Wanted to like this book. Seriously, really, really wanted... But the heroine turned out not likeable most of the time, and the whole fat shaming anglWanted to like this book. Seriously, really, really wanted... But the heroine turned out not likeable most of the time, and the whole fat shaming angle with her mother and the forced diets felt like something being stuffed down your throat, and then Opl having to sneak her food and treats - not enjoyable reading. Didn't make for a good read for me, unfortunately....more
I am always amazed how imaginations can take an 'established' story and then spin it on itself - and Christy Sloat did this in droves in this4.5 stars
I am always amazed how imaginations can take an 'established' story and then spin it on itself - and Christy Sloat did this in droves in this tale!
This was a 'long' book - my ereader, with the ARC version, gave me around 230 pages. The way it's been lately with me, not being able to get into a book well enough to finish it within a week, I thought it would be the case for this one, too. Boy, was I wrong...because I gobbled this book up in a matter of hours, in 2 sittings (would've been just one, me reading cover to cover, if I'd managed to get out of dinner duty the other night!).
This was a riveting story and the way Ms. Sloat has written this one - the POV veering among chapters between the characters - delivers an all-rounder experience that puts you right there into the tale. I found myself - well, not really empathizing - with the villain, but I could see where she 'came' from, what made her this way. Ms. Sloat's work with characterization was lovely and kept me intrigued till the very end.
Seems to me there could be more coming from this world. If yes, then I am eagerly awaiting the next book!
Definitely recommended! You do not want to miss this book!...more
Another delightful concoction from Carina Axelsson! You really don't need to have read the first book to get into this one - there's nothing really 'mAnother delightful concoction from Carina Axelsson! You really don't need to have read the first book to get into this one - there's nothing really 'missing' and also, the author does an awesome job of putting you back into the loop without info dumping or giving the plot and resolution of the first book away.
I enjoyed this book, though the novelty of reading about the backstage of the fashion industry kinda dimmed in here - guess all that was all brand-new and novel in the first book, so you're a little bit blasé in this one because it's the same world and the novelty has worn off.
Still, New York comes alive almost as a character of its own in this one - if you love the Big Apple, make it a point to read this one!
Lovely tale, engrossing mystery with the stakes just that much higher than the first book!...more
**spoiler alert** All's pretty much good...until you get to the epilogue that does everything it can to fan out the flames of racial and religious hat**spoiler alert** All's pretty much good...until you get to the epilogue that does everything it can to fan out the flames of racial and religious hate & intolerance! A total thumbs down because of those 2-3 last pages...more
Don't let the YA tag make you turn away from this book! Remember Nancy Drew, and how, well, young she sounded? Model Undercover:Paris has none of thisDon't let the YA tag make you turn away from this book! Remember Nancy Drew, and how, well, young she sounded? Model Undercover:Paris has none of this 'so young and naive I wanna bash her' vibe.
Instead, Axelle is a delightfully charming and endearing character. Her forays into the world of fashion, coupled with her fashion-obsessed mother and aunt, are truly hilarious and fresh. Add to it a budding romance with an annoying sidekick that turns cute along the way - the good thing about this 'romance' is that it never turns Axelle into a simpering lovelorn idiot, as many YA books tend to make their characters. Axelle remains true to herself, all without losing her freshness and what makes her such a quirky character.
I absolutely loved the depictions of Paris in this book - the city comes alive, and with the description, you can almost see it right there when you close your eyes. The whole backstage look at the world of modelling and Fashion Week also felt realistic and very eye-opening, indeed - no wonder, since the author, Carina Axelsson, is a former model who walked those very ramps she talks about in the book. How's that for authenticity?
Definitely a good, very good book, to grab! It will appeal to younger girls and women in their 20s and 30s - anyone who's into fashion and loves that 'sanctified' world will totally dig this book's background and backdrop. But the sleuth-lover will also be left satisfied - I totally did not see the ending/resolution coming! The red herrings were very well planted and the mystery held up until the denouement! ...more
A quick and easy read - I gulped it down in one sitting. It is very easy to get lost in Ms. Tressen's writing, and Paige is a character that jumps offA quick and easy read - I gulped it down in one sitting. It is very easy to get lost in Ms. Tressen's writing, and Paige is a character that jumps off the page right from the get go.
Every time something happened in the plot, I was like, "Did she...?" and then I went, "Oh no, she didn't!!!" The author knows how to keep you on your toes.
This book is noir and darkish and macabre, and were it not Ms. Tressen's writing voice, this could've been a totally immoral storyline, but she manages to twist it into a tale where you're cheering on the protagonist to make it through and reach her goal.
The ending left a rather bitter taste in my mouth, though - a bit too swift and convenient, even if does fit the plot. And I also didn't get how Paige's mother who hates her with extreme vitriol at the start suddenly morphs into an almost benevolent character somewhere around the middle.
But other than these, it's a good way to while away an hour in the afternoon....more
Absolutely cute! I have no other way to describe this book. It was so refreshing, and novel, to see a YA written from the perspective of a guy, you knAbsolutely cute! I have no other way to describe this book. It was so refreshing, and novel, to see a YA written from the perspective of a guy, you know. Made for some definite awkward and totally funny and again, absolutely cute moments.
I cheered for Oliver throughout, amid the laughs and chuckles and giggles, because this is like a trainwreck happening...in the most beautiful and entertaining sense, though. The secondary characters alone could've had their one-man show and we'd have remained hooked. But the author combines them all together and creates this amazing, fantabulous ensemble that will have you in stitches when you are not nodding your head and totally agreeing with the conflicts and dilemmas going on in this book.
And yes, the Craigslist moment - the book is worth it for that alone!
Definitely a YA to read, to savour, to devour. Well worth the time that totally flies when you're reading. ...more
Gosh, this book was raw! I alternated between sympathizing with Jem and then hating her in the next second because goodness, that was a very hard - anGosh, this book was raw! I alternated between sympathizing with Jem and then hating her in the next second because goodness, that was a very hard - and somewhat mean - character. Yes, it all stems from a 'good' purpose...though is revenge ever a good thing, you wonder...
Cat Clarke asks so many questions about right and wrong in this book, and this, I felt, was the crux of this story. That nothing is ever black or white; that you risk losing losing yourself while navigating those shades of grey.
Kai was very much a flashback in the whole story, and as such, he tended to read a bit idealised and romanticised, built into something larger than life in Jem's mind...and Jem herself took us on her journey of revenge. It's all dark and brooding, and I, being used to my usual fluff, took this very much as an eye opener. You know the kind of deal that makes you go "No, I don't want to look!" but just as you place your hand over your eyes, you will peek out through your fingers anyhow because you just cannot stop looking.
That's what UNDONE felt like to me. The use of the post-humous letters from Kai reminded me a lot of PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahearn, and the whole "infiltrate the gorgeous set to bring them down" brought TV show Revenge to mind. All of this in a cocktail of teenage/YA angst and emotional volatility....
Not a book for the faint-hearted, and even for teens, I think it should come with a warning label. These are hard issues and if you're expecting lightness or even that it all ends well, then this is not the book for you. Beware - this is potent stuff! ...more
**spoiler alert** Please note this review contains SPOILERS!!!
I didn't realize this book's heroine would be just 15, and still in middle school. I kin**spoiler alert** Please note this review contains SPOILERS!!!
I didn't realize this book's heroine would be just 15, and still in middle school. I kinda expected an 'older, but still YA, heroine.
That being said, Imogene being so young does not take away from the story. But just don't go in there expecting intense conflict and driving drama...which I'll admit, I kinda junk on.
Consequently, this story felt rather 'not complicated' to me, and I read much in the hopes that something dramatic/drastic/explosive would happen, especially along the lines of a mega blow-up between Imogene and her mother. Sadly, the story and author let me down there....
But in a way, I see the 'sense' of making this book turn out the way it did, especially when you consider the target audience of middle grade/very young girls. I'm sure they would love this story... but personally, I wanted more, though this did prove a very easy read that I gobbled in 2 sittings.
It's a very good book for its target audience - aka 15-yr-old girls - but for an adult reading this, even those adults used to YA, you might want to lower the bar regarding drama expectations in this book. It is still a very nice read, though - nothing to say there. ...more
My ereader said this book was 307 pages long. In pdf format. Not an itty-bitty book...but I finished it in one morning! Start to end - it just happeneMy ereader said this book was 307 pages long. In pdf format. Not an itty-bitty book...but I finished it in one morning! Start to end - it just happened and I had downed the story before I knew it! Hats off to Ms. Behrens for writing such easy to gulp in prose and a story that just never lets up.
Audrey was as much an intriguing character as Alice was - I love how some authors manage to make historical characters come to life (with creative license, of course!) and Rebecca Behrens did this for a woman I knew next to nothing about - Alice Roosevelt. Like Audrey, I refused to go online to see what Wikipedia had to say about what had really happened to Alice - I preferred to read her diary entries and get this 'embroidered' journey of hers rather than the cold, hard facts. Ms. Behrens made me care about Alice, just as much as she made me care about Audrey.
And poor Audrey! OMG, life is really a gilded prison for her! And when you see all her acting out as calls for help, for attention, you cannot help but feel for her and cheer on for her to get a semblance of consideration from her mother, Madam President, or her absentee/scientist father, the First Gentleman.
Also loved the depictions of the White House - or 1600, as it's known in the book.
All in all, a very, very engaging read that flies by without you realising! Yes, even grown-ups can read this and enjoy the tale, though I suppose teens and middle grade girls will also love it (need to rec this to my nieces). You will not be disappointed!...more
Not being in the US, I don't exactly have access to the whole slew of reality shows from that country. The best I know are the big names, and4.5 stars
Not being in the US, I don't exactly have access to the whole slew of reality shows from that country. The best I know are the big names, and then a few from the UK (more often than not dubbed in French) and France through satellite TV. So the reality TV angle didn't really make me jump for joy or excitement to get another such 'fix'.
No - what intrigued me is that this story had the typical "make me over and it'll all be better but I will lose myself along the way and hopefully, find my real self and redeem myself before it's too late."
My impression was spot on. I mean, yeah - come on, it's YA; there's got to be a 'moral' to the story somewhere in there. And there was...in a manner that totally makes you see that the grass is not at all greener on the other side! Shannon loses herself until it's almost too late - yes, we all saw that one coming (and the resolution, too), but the way Ms. Crompton brings this story to a close? Epic!
Loved the humour in there (come on, it's got to be worth it for One! Million! Dollars! Sorry, couldn't resist putting that one in *grin*) and the whole view of high school (I went to an all-girl school and we don't have prom here. yes, I know - shame!) made it like you are living vicariously through Shannon.
Thumbs up to the author for dealing with the issue of bullying - something totally silly can really wreck the life of a kid when bullies gang up and even peer pressure or group effect makes the others join the fray. This was illustrated very clearly in all the suffering Shannon has to endure because she's a bit "different". You really do end up feeling for her...though there are times when you want to bash her, too. But hey, you don't learn without making mistakes.... and a large part of this book is about this.
Light yet deep, fluffy yet serious, this is on the whole a giggle fest that however does not end up vapid and leaves you with a message to accept yourself as you are - this is what matters, ultimately. ...more
This wasn't an overly long book; well, being YA, I think it kinda tended to the shorter/in-your-face approach that teens are known for.
And talk aboutThis wasn't an overly long book; well, being YA, I think it kinda tended to the shorter/in-your-face approach that teens are known for.
And talk about in-your-face! I remained glued to this book. Just couldn't let it go because I had to keep reading! I had my suspicions about the mystery around Riley, and these were confirmed somewhat before the the last third of the book. Wondered how the author would keep this going on, what she would come up with.... My goodness, I was so NOT disappointed! I never would've seen the twists and turns that Ms. Jayne spins in the last part of the book.
The whole climate of paranoia - she built this to a T! The very atmosphere felt oppressing, overwhelming, and soon, Riley's doubts become your own, making you wonder what is really happening here...
I love a good thriller, and this one did not disappoint at any stage of the story. What really blew me away though was the YA angle. You always see thrillers with adults, etc, but you don't find the teenage world often in such stories. Ms. Jayne wove a stunner in this one! On top of the suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat, she pens a very relatable Riley. We become her, literally, when we're reading - another feat given how this story is not in 1st person POV.
If you're looking for suspense and a story that will you riveted and guessing until the very end, then this book is for you! Do NOT miss SEE JANE RUN!!! ...more