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The Making Of Mia by Ilana Fox
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's review
May 31, 10

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-read-2010
Read on February 04, 2010

Joanne Hill has always been a bit dowdy and fat and after years of bullying she finally achieves her dream of working on a glossy magazine (aptly titled Gloss!). After starting as a lowly typist, Jo finds herself working for Joshua, the head honcho of the magazine, as his PA. Jo finally believes she's on her way to becoming editor of her own magazine but it all falls flat when Joshua ignores Jo's ideas for Gloss. After making her cry and firing her from her job, Jo vows to get her revenge. The question is, just how far will Jo go to exact her revenge?

Since reading some fab reviews of Ilana Fox's debut novel The Making of Mia I finally got around to buying it for myself. I didn't want to start it straight away as I was already reading something but I wanted to get it read before Ilana's second book comes out so I know if I want to read it or not. After finishing my latest book, the fab teen read Before I Fall, I wanted to read a light and breezy chick lit book so I picked up The Making of Mia and I'm so pleased I did.

The prologue is told from the point of view of Mia and is set in 2007. It really drew me in especially as I knew that some way along the way Jo becomes Mia so it made me eager to know how the transformation takes place. We then go back to 2000 when Jo is still at school - a posh boarding school no less - and it soon becomes apparent that no matter where she goes, or what she does, Jo is always bullied. There's only one reason Jo is bullied and that is her size. All of the girls in her school - and later, in her working life - all appear to be stick thin and so Jo stands out like a sore thumb. The book then follows Jo's progress from school-girl to her twenties as she begins working for Gloss magazine. I have got no idea whether anything that happens in the book really is akin to what really happens in a magazine but if it is, I really don't agree! Jo goes through some horrific things at the hands of her employers and when push comes to the shove, nobody stands by her.

In a bid to get away from her failing career, Jo heads off to Miami to spend time with Amelia, her only friend from school, and ends up staying in Miami for a couple of years. In that time, Jo becomes friends with Gable, an aspiring actor. As Jo begins to think out how she can get her revenge on her mean ex-boss, Joshua, Gable inspires Jo to take some drastic action. What emerges from the ashes is Mia Blackwood and Mia has one thing on her mind: to get revenge on Joshua. The plot of The Making of Mia certainly isn't unique and takes pinches from The Ugly Duckling, The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty and creates an incredibly readable plot.

From the off Jo isn't exactly an inspiring character as she's overweight, immensely unhappy and unable to lose weight as she can't seem to stop eating. She's hardly your ideal heroine but as she grows into herself and eventually manages to control her weight, she becomes so much more likeable. It's her determination to work in journalism that made me warm to her immediately. As she keeps getting knocked back and back I didn't think she'd ever end up realising her dream. She really came into her own in Miami and even more so when she transformed into Mia. As she began to formulate her plan for revenge I wound up liking her more and more. She becomes quite manipulative and it was so great to see her come out of her shell. Jo is the only main character in the book but there are a lot of supporting characters. Amelia, a friend of Jo's from high school, is a huge influence in Jo's life and she seemed really nice and so different to the rest of the girls at Jo's old school. The only other supporting character seemed to be Will, a friend Jo makes before she gets a job at Gloss. He makes regular appearances in the book and I loved him immensely. Joshua, the head honcho at Gloss, is hugely unlikeable and to see Jo plot her revenge made for such great reading. I kept praying and hoping Joshua would get his come-uppance eventually.

The Making of Mia is told in the third-person narrative which really worked and I hugely enjoyed Ilana's writing. It may not be up to the standards of some authors but it's hugely easy to get into and is an enjoyable style of writing. It's very simplistic and the book is packed full with fab stories about the magazine world. No, they're not entirely pleasant stories but they were still really good. The descriptions of Florida are fantastic - I've holidayed twice in Florida, although it was in Orlando and not Miami - and I adore the sunshine state and it makes a change to be told about a different American state rather than NYC or LA. As much as I adore stories set in New York and Los Angeles I do enjoy a change of destination and Florida is definitely that.

Ilana Fox is a hugely promising author and I cannot wait for her second book which is due out soon. The Making of Mia is a fantastic read and one I totally enjoyed. Some may disagree with how far Jo goes in her bid to get her revenge - I thought it was going to put me off actually - but in the end, as all is explained, it was totally worth it and it all made sense. Do go and pick this up, it's a fab read.
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02/04/2010 page 156
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message 1: by Rossy (new) - added it

Rossy Fantastic review, Leah!

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