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The Fashion Committee

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  390 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
What if one contest could change the course of your entire life?

Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion.

John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn’t care less about clothes.

Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. And whoever wins t
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
One star because juvenile writing and cheating. Dude has a great girlfriend who is nothing but good to him, and yet, he forgets her in a snap of fingers when a ''gorgeous'' girl starts paying attention to him. It's okay to feel attracted to somebody else, but it's not okay to act on it when you're already in a relationship. Come on.
Meg Cabot
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Susan Juby is a joy. Her ability to blend humor with gut-wrenching emotion is one in a million. Another winner by one of my all time favorite authors.
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
“It was beginning to occur to me that I was a little too in love with stereotypes and preconceptions.”

The Fashion Committee was much better than I had anticipated. I am not the biggest fan of light contemporary but this had a wonderful balance.

Trigger Warning: Drug addiction and domestic violence.

This book started off as your typical, light contemporary novel. It was exactly what I was expecting and that was fine. However, part-way through the story the characters were revealed more and m
Jen Ryland
I wasn't sure about The Fashion Committee at first. It's told in a journal format, narrated by two characters who are competing for a scholarship to a fashion school.

The female narrator, Charlie, was a bit of an oddball. She writes her entries in Franglish (English sprinkled with somewhat questionable French) and her prose had a stilted sort of quality. At first I thought her narration might drive me nuts, but its soon became clear that she's a kid who's had a hard life, and I realized that all
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, starred-2017, 2017, 3
I think this would have been a better book without John's perspective. It diluted Charlie's much stronger story.
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
4.5 Stars. This was a bright shining star of a surprise!! I wasn't expecting to love it so much, but the characters in this book crawled into my heart.

This book took me by complete surprise!! I wasn't sure what I was expecting going into it, but it became this fun, entertaining, happy little daffodil of a book for me.

First, we have Charlie Dean. She's--- well, she's odd and driven and lives for fashion. When I first started the book, I wasn't sure I was going to like Charlie and I kind of unders
Olivia (The Candid Cover)
The Fashion Committee is a story about a fashion competition that had so much potential. The concept is so original, but I found the main characters to be annoying and unrealistic. I also didn’t enjoy the excessive use of random French words and the main character’s habit of referring to herself in the third person. I’m a bit disappointed with this one, but I would still recommend it to those with a strong interest in fashion.

This book has a super unique concept that really interested me. Basica
Karyn Silverman
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2017-reads, arcs, ya
A delight from start to finish. Trademark Juby -- all breezy and light sounding, full of dark depths, because life isn't all peaches and cream. Funny but mostly I teared up from heartbreak - there's a lot here. Addiction and resilience, issues of culture and class, all tied up in sequins and lace and a real respect for fashion. Easter egg love - the school is the one from her last book, which I read last year (?). I love too that all my expectations were wrong - it's not a romance. John's girlfr ...more
Mavis Ros
Nov 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, lost-interest
Well, that was a huge waste.

The writing was a bit, well, over-detailed. When I say over-detailed I mean, it's all over the place. (I'll give an example--The character is doing something and then, it adds a backstory, then back to the character again complaining an issue.)The story itself just lost its pacing sometimes when it comes to objectives.

I didn't get to go along well with the characters. They were all forgettable. This book does lack some deep character development which is quite a sho

The Fashion Committee is a deceptively lighthearted, entertaining, and uplifting contemporary YA novel that celebrates art and creativity while at the same time touching upon a number of serious issues, such as absent parents, drug abuse, bullying, and socio-economic inequalities.

The characters in The Fashion Committee are complex and flawed but likable and relatable. Also, I appreciate the casually diverse representation of race, sexuality, and ability.

The fast-paced and intriguing plot of The
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm two for two with loving Susan Juby. Like The Truth Commission, this book takes a dishy, lighthearted concept and peoples it with characters facing some seriously hard shit in seriously believable ways. I thought Charlie Dean was going to be a fashionista bubblehead, but instead she's a goddamn survivor whose journey through some of the worst things life can throw at you is made bearable by her belief in the power of self-presentation. This book never looks down on its characters or on the wo ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! Juby's strengths are character, voice and the ability to turn the expected on its head and those elements are here in force. Two gifted artistic teens enter a scholarship competition for a place at a private school. In their required diaries, both record their artistic journey while revealing so much more about themselves, their lives and their discoveries.

Juby has a sharp observant eye for the foibles of teens and culture that always makes me laugh but her true skill is gifting re
I was positively suprised about the serious social issues (drug addiction, domnestic violence) and how untypical (view spoiler) the ending was. John got what he deserved. Charlie was a bit too extreme for my taste - trop exagerée with all her French and in third-person speaking but somehow I still liked her anyway. Final note: I expected a lot more drawings and stuff to explain things because I'm no expert in fashion terms and was often lost with all the jargon.
Dani St-Onge (Literary Lion)
For more reviews and bookish content:

I love books with multiple POV characters particularly when those characters are only briskly involved in the others' lives. Charlie Dean and John Thomas-Smith are entering the same fashion scholarship competition, and they attend the same school. Their lives barely intersect but it allows the book to give varied views of events. Charlie loves fashion, John doesn't much care for it. Charlie has a rough life but strives to be better at a
Michelle Arrow
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

DNF @ 65 pages

Unfortunately, Susan Juby's The Fashion Committee was an extreme disappointment. Perhaps my twelve-year-old self would have enjoyed a story like this, but I rather felt... displeased and sad with its outcome. Given that I had read Juby's work in the past (and felt iffy about it), I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. It's definitely out of my comfort zone as it focuses on the fashion industry and
Megan Lyons
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
2 1/2 stars

The characters weren't very likeable, the journal format felt forced and problematic, and it got ridiculous at times, but it also reminded me a little of Project Runway for the above reasons, and I really likeProject Runway. Longer review to come.
Stranger Unidentified
It was alright, not the best. I wasn't much interested in the book anyways. That's why it took so long to read. It has NOTHING to with what you may think, most likely not. The plot could be better.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved! It's not five stars just because I wasn't as into the boy's story as I was into the girl's (Charlie's). But overall I thought it was really special!
Emily Williams
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sue by: Katie
I loved this story, of two high school students – one fashion-obsessed, the other completely ignorant of and also contemptuous of fashion – who get involved in a fashion competition. Each is so human & so believable & so sympathetic & so brave, in completely different ways. I also found myself laughing out loud on approximately every other page (& occasionally almost tearing up a bit). A perfect book!
Molly Dettmann
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5. This book started off wonky with a very pretentious protagonist, Charlie, and an equally unlikeable boy, John, both trying to win a fashion competition for a scholarship to a super fancy art school for their senior year. The story is told through alternating POV diary entries. The plot got a little better towards the middle and I did like all the fashion, but John was a miserable character and Charlie never completely won me over. Her backstory was interesting, but her random French and thi ...more
Alert! Super-fun realistic YA! Teens with authentic, passionate hobbies! A delightful lack of a driving romantic plot line! Alert alert!
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was a delight to read. A YA novel about a fashion competition that focuses on two teenagers (one male, one female) trying to win. Alternating between their lives, it was a fun book to read with some surprisingly heavier themes, allowing the characters to go through more than what initially appears.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book has confused the hell out of me. I could have given it three plus stars or been just as comfortable giving it one star (went with two out of indecision). Part of the reason that I didn’t really like The Fashion Committee was because of my expectations for it. I got the book as a gift and didn’t read what is about, other than inside the dust jacket, or any reviews; I just picked up the book and started reading. After reading the inside blurb, I was really looking forward to seeing how t ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC of this book as part of Penguin's First in Line program.

So this book was... much different than I was expecting. With the cover and the synopsis, I was expecting a fluffy YA novel, not a romance, but some good rivalry and fashion-related hijinks. Instead, I got a discussion of classism and how it is to live with drug addict parent(s).

Besides the plot, neither of the main characters were particularly likeable. They were both pretentious, in different ways. John was pretentious
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t expect anything much for The Fashion Committee. But what can I say? J’adore! Because a story that I once thought will revolve around fashion and clothes are so much more than that. I got that impression because of the cover. I don’t think it fits the story no matter how cute it is. Anyway, it deals with deeper issues that some teens are going through. It is not your usual YA book so don’t expect any romance and cutesy scenario, it is not one of those. But that just adds to the appeal of ...more
This is a super cute little story with some very dark undertones. And, risking spoiler-wrath, but there is no forced romance or love triangle. I love Charlie, she's a character for the ages. I would literally read a series about Charlie.

So glad I picked this up. Longer review to come.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok

Full review can be found here.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Um...not the target audience, as I'm not YA or interested in fashion. And yet, engaging and delightful. wished I was at the fashion show.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Please note: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

When I first received this book from the Penguin Random House First In Line program, I thought it looked like a kind of cute, light romance. With a name like The Fashion Committee, I wasn't expecting anything deep. So I was surprised when I read this. The light tone is in stark contrast to the harsh reality of one of the ch
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(from her website)

I was raised in Smithers, BC, Canada and lived there until I moved to Toronto at age 20. I had a brief and unsuccessful career as a fashion design student and, after I worked at a series of low paying jobs, such as server, record store employee, etc., I began a degree in English Literature at University of Toronto, which I finished at the University of British Columbia. After gra
“The design is about expectations. Everybody wants something from beautiful people. From beautiful women, especially. But I think they're most stunning when they refuse to give anyone anything.” 0 likes
“I don't do effortless myself, but I like it in other people.” 0 likes
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