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A Model Summer

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  667 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
An incisive, beautifully written first novel by a former supermodel that explores the glamorous and gritty world she inhabited

Only a handful of women in the world have experienced what Paulina Porizkova has--being whisked away to model in Paris while still a teenager, reaching the pinnacle of the profession before her schoolmates had even graduated--and fewer still have th
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Hyperion (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 07, 2009 Annie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Pauline Porizkova, but that is not why I bought this book. The week it came out.

I bought it because of the hilarious review in the NYTimes Book Review. I think this was a reward of some kind, perhaps for finishing grad school (MFA, Creative Writing-- was this an ironic reward?)

The book is thinly-veiled autobiography and it is trashy and pretentious, which I love! As is often the case with "fiction" that is totally memoir with the names changed, the author shows no self-awareness whatsoeve
Lisa Westerfield
It wasn't great, but convinced me that letting your 15 year old daughter model in Paris is akin to selling her to white slavers.
Jan 21, 2010 Angela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a coming-of-age story about a 15 year old girl who tries to break into the modeling world. She starts out likable but has a major guilt complex. I can relate to the guilt complex, but not to this characters belief that her virginity is a liability which she needs to get rid of as soon as possible.

The book begins to go downhill for me in the scene where she loses her virginity. The way it happened was so tragic I simply wanted to cry, and then the girls judment gets progressively worse.
Renata Ruiz
Oct 15, 2009 Renata Ruiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Acabei de ler o livro e gostei bastante. Paulina Poriskova foi uma modelo na era das supermodelos, na década de 80, e ela retrata o início de sua carreira em Paris, no verão, com apenas 15 anos. Pode ser ou não a sua história, mas parece bem com o seu passado.
Modelo de verão mostra como uma menina saída da Suéica se torna uma mulher em apenas 3 meses, com sofrimento, perda, e muito aprendizado. Como uma menina de 15 anos, sem muita informação consegue sobreviver na selva da moda. Esta é a person
Amy Formanski Duffy
Paulina can write well and she's gorgeous and articulate. How unfair! This fictionalized tale of her first summer modeling in Paris in 1980 dropped me into a super-cool new wave world. She reveals all the downsides to the modeling world and doesn't mince words. I wasn't 100% sold on the ambiguous ending, but overall this book surprised me in a really positive way. Paulina won me over.
I was surprised by the level of vitriol in some reviews of Paulina's book. Certainly, it was no Tale of Two Cities, but I thought the first half of the book displayed intelligent writing and a few lovely metaphors. I also thought that the mechanics of the industry were laid out in a comprehensible way.

The second half of the book, however, is as if a different author took over. The main character transitions from an innocent, to a cold-blooded, jaded, drinking, drugged out, caricature of a model
Nov 25, 2008 Carrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Paulina is the former 80's model who married Ric Ocasek. She claims to have actually written this one through years of writing workshops, unlike other books "written" by celebrities (I'm looking at you Nicole Ritchie). The book follows a 15 year old girl from Sweden who is discovered and goes to work as a model for a summer in the early 80's. She has a low self esteem, not being traditionally pretty, and often doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. The book is a fun trashy read, as she a ...more
Apr 03, 2010 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I liked the first half of the book, but then the story takes a turn and never seems to get back on track. The tale of a naïve, young model develops into a series of events representing the seedy side of the industry and everything that can go wrong. I continued reading hoping that there would be some sort of redemption for the main character, or at least acknowledgment that she had become the type of person she despised at the beginning. Porizkova has the narrator get everything she wants and at ...more
Dec 05, 2016 Farrah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had only previously known Paulina Porizkova as the Estee Lauder model in the 90s. I've read a few non fiction books about the fashion industry and this one popped up as a recommendation. Though, this story is about a fictional character, a young model in the 1980s, you know that a lot of what's written is based around fact. Of stories models told one another, some of which Paulina Porizkova must have experienced herself.

It makes you both horrified and cringe whilst reading this and Paulina is
Mar 31, 2009 Sharon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think this novel had a lot of potential, but Porizkova fumbled shortly after the first half. I quickly lost my concern for the main character, Jirina, who despite her constant mentions of 'Anna Karenina' and Mozart got dumber as the novel progressed. The author seems semi-obsessed with bodily functions. Someone was always pooping, vomiting, menstruating or doing something I don't want to read about over lunch. On a positive note, I think Porizkova‘s descriptions of go-sees and Paris seem reali ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Abby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy it. Too graphic and dark, and a horrible ending. It seems like she is going to end up better off than she starts, but she ends up so much much worse. In fact, I skipped a lot of the parts because they were just distasteful, detailed descriptions of things better left to oneself.
Aug 20, 2008 Annie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Never read this book! It's terrible! There is NO redeeming value other than the fact that most of it takes place in France. You keep reading hoping it will get better, and as it comes to a conclusion you feel like ripping the book to shreds.
May 18, 2016 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was enthralled with this book. It was hard to follow at times with the language switch but it was worth it.
Kristina Maltby
This was a bit morbid to me. The young model is in her teens and yet ends up with a man close to his 30's in the end, just creepy!! It was a big disappointment over all.
Mar 14, 2008 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ooooh, I think Entertainment Weekly said it best, "A dizzyingly detailed and wrenching tale of innocence lost."

It's just plain heart-breaking most of the time.
Sarra Lord
Apr 02, 2008 Sarra Lord rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy, 2008
Shy, gawky, fifteen-year-old Jirina (Yee-ree-na) is invited to come to Paris for the summer by the owner of a modeling agency. He sees a special beauty in the girl that no one else has ever noticed. Jirina has always been too tall and too skinny to consider herself attractive, and her schoolmates are of much the same opinion based on the insults they toss at her so easily.

Jirina meets her roommate Britta at the airport. Britta is perfect, blonde, blue-eyed and beautiful, everything that Jirina h
Jun 02, 2010 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who isn't a little curious about the world of models. To someone on the outside, it sounds pretty glamorous: Traveling, cute clothes, being thin and pretty. I've never wanted to be a model, and after reading this, I would never want to be.
It was a really good book, hard to put down. It follows the story of Jirina, a 15 year old from Sweden who goes to Paris for the summer to be a model. It takes place in 1980, so hopefully things have changed. When she first gets there, she rooms with another g
Ronica Stromberg
May 03, 2012 Ronica Stromberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
I'm always a bit skeptical of works written by celebrity authors, but former model Paulina Porizkova shows she can write--and well--in A Model Summer. The novel relays what happens to a 15-year-old girl who goes to Paris for the summer to work as a model. Porizkova's descriptions are keen, allowing me to feel as if I am there. She also displays a sense of humor in descriptions such as the following, quoted from the first page of Chapter 5:

"Inside, however, the house is furnished with--gasp--blac
Mar 16, 2011 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2007-releases
I didn't know what to expect when I began this book. I adore Paris, which was probably the main reason I decided to buy this book. I guess you could say that it was different than I expected. I kind of thought it would be really superficial and all the characters would be super-bitchy. I was wrong. The main character, Jirina, is one of the most naive girl I have ever encountered in a book. She leaves Sweden for Paris not knowing anything, literally, about anything. She's like a child almost. The ...more
Jul 22, 2007 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for a quick summer read
I did enjoy reading this book. It was entertaining and engaging--no small feat for a writer, esp. a new one like Paulina P.--but it wasn't very deep. I kept wanting it to be more than what it was, to go a little deeper than it did. Every expected, somewhat stereotypical place she could go, she did. Of course the narrator did drugs, drank, had a skevy first time, had a bad friend, got pregnant, got with the object of her affection. Of course she did.

I also felt that the narrator was a little unde
May 28, 2016 Ellie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popsugar-2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luciana Betenson
Oct 22, 2009 Luciana Betenson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Achei que “Modelo de Verão” é a analogia perfeita da maioria das modelos que circulam por aí: bonito por fora (uma capa linda), mas sem muito conteúdo por dentro... Retrata bem a superficialidade do mundo e da vida de modelo, no qual a aparência vale mais que a essência, onde as relações não se aprofundam, onde um dia é de rainha e outro de borralheira. Mas dá para tirar lições dele, principalmente as meninas que sonham com esta carreira e idealizam uma vida de pouco trabalho e muito glamour. O ...more
Sep 30, 2014 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Supermodel Paulina Porizkova wrote this book which I thought would be totally fluff. It was to some extent, but I was surprised by the descriptive writing of a 1980’s model summer and some of the storylines and characters.

Jirina (whose name is always improperly pronounced) is just 15 and comes from Sweden to Paris to try her hand at modeling. She grows up fast and overcomes her naïveté and homesickness as she is thrown into the environment of older men, drinking, drugs, sex, parties, alternate
Terri Durling
I started this book thinking it was an autobiography of sorts of the author/model, Paulina Porizkova. As the book starts descending into murky sex and nasty characters, I quickly realized it was fiction and, hopefully, it was not based in any way on Paulina's own life as a teenager starting her modelling career in Paris. Jirina Radovanovicova is a lost 15 year old soul seemingly unloved by just about everyone in her life. She is very naive and just about everyone takes advantage of that fact unt ...more
Nov 20, 2008 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was curious. The cover captured me and perhaps that is a complement to Porizkova, who has been a model for a long time, and her knowing that the picture on the cover would be so important. As a 32 year old, I can remember when I was 15 and I was not like the main character- far from it. She is thrust into such an adult world, you forget that she is so young and that the whole story takes place in a matter of months. I have an idea that this book is what Sophie Dahl had in mind for her coming o ...more
I don't usually consider the fashion world to be a hotbed of literary activity. But Paulina always seemed to be more intelligent than the usual model fare. So when I saw this book I picked it up because I thought it would be an interesting read. And I was not disappointed. Loosely based on her own early modeling experiences, Paulina decribes a dark side to the usually glamorous modeling world. I was immediately caught up in the swil of debauchery, drug use, and loose moral values and how this in ...more
Susan Bazzett-griffith
When I originally ordered this book from the library, I thought it was a memoir by Paulina Porizkova, not a novel, so I was a bit disappointed; however, I would venture a guess that quite a bit of the novel's protagonist was drawn from Porizkova's self and life, so despite being fiction, it read like a realistic look into the European modeling industry in the early 1980s from the eyes of a new model. I was very impressed by Porizkova's writing, effortlessly switching from English to Swedish to F ...more
Aug 22, 2009 Renae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I have to admit that when I realized that the model, Paulina Porizkova, wrote this book, I chuckled and thought, "Ha! A model writing a book!" but I was quick to eat my words. I really enjoyed this! It was a little shaky at parts - the transition of the main character from a 15 year old shy, green little girl to a hard edged, coke taking model wasn't easy to buy but other than that, I thought it was a good, fun read. Clearly Porizkova knows her subject well which only made it that much more beli ...more
Jun 05, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The cover of this book really pulled me in, and actually, this was the hairstyle that I was going for at Christina and Gilbert's wedding. I think the stylist was surprised when I pulled out a novel as an example of what I wanted. As you would probably expect from a super-model turned author, the writing wasn't great. It was entertaining, and it provided some behind the scenes glimpses into the international modeling life, but I was turned off by all the drugs and exploitation of young girls that ...more
Aug 28, 2010 Ozma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so much fun. I loved reading it. I learned a lot about the modeling industry, and it is really an awful industry, it appears. But, overall, this book was good, escapist fun and was written quite intelligently, in my opinion. I hope Paulina will do a sequel. I'm surprised it didn't make a bigger splash. It's really quite a fun read. Having read this book, I now do not think any young ladies should go into modeling. It's very debauched. I wonder how much of this book is true/things t ...more
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Paulina Porizkova is a Czech supermodel, actress and author.
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