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“You cannot help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.” More
Summary: If you want to be part of the fashion scene, life doesn't get much better than being a summer intern at Coutoure magazine. For Aynsley, it is a chance to keep mingling with the It crowd (and avoid spending the summer with Mom and Dad). For Callie, Nadine, and Ava it's a chance to launch their careers. But how lucky are they when it's the mysterious Fashionista who has the inside track. This is book one in this young adult series about four ambitious young women.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 12 and up; read yourself: 14 and up
Young Reader Reaction: I really liked this book. The twists and turns of the girls' internships - the boys, mistakes, partying, and hard work - make this book fun and exciting. I personally like these kinds of chick books because they are fun to read; many girls go through most of these situations so it is easy to relate. This is written like a Gossip Girl book but I like this book better because the book is not all about partying and it has more of a plot than Gossip Girl. The girls are hard working and focused on their job at Couture. This is pretty much appropriate for all ages of teenage girls. I would probably check it out at the library. Even though the book was really good, it probably wouldn't be a must-buy for me.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is why reading is great - you learn stuff. I learned a lot about the fashion publishing industry. This was surprisingly refreshing, with strong characters to add depth to what would seem to be a largely superficial business. It ended up being a page turner and a cliff hanger. What's next for these Cinderellas?
Pros: Teens (predominantly girls) will find the book enjoyable and enlightening. The story is as much (if not more) about character and life's choices than it is about fashion.
Cons: As a parent, I accept that teens will make foolish choices -- and each of the girls has their own skeletons -- but (with the exception of Nadine) there are times when the effect appears to be glorifying or minimizing the consequences of one's behavior. There is still time, however, as the other Manolo shoe may fall in the next book.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is good summer/beach reading. Teens will relate to the characters, peer pressure, and the "need" to fit in.
Educational Themes: With a little bit of finesse, the book offers some great insights into the magazine publishing industry (specifically fashion publishing), appropriate office decorum (regardless of industry), the consequences of personal choice, and self respect.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 8.9 The Reading Tub, Inc. read an advance reader copy of this book.
Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult series, friendship, jobs