of heart, that just sort of lingers with you. So, if you’re interested in the fashion industry or just want to pass the time with a fun book that’ll have you laughing and—here I go again with this word—charmed, I can’t recommend this one enough. B+

Girl Week is a week-long event here on the blog celebrating strong YA heroines and feminism. Find out more about it here.

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Anonymous said...

haha I was seriously thinking "It sounds a lot like Violet" after your little synopsis when you then answered the question. Sounds like a great read. And if it was the book that inspired this week... it must really have girlpower. xD

Alea said...

I definitely want to read this one! I'm watching for the paperback!

Rowena said...

This sounds like a fun read, must check it out as soon as I can afford to buy all the books that I want! Great review, thanks!

Amee said...

Sounds good! You know, you'r right. I can't really think of a YA novel that didn't include romance of some sort. Maybe I'm just drawing a blank, but I think you're right!

Kelsey said...

I can't wait to read this one. I read Debbie's other book, Swimming With The Sharks, over the summer and absolutely loved it, since then it's been on my wishlist and i haven't been able to get it!

Unknown said...

This book looks so good!

I had it on my Birthday wishlist in August and I didn't get it. So, I put it on my Christmas wishlist and I don't think I got it again. I'll just have to go buy it sometime, I guess.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Great review. I'm glad you liked it so much. And that's awesome there wasn't any romance. I think you're right in saying MOST YA books do have it, and it's nice when it's not present or the main focus.


Khy said...

I want to read this one. Gah. But like Alea, I'm waiting for the paperback. xD I need it to match my copy of Swimming with the Sharks. (Yes, I am that obsessive.)

Shalonda said...

I can't wait to read this one. I love a book that is driven by its characters, rather than some obnoxious plot that does too much.

Plus it takes place in Miami, so it makes me wonder if the agency is anything like the one on 8th & Ocean (an old MTV reality show). Guess I'll have to read and find out.

jocelyn said...

A YA without a love interest--almost unheard of! But awesomely intriguing. I put this into my "read later" stack awhile ago, perhaps should go into the "read now" stack after your recommendation.

Anonymous said...

THanks for all the comments, everyone, and Shalonda, to answer your question, I used to work at the Irene Marie agency featured on 8th and Ocean. In fact, that is the agency that inspired the book. :) debbie

Sarah Woodard said...

This book sounds great.

Simply_Megan said...

If you like books about the modeling industry and fashion, try reading Model by Cheryl Diamond. It's a memoir written by a real model and it's very good!

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