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No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation. Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams.

But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her.

Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical. What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid.

Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Or could it? Dark rumors like silken threads swirl around the question of why Tookie and her new friends were selected . . . and the shadows around Modelland hide sinister secrets.

Are you ready? Modelland is waiting for you. . . .

570 pages, Hardcover

First published April 26, 2011

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About the author

Tyra Banks

7 books200 followers
Tyra Lynne Banks is an American supermodel, television personality, talk show host, actress, businessperson and singer. She became famous first as a model in Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, and New York, but television appearances made her even more so. She is known best as hostess/judge of the reality television show America's Next Top Model since its 2003 debut, and is currently hosting her own Daytime Emmy Award-nominated talk show, The Tyra Banks Show. Banks is one of four African Americans and seven women to have repeatedly ranked among the world's most influential people by Time magazine.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 733 reviews
Profile Image for Wigs.
80 reviews1,211 followers
February 1, 2012
Three stars? Three stars, Wigs??? You say???

This book. Where do I even start?

I picked up this book because of the second to last episode of America's Next Top Model all star season, which featured the priceless Modelland photoshoot which gave us these gifs:

And I was intrigued. I then further got incentive when my friend Kelcey and I decided to challenge ourselves to get through this almost 600 page book.

this happened.


Because reading this book is like this:

Oh. Trust me. This book is bad. So bad it's hilarious. It just kept going. Things just kept happening. And more and more and more ridiculous things kept coming. And up til the very end, I was completely fucking thrown for a loop.

So listen. A bit ago I defined a good book, to me, as one that makes me literally kick and scream because I'm so excited about what's going on, and a bad book as one that I spend time critiquing and feel neutral about what's happening. Modelland is beyond critiquing. It is so far gone we've gone right back around into kicking and screaming territory because it's so what-the-FUCK am I even looking at!?? I can't tell you how many times I yelled at this book, with this wide-eyed open-mouthed shock, often making what I like to call a 'lizard noise' at the back of my throat because I couldn't even handle it, it's so awesomely bad. And not the kind that makes you go “what the fuck” and slam the book shut, no, I needed to know where it was going.

And besides the basic fact that you can guess that the main character of the book Tookie De La Crème (if you're laughing about that now don't even start with me because this book is so much worse than the names, this seems normal to me now) is going to Modelland and that some guy ends up liking her, the rest is anything but predictable.

So what's it like? Basically, imagine Tyra at a buffet of stories. She eats Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, most of the Harry Potters, Matilda, Alice in Wonderland, A Clockwork Orange, and even a bit of the movies Beetlejuice and Mirrormask, (oh and plenty of America's Next Top Model)... then throws them all up into a basket so it's a huge muddy derivative mess, throws some glitter, paint, and a bow onto it and hands it to us like a newborn baby. This is our book.

Before I even continue, I think I need to tell everyone that I was crying laughing out loud last night as I read the acknowledgments and saw that Tyra thanked three different bodies of water, including the Pacific Ocean. No, I'm not joking.

But one thing that did satisfy me in a weird way was her thanking the reader, saying 'this isn't mine anymore and you can think what you want.' YES I WILL, THANK YOU. Reading this book was like, I imagine, taking more acid then you could handle while watching America's Next Top Model. So many colors. So many fashions. So little sense!

I would like to warn all of you that enjoying this book, as I did, isn't for everyone. My favorite kind of humor is unintentional. Tyra meant this to be taken 100% seriously. You mayhaps, instead of lulzing it up, find it painful. I don't see how though. Despite it's length, it's rather easy reading, and I can't say that I ever once felt bored for more than a few pages. I do think it helps to be someone that watches America's Next Top Model though, because if you're more familiar with how dramatically serious Tyra is then it makes so much more sense where it all came from. No, there was no ghost writer. This is her. Her her her. All the characters act just like her in all her forms. If you know Tyra, you'll see what I mean. Did I mention the main character has a giant forehead that makes her insecure? Just like Tyra??

The good.

Were there any redeeming qualities about this book? Yes. Despite everything, I do think Tyra has a good imagination. Aside from the very borrowed plot points from various tales, I did enjoy reading all her descriptions about the fashions and some of the characters. I loved Piper the albino girl. I loved Chaste, who clearly existed for slut-shaming purposes only with her diamond nipple pasties and ass hanging out of her skirt, but I loved her for being the way she was. I loved Gunnero so much, who is clearly modeled after Miss Jay:

I found, and still find myself, as a cartoonist, wanting to draw some of these characters. There were blips of cool imagery that I enjoyed, which is funny, because it's kind of what Tyra knows. Still fashion photographs. Building a story around that imagery however, oops...

The bad.

And I mean the actually bad. I don't think I have to tell you that it was one-star level writing. Some of that goes into my third category below, because I actually enjoyed the bad writing for the most part, but as usual, I am shaking my head at the editor for very obvious grammatical errors, things like “absolutely rarity.” One thing that majorly bothered me was continuity issues. For example, Dylan is in Tookie's three classes, and we hear about what she does in all three classes. But right before the third class, Dylan asks Tookie what happened in those first two classes, and then describes going to different classes herself. Ummmm...no, she didn't. We were there. We saw her. Tyra also has no concept of time. If you pay attention to the writing, only four months have passed. But she says it's been a whole year by the end of the book. I now think this could possibly be the editors fault, finding out that the original manuscript was 1000 pages. It's possible the editor just scrapped half the book and that's where the missing time went. I would also like to mention that Tyra doesn't even give you a second to think about her writing. She tells you immediately what something means, why they did it, and how to pronounce it (no, literally.) There is no symbolism in this book. She slaps you with what everything means, and in reiteration, in case you didn't get it the first time you read the sentence.

And secondly, the portrayal of gay characters. There are two gay characters, Brian (yes, we're counting Brian even though he's only there for two seconds to be sassy) and Gunnero. Both of whom are mean and catty and stereotypical pressed jealous gays. It would have been nice to balance that with a positive gay character at least. I hope that Piper turns out to be a lesbian, tbh, in Modelland II.

Who even cares though, Wigs.

The awesomely ugly.

Warning. Do not continue reading my review if you want to have a reading experience like I did. If you want to discover the fuckery for yourself, don't continue. However, most of you still won't, so here's what's up:

Tyra has no sense of what audience she's writing for. So one minute we have cutesy names for the countries based on things like weather and such, “Pitter Patter” for the province of storms, and a girl who lives in a tree, and then OH SHIT SHE'S CUTTING HER WRISTS and there's blood and vomit and oh shit what is going on anymore.

You get me?

The models are magical. They do magic with their golden belts that everyone wears.

There's an entire chapter on periods. And the male teacher discussing periods with them.

There's a lot of nudity.

There's plenty of self mutilation, including self-flagellation a la monk style.

A baby gets born in a toilet full of vomit, from a model-thin girl who didn't even know she was pregnant. And really, she wasn't even in pain. It took two seconds for her to poop it out. What. (this was the cause of that Bert gif I had in my status during my progress, as you can see below.)

There are brutal disturbing deaths involving torn off body parts.

There's a scene where a girl shaves her vag in front of a lot of people.

And BOY does Tyra lovvvve to humiliate her main character. She's quite sadistic.

If I believed in Freudian psychology, I'd say that Tyra is stuck in the oral stage. Everything is about mouths. Spitting, vomiting, licking, bleeding from mouths, sucking thumbs,

oh yes

where was I?

...whipped cream going into mouths...

...binge eating, bulimia....


Half of the time Tyra is being incredibly dark and edgy with dirty language, and half of the time is completely immature and childish and colorful. She can't decide which audience she's writing to. It's a new genre! Clearly.

And soooo much sexual-but-not-meant-to-be-sexual writing!!! "She then heard Bravo squirt some cream into his own mouth." I...see...

AND THE TWILIGHT-ESQUE FINAL PAGE. I fucking died. “Climb on my back, Tookie...” WOOSH.

Let's see....I think you're probably tired of reading about this review now, but let's just say I recommend it for anyone who has some time to kill, enjoys America's Next Top Model, and wants to immerse themselves in a total lulzy mindfuck for a few days. I myself fully intend to read Modelland II to continue the ridiculousness.

Tyra meant for this to be a message to girls that even girls who think they're ugly can be beautiful but....this book is such a giant mess of fuckery the message is clearly lost under the massive piles of 'what is going on right now, am I high, who is that, why are they naked, why am I bleeding.'

So three stars, for pure entertainment value from one star writing, which made it far more entertaining than Twilight. I almost want to give it four but you guys won't let me live that down.

I would like to add that in the last part of the book, a world without new models to idolize was compared to being choked and strangled and being deprived of oxygen.

This must be why she's made sure we have as many seasons of ANTM as we do.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
January 15, 2021

Just released my Worst 2020 Books Video - now that you know this one made the list, click the link to find the rest!

This is...to put it mildly...a hot mess. Scratch that. It's just a mess. A messy mess.

I now understand why it took the guy who wrote Pete's Exhaustive Review of Modelland a full year to read this 500+ page disaster.


Whelp. This is DEFINITELY one of the more difficult books I've read. The library has reclaimed it so I need to wait until it becomes available again. Shelving for now.

Final Update

It's bad enough to deserve 0 stars but I'm petty enough to rate it one star solely so my rating will count

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
Shelved as 'due-to-reviews-lost-interest'
March 24, 2012
WTF is this?!

Tyra, Trya, Tyra... Oh you. Lol.

Let us do a bit of pre-reviewing shall we?

No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation.

Tookie? Tookie?! Is that seriously the most creative name she could thing of? Then she had the nerve to tack on "De La Crème." For what, Tyra? Because if her "large forehead, and gawky body" doesn't drive the point home, her name will? Please stop while you're ahead. Oh shit, it's already published.

Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams.

This book is just reeking of creativity. You can tell she totally pulled out all the stops on this one.

But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her.

Check box for Mary-sue.

Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical.

How sad is it that I can picture Tyra herself reading this in her "Top Model" voice, *Smizing* at me?


What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid.

Of course. What an easy plot cop out.

Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Or could it?

You have got to be kidding me. I'm trying to figure out what "YA" would pick this POS up and read it.

Dark rumors like silken threads swirl around the question of why Tookie and her new friends were selected . . . and the shadows around Modelland hide sinister secrets.


Are you ready? Modelland is waiting for you. . . .

I'll tell you what I'm ready for. I'm ready for a 600 mg of Ibuprofen from the shear amount of times my forehead collided with my computer desk just from the description.

Someone please, make Tyra stop.

Profile Image for Meredith Holley.
Author 2 books2,236 followers
August 14, 2012
This is the worst book I’ve ever read. Worst. The worst book. I’ve read The Sword of Shannara and Skye O'Malley. This is the worst book. I can’t even believe this book exists. It is about . . .

Well, imagine if Effie Trinket wrote a book about Bella Swan that took place in David Lynch’s brain, using as literary reference the Harry Potter series and the Uglies series.

effie trinket looking crazy while she calls Katniss to the Hunger Games

Kristin Stewart emotional chart showing that her expressions never change

Dale Palmer bashing his head against a mirror and looking at a reflection of Bob

It is bad and somewhat horrifying at the same time. And while both Skye O’Malley and this book had some creepy abuse of women and girls, Skye had panthers on leashes.

What. The. Fuck?

A friend informed me that the word SMIZE means to smile with your eyes. I don’t know if that makes me hate this book more or hate it less. I actually think it makes me hate it more. Oh my god, the mutilation of the English language in this book is pure sadism. The alliterative synonyms!!! Can't unsee.

I looked at all of the pages in this book, so nobody better give me any bullshit about finishing the damn thing. I got all the way to the miserable end.

There is a part where the chosen models go on a “catwalk,” which, in Modelland, means they walk down a hallway full of cats, which are possessed by the spirits of other models, and get clawed by the model/cats. Tookie . . .

that is the protagonist's name . . .

Anyway, her romantic interest, Bravo . . .

I can't even - the words: they are not enough for how stupid this is.

So, Bravo is always casually sticking his thumb into Tookie's mouth, and there are elaborate descriptions of how manly his thumb tastes. How does that even happen? This book is so bad.

I kind of like watching America’s Next Top Model on a marathon – or at least I did like six years ago. I haven’t done that in a while. At the same time, I am sort of left with the same feeling I get when I watch the movie Stomp the Yard - that it is not about anything. Like, the girls get weird pictures taken of them, then Tyra Banks yells at them in a snotty voice, and then people cry. I don’t totally get it. In Stomp the Yard, too, there is a set of standards that I can’t imagine is real. People jump around, and then other people yell, and it’s like, awwww yeeeeah, somebody won. But did somebody really win? What were the rules? Was there a German judge? I don’t get it. It is not very fun to watch or read something that is so far removed from my reality that it is only confusing.

At least now I know Suzanne Collins was modeling the Capital in Hunger Games on ANTM. I guess that’s some kind of redeeming takeaway.

Karen sent me an autographed copy of this, too. So, that continues to be spectacular.
Profile Image for Peter Derk.
Author 24 books336 followers
February 16, 2016
Fuck you, it's Modelland.

That's the slogan I came up with for this project. Or a chorus, if you will.

My first attempt to read Tyra Banks' Modelland started in 2012. It also ended in 2012, somewhere about 20% into the book. I couldn't take any more. There were so many other things I could enjoy, why spend time on Modelland? There were birds...trees...

Then, in 2015, I decided "fuck birds and trees."

I threw up a Kickstarter. Pete's Exhaustive Review of Modelland. And with that, I answered the question, "How much would money would convince me to read Modelland?"

A hundo, it turns out. A well-earned hundo.

I read the damn book, and as part of the deal, I wrote a long, detailed, exhaustive review.

And here it is.

Now, full disclosure, this gets long. About 50,000 words long, if numbers matter to you. There was just so much to say, so much to outline, and so many dead ends and wrong turns that made reviewing the book a true challenge. Which details are significant, and which will be dropped almost immediately and without fanfare? Which characters will return, and which will be left to the wayside as completely unimportant? It's impossible to say.

But I'll say this: the book itself clocks in at over 500 pages, and I counted exactly ONE decent joke in those pages. So if you want to experience the crazy of Modelland without the pain, or at least without ALL of the pain, then this is the way to go.

Think about this like the MST3K of book reviews. Frame by frame, page by page, we'll go through this mother.

Crack a beer. Maybe five. Hundred. And enjoy Pete's Exhaustive Review of Modelland.

At this point, you have to click over to my web site and read the review. This isn't a trick. There are FAR too many characters to fit in this tiny box. Sorry!

Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
June 27, 2018
I can't read the rest. It made my brain hurt. I got to chapter 5 and couldn't read anymore. Wow. This is probably one of the most oddest books I have ever attempted to read..
Profile Image for Megan.
523 reviews343 followers
February 13, 2012
Modelland, a place where every girl’s dream comes true. A place where girls are turned into Intoxibellas, superheroes with powers of seduction, teleportation, empathy…

Okay, let’s face it. MODELLAND might possibly be one of the biggest literary train wrecks ever. If Tyra Banks was not some famous supermodel with bigger name recognition than Madeleine Albright, then this book would have hopefully never been published. The fact it was published anyway makes me question lots of things, particularly Tyra, who apparently thought that this was a great idea. The morals behind it – a girl who isn’t conventionally beautiful learning to stand up for herself and love who she is – are there, but the execution… Oh, Lord, THE EXECUTION!

Reading MODELLAND is like reading what a five year old might write after watching a marathon of every America’s Next Top Model episode while high on a mixture of LSD and apple juice. Such fun (and whacked out) changes to reality include 1.) a city named Metopia where each quadrant has completely different weather 2.) a fashion emergency department store (aka the Modelland hospital) where doctors have roller skates instead of feet and nurses are called purses 3.) a board of directors that are actually called the BORED – because they look bored like the people on the front rows of fashion shows and 4.) names like Tookie de la Crème and Shiraz Shiraz. I personally wonder if Tyra realized Tookie is also the nickname of a rather infamous gang member named Stanley Williams who murdered people and was executed. But that’s beside the point.

I can only imagine that this experience is best when you are high on multiple drugs mixed with a healthy dose of alcohol. Since that is illegal and I don’t drink, I did it while high on cake and tripping on a lack of sleep. Exploring Modelland and the various international locales of this strange world made me wonder if I was going insane. A country entirely located inside a grocery store. Countries named Nordensee and Iceyland, identical quadruplets who share a bed named ILikee, HerLikee, MeLikee, and SheLikee, a ship in the middle of Modelland that teaches runway techniques while swaying back and forth, a class called Mastication where you are labeled a “gut stuffer” (among other titles) and taught to use a wall that pops out whatever food you want.

Describing the plot of this book would be pointless and futile. Imagine the most ridiculous plotlines imaginable. MODELLAND is more ridiculous than that. It draws elements from THE HUNGER GAMES, HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, and so many other ideas, but mixes them with acid and insanity. The message of MODELLAND is a good one – every girl is beautiful, not just the conventionally pretty ones – but it’s heavily muddled in lots of completely insane bits and bobs that didn’t fit together.

I won’t give MODELLAND one star. I read this thing cover to cover and enjoyed it, if only because it was a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from. It gets two stars for the sheer hilarity this book was. It made little to no sense and was filled with some of the most elementary school-esque writing I’ve ever seen (but I’ve seen worse from even the biggest publishers, to be honest). Tyra Banks is no author, but at least she has a whacked out imagination.

VERDICT: MODELLAND is quite possibly one of the most inadvertently hilarious books ever. The writing is horrible, the plot makes no sense, and the world is crazy. But why do you want to read this? To experience it all first hand.
Profile Image for Traci.
566 reviews41 followers
November 22, 2012

I just read Modelland. In one day. Why? Because it's such a train wreck I couldn't actually stop. I don't know what I read. I'm confused. I think someone slipped me some drugs.

Things that I thought I'd get out of this book:
-some posing with hands on hips or something
-a message of female empowerment
-maybe a romance?

What I actually got out of this book:
-dumpster diving
-armpit sniffing
-some very graphic puke scenes

So from the cover, I understood that this was a something-like-a-dystopian-novel where there was a big shiny academy where lucky girls got chosen to compete to be Intoxibellas, which are supermodels. The main character, Tookie, is a Forgetta-girl, which is a forgettable girl. Plus, one of my goodreads friends reviewed this and it sounded so hilariously bad I couldn't help but try it out. And oh, wow.

I get comfortable in my work chair and turn on my iPad and on the first page, this gem stares up at me: “You begin your mornings staring at the fog, longing for the fateful evening when it will turn a golden yellow and then, finally, like a push-up brassiere, lift.”

But it gets better. The first introduction to Tookie, when the story actually starts, she's lying on the floor in the hallway of her school, squirting whipped cream into her mouth directly from the can. I mean, really? This is the main chracter. This is the person we follow through the whole book. But anyway, she is trying to get attention—she's a Forgetta-girl, after all, and no one even sees her. Except her best friend, with whom she sniffs armpits. (They probably smell pretty bad, because the BFFL lives in a tree on a mattress, so.)

The whole world is aflutter because they're going to choose new applicants to be Intoxibellas. They go through all the people who are walking around the world and “discover” them, take them up to Modelland, and then they more or less brutally fight their way through to be one of the final seven at the very end. Each of the seven has a special power, like ThirtyNever (this one is my favorite!!), where the Intoxibella, on her thirtieth birthday, reverts to a seventeen year old. This cycle repeats until she dies. (I'm not sure how she dies since she doesn't age.) Very very very rarely there's something called a Triple7, which means that Intoxibella gets all of the powers. There's only one right now and her name is Ci~L! (That's Ci~L with a tilde, not a hyphen.)

There's some dumpster diving for clothes, and then some picketing about armpit hair (“The hairy hag was Abigail Goode, sideburns in full glory, faint mustache above her upper lip, unshaven leg hair coating her calves, underarm hair swaying in the wind, and a DOWN WITH RAZORS! picket sign still in her hands.”)

To no one's surprise but Tookie's family, she's chosen to become a Bella (student) over her sister Myrracle, who is gorgeous but stupid. She says DA-TAH instead of TA-DA! The scout goes to other countries, and picks a few people who are as weird and misfit as Tookie (who by the way has an enormous forehead, mismatched eyes and apparently the world's biggest feet) and they insta-bond and become friends. Tookie can understand them because she speaks every language on the planet, even if we don't:

(actual screenshot)

They're shown through Modelland and there's an arena where “pretty boys and gorgeous girls battle in ManAttack, the one class you'll have with our brother male modeling academy, Bestosterone.” But don't worry, there are no gorgeous male models here! Bestosteros are only there to look at, they're an ACCESSORY, like a handbag, and they build things and look good but that's about it.

The head Intoxibella person is called the BellaDonna, and she sings, and it's AWFUL:

Modelland is your new HOME
Welcome to this superDOME
For you XX-chromoSOMED
Modelland is your new HOME.

I don't know, guys, there's a storyline here, but I have to say I didn't find it. There's a Bestostero that she has the hots for named Bravo, and at some point she sucks his thumb, and it's the most awkward thing I've ever read. There's not a lot of romance and the chemistry is like... staring at the periodic table... but she sucks his thumb and he tastes masculine, however masculine tastes.

Now first off, they have THBC, which stands for... thigh high boot camp. They have their own faces melt off so they know better than to ever share cosmetics (which they do on like, the next page) and they're choked to death by knockoff handbags and fake jewelry because it's wrong to buy that stuff, it's made by underage laborers (which Tookie would have been if she wasn't chosen). They get their thigh-high boots, and nightgowns with capes, and then their real classes begin and they're pretty uneventful, I guess, except that one class is about binge eating and how you should always listen to your body and how there are four girls that are anorexic and that is Wrong.

There's a lot of graphic vomit scenes, where mostly everyone pukes and everyone else rolls around in it. Okay, not really, but Tookie throws up in a girl's hair, and then her friend (who has regressed into bulimia from her childhood) throws up all over herself and the bathroom, so the four Unicas, as they call themselves, all sit in the vomit-covered bathroom to bond, and then later, a baby is born into a toilet full of vomit because the mother didn't even know she was pregnant, (the baby lives!) so there is that.

There are also these weird things called Mannecants, which look like mannequins, made from some of the people who failed at becoming Intoxibellas. Clever, right?

So if this sounds like I wrote this review on crack, I didn't. It's pretty much the plotline of this book, for what it's worth, and there are two more. There was potential, but anytime anything got remotely interesting that plotline was dropped for leg hair and vomit.

Here are some more quotes:
“Lynne began snapping with her right hand to the rhythm of the Leg Leech's head-bopping beat. The creature seemed pleased, and motioned for Myrracle and Lynne to join in with both hands. Myrracle complied, snapping double time while doing her signature high kicks. But Lynne just could not double-snap to perfection, given that she had lost her left hand's middle finger weeks before.”

“The guards dropped Tookie's arms and [spoiler] said, “Psych! Tookie, I was totally kidding. I was spooky, huh? Like before, when I was crazy, but I'm not creazy now but I feel crazy cus I'm the frickin' BellaDonna. I'm so nervous and now I'm sweating again. You know how I sweat. Augh! Come here, girl!” And then [spoiler] wrapped Tookie in a big hug.

“[spoiler], you totally freaked me out,” Tookie said, giggling nervously. “I thought you were gonna kill me.”

I even read the acknowledgements at the end. She thanks the Hudson River. And the Pacific Ocean. So there's that.
Profile Image for S.J. Kincaid.
Author 17 books2,164 followers
September 27, 2011
I've only read the first chapter. IMO, this promises to be the most terrifying dystopian of all.
Profile Image for Anjum Choudhury.
220 reviews
July 21, 2014
As a preface: I know that there are sooo many people that think that this book is such a trip that it's rather unreadable and they hate it. I actually completely understand this viewpoint, and I don't like the book for it's...Well a lot of things that one would classically write a book for. It really seems like a piece that someone would write and then post to the internet, not a published book. So I'll say straightaway that if you don't want a book that is somewhat of an acid trip, then don't reach for this one. That being said...

This book amazes me. It's not the story, or anything, but the fact that you can come up with such a unique story, especially when you're someone like Tyra Banks, who doesn't have a background in writing, of course. I feel that I sometimes lack creativity, and certainly can't could never come up with a story line like this. It's awe-filling how someone can come up with such out-of-wack ideas. Not everyone's cup of tea, for sure, but if you don't mind reading a book that feels like you're taking an acid trip while watching ANTM, then maybe it's for you.

Insignificant as it is, I don't appreciate the name of the main character being Tookie, because I was hearing the name one way in my head, and then I figured out that it was actually said a different way and I hate when that happens. The character names are all very weird, which just pulls you into the weird place that you have to be in to read this book even more. But it also kind of pulls you out of the book because you have to pause and consider how to pronounce the name.

Basically, it's one of the most unique stories that I have ever read, everything is just so out-there, that it really is intriguing. I admire how it's a form of imaginative that I don't feel I could ever meet, and on top of that, it still has Tyra's message. You can see her all over the place in this book. One could definitely re-read this book a million times over, granted you like it the first time, since it's so unique and interesting.
Profile Image for John Egbert.
189 reviews164 followers
Want to read
August 13, 2011

If you remember, I believe I used the same for my to-read pre-review of City of Ashes. And we all know how much I liked that book. And how many status updates I trolled my friends with.

Those of you who read the shelves are probably thinking "WTF?? Why did she do that?"

Well, for the same reason anyone does anything, my dears:

Profile Image for Joel.
554 reviews1,622 followers
Want to read
October 15, 2011
Why do I want to read this so bad?

Why do I want to read this, so bad?
Profile Image for Kelly.
12 reviews2 followers
February 18, 2015
Oh wow!
This is the most badly written book i have ever EVER read in my entire life. I honestly don't know how it got published, but oh well... it has, and I have read it!

It was tacky - she describes it as "camp" but the only this i found 'camp' is the gay as anything school teacher at the Modelland Academy, the rest is just ridiculously mindless and my 4 year old daughter could conjure up better names for any of the things/places/people. The names of the 4 sectors of the town will give you an idea of what i mean: Shivera - frigid, PitterPatter - tempestuous, LaDorno - lovely and of course Peppertown (where our 'heroine' lives) - it's of course sweltering! And it made me mad how SO many of the names were just two words/names put together with a capital letter in between - eg: ZipZap, BellaDonna, ZhenZhen, PitterPatter etc etc and on and on..!!

The boys come from Bestoterone - my immediate gag reflex was WTF? This book is so ridiculous I literally had to put it down and walk around sometimes because I was so angry reading it! Ok, but i did persevere, and surprisingly (i don't know what happens) but after about halfway through it becomes bearable - I actually wanted to find out what was going to happen. Its more like a bad horror movie you know is really shit but you just need to watch it till the end anyway.

OH and while I'm on the subject of horror movies I would LOVE to know what exactly was meant to be scary in this book?!?! Which part? There were a few sections i thought were interesting but nothing was scary as such. A quote "Chaste was also standing still. Slowly, the needle bore down on her head, it's tip piercing her skull and continuing all the way through her body to the ground. When the needle retracted, Chaste was...gone". Yup ok, because anyone would stand still as a giant needle SLOWLY bore down upon them! Gee i know i would... NOT! Anyway without giving anything away (gasp why would i do such a thing?) when the heroine is confronted with said needle the scenario does not fit with the above situation of piercing all the way through etc... its ridiculous!

My next point of contention - incredibly annoying LONG lists of every tiny little thing she could think of, entire paragraphs... ok, nope sorry I’m just going to direct quote again; this is just ONE of the many! Quote: "The cart wasn't very big and contained five draws that spilled over with every type of make-up and beauty tool Tookie had ever seen: thickening, lengthening, and multiplying mascaras. Lipsticks, lip glosses, and stick on faux-lip attachments. Eye shimmers and shadows and lash curlers that promised to make lashes retain their curve for 2 years. Face shimmers, glitters and pills that promised an instant glow once ingested. False eyelashes made from deceased daddy long legs. Tookie spotted an area of the cart that held multiple hair-removal systems: tweezers, razors and black wax that slowly dripped to the floor..." DO I NEED TO GO ON!?!?!?!?! Urrgh, i don't think I need to say anything, to describe this as tedious for the 10TH TIME in the book is a gross understatement!

I found it annoying that at every conceivable opportunity she used words like SNAP or BANG or CRACK to describe mundane activities which in no way shape or form would produce such dramatic sounds, for example turning on a light switch - SNAP!!! At which point i couldn't help but roll my eyes.
Also i would love to know how Tookie is so acutely, simultaneously aware of exactly what every other person in her vicinity is doing at the exact same time she is also involved in something of her own!

Have i mentioned the characters yet? The entire cast of this epic FAIL is one dimensional, stereotypical and sickeningly STUPID!! There you go! If you are looking for substance or a book that makes any sense at all you will not find it here... If on the other hand you want something that will frustrate the absolute shit out of you and give you an eye rolling work out or you need to practice your omg-this-is-so-freakin-stupid sigh.. then THIS is the book for you!

In conclusion can I just add there is no originality to this book! As my stepdaughter commented to me this book is a unashamed rip off of Harry Potter and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there is even a elevator that *ahem* "slid across the floor and transported everyone to a near by building".

HAVING SAID ALL THAT - i liked the ending. I don't know if i could stomach another book, but we will see...
Profile Image for Jennifer Rinehart.
Author 1 book13 followers
September 5, 2011
Tookie, according to the urban dictionary is an adjective used to describe a) a shotgun killing, in particular those of notorious Crips Gang founder, Stanley 'Tookie' Williams, and b) a female sex organ.

After having read this book, I think I can safely say that Ms. Banks is not alluding to Stanley Williams, his innocence or guilt or gangsta culture in general as for the female sex organ, hmm, I'm still not entirely sure.

Tookie de la Creme, the heroine of Modelland, wants to be a model, she also wants friends, a boyfriend and other stuff. In particular she wants to be an Intoxibella, think super models + the kind of power over life and death that Kim Jon Il has over the North Korean people. Somehow her life's goal is meant to be not only normal, but admirable.

Now if you thought Modelland was just a book, think again, it has it's own language, watch out J.R.R. Tolkien, you thought you were so clever putting your years of linguistics training to use creating a language of the elves, Modelland's vocab is totally Sm-ize (that's a term for a ridiculously coveted object of power). Here, I will use it in a sentence, 'my new headband is Sm-ize.'

One big barrier for Tookie's goal to be a model; she's ugly and a Forgetta-Girl (another prime example of this book's kickin' made up language!). The story abounds with descriptions of her freakishly ugly appearance, giant feet, a punch bowl sized head, frizzy hair, I could go on and on but I won't.

Oh, also, no one can see her. Seriously folks, Tookie tumbles down a flight of stairs, is so badly injured that she lies on the ground for hours and crowds of people walk around her, parting like waves around a rock and she is completely invisible (cue the spooky music). She also has a preternatural ability to heal herself, falling down a flight of stairs and being so injured that you can't move for hours, well, at the very least she had a spinal cord injury and any normal person would need a doctor, phys therapy, cervical collar, etc.

When Tookie isn't being ignored, pushed down stairs and cruelly mocked by her sister Myrracle(who can see her, but only to sing weird put downs about her) she visits her bff, Lizzie, who lives in a tree on a dirty mattress.

Yes, I did say Lizzie lives in a tree. Not a tree like the Bernstain Bears, this is for reals, chickies, sap, leaves, bark and bird poop!

Enough with all the world building, now onto the action-y stuff, the whole world goes crazypants for a giant modelling contest, if you think it can't be cutthroat and dangerous, then this little snippet will rock your brain, 'Kenya use the Gyaku Zuki move!' her mother screamed. "Reverse-punch the hairy hag! But watch your hair, sweetie!"

Stuff is going down and you as the reader are in for a roller coaster of goodies, the likes of which haven't been seen since, well, darn, I'm drawing a blank, this book has that effect on me, my mind has been botoxed into wrinkle free paralysis.

"Dos: the meek and misguided muckety-muck flunkies
Will ride senso unico through farewell tollbooths." Say what?

"Tres: Other castaways'll opt for Mannecan't (Mancat?) memoirs,
Perhaps better to pitiful pre-Modelland pursuits."

and then,

"Cinco: Prime few'll emerge 7Seven 'toxibellas.
For this reward, pathetics would sell their eyetooths." Double WHAT? No, the 7Seven is not a typo.

Is this a test? An engram? A riddle or a haiku gone terribly wrong? Wellll, I'm still not sure. I thought I'd better go back and read them again, but I had a sudden spike of pain in my head that just wouldn't allow me to read the chapter a second time, sorry.

I haven't even gotten to the romance, it sizzles and pops with SM-ize'ing sensuality, "His thumb touched both of her lips, then entered her mouth just a bit. He removed the last traces of chipped wood, but his thumb lingered between her lips and made slight contact with her tongue. Tookie wanted to bite down hard on his hand to teach him a lesson to not touch her in such a way . . ." I cut out the last bits because it is seriously too hot to type here.

Finally I made it to chapter 37 and the Man-Attack and made a startling discovery, this book is like the Hunger Games! Well, except that the contestants have to battle it out in make-up and skanky lingerie, the story doesn't make sense and the characters insult each other and spend too much time changing their clothes.

After a lot of improbable fighting and silly emoting, the book got down to some real dramatic drama stuff, "It's a LeGizzard! They killed my father! And now one's come for me!"

Wasn't LeGizzard those men's shirts with the crocodiles near the collar?

"What are you doing here? What, did you follow me here? You are not allowed in the M Building?"

There's a shortage of contractions and the characters often answered their own questions, it was a bit annoying.

Anyways, the books ends on an ambiguous note. I'd like to say that it cleared up my confusion, but instead I'm left shaking my head astounded that I read the entire thing in just five days.

Borrow this from a friend. Better yet, do a friend a favor and stop her from buying this book.
Profile Image for Mikaela.
240 reviews83 followers
Want to read
December 1, 2011
This little box is asking me what I think. To be honest I have no idea how in the world to explian that. The only thing going through my head is a loud and resounding "WHAT?"

I mean, Tookie De La Creme? With a name like that, you can just tell that this novel is NOT going to be pretty.

Some predictions?

- There will be a head bitch model who is super pretty and skinny and well loved/hated
- There will be a ridicoulously hot guys who falls for the ugly protagonist rather than the pretty skinny bitch
- There will be a major makeover somewhere in the novel.
- The main character will come to terms with her own looks, and learn to embrace them(Even though she WILL get a makeover)
- The evil bitch will turn out to be psychotic/kill someone/ do something horrible and stupid to get herself expelled
- The grammar will stink
- There will be an unending supply of cliches
- Reading this book will make me want to kill someone else/myself.

You'll have to tell me if any of these predictions come true. I'm not touching this one... well. Maybe for fun?

Profile Image for Geraldine O'Hagan.
112 reviews134 followers
September 19, 2020
Nothing about this book makes sense, so it's difficult to write a review in the traditional sense. I will try to summarise the story such as it is, before this descends into a list of things that Tyra Banks made me read, and which I couldn't pass by without repeating in disbelief.

Basically this book is what happens if you turn ANTM into a really bad fantasy novel. Especially if you happen to be narcissistic lunatic Tyra Banks.

Protagonist Tookie De La Crème is exactly the kind of Mary Sue cipher you would expect from the self-mythologising, pathologically self-obsessed Banks, possessing all the supposed physical flaws with which Banks is obsessed in herself (big forehead, gangly limbs, difficult hair etc.) She is also a faux-unassuming “Forgetta-Girl” with "multiple-personality hair" who speaks ALL world languages and attracts the attention and admiration of pretty much every character.
She lives in some sort of hellscape where everyone looks like a model, and the majority of people work on "inhumane fashion- or beauty-factory assembly lines", unless they're some type of Oliver Twist factory orphan. The whole thing seems to be ruled over by a giant talking mountain with the Eye of Sauron looming over it, which is where Modelland is located.

Tookie is a downtrodden Cinderella character, living a life of tragedy. For example she has a self-harming homeless best friend who is being chased by mysterious forces and possibly being experimented on at a bizarre asylum, but has time to chat with Tookie about her crush. The main impact of this situation is that Tookie is upset by it. The De La Crème parents meanwhile are cruel circus grotesques, a dipsomaniac ex-acrobat with a glass eye and some sort of hideous wrinklebeast who has a doll she treats as a baby. Plus there’s the sister, who is apparently too stupid to say "ta-dah" correctly, suffers from choreomania and is creepily sexualised for a 13-year-old. Everything is pain and suffering for poor unloved Tookie. Until, in a completely unexpected turn of events, it turns out that she is the chosen one and she is whisked away.

After a psychedelic Yellow Submarine journey through a variety of nonsense Tookie ends up in Modelland, a sort of model Hogwarts where nothing makes sense and they steal your youth or something? Here people shoot clothes out of their hands, speak in pretentious Franglais, and are often part animal.

What follows is a series of random madness over far too many pages: zipper rooms, nightgowns with capes, magical personal lighting, cat people and lessons in not sharing. As well as several random interpolations from a narrator who keeps calling me dahling, and who rarely makes any sense.

Some of the things the reader has to suffer are:

Diabolical Divide
Bangle, Bauble, and Bead Institute—B3, aka Bile, Barf, Belches, and Butt Bombs - B4? (Why not B5?
The Melancholia Ward
Perfecta-Fecta (A department store)
Terra BossaNova
Taj Gardens in Chakra
Obscure Obelisks
Platinum Row
Bou-Big-Tique Nation (A country which is also a department store?)
Beautification Boulevard
NorDenSwee - Scandinavia, I guess
Cappuccina - Italy?
Chakra - I think India 🙁
Chakrawood - Bollywood
Didgeridoo - Australia
Kwaito, the land of safaris and tribal dance - possibly the whole of Africa 🙁🙁
TooLip, the land of windmills - The Netherlands
Bestosterone - the male model academy
The War of Words Magnetosphere

Tookie De La Crème
Ariella Burtona
Tatiana Sharonne
Myrracle De La Crème
Theophilus Lovelaces
Albert Talbert
Manny Manuel
Zarpessa Zarionneaux
Mayor Devin Rump the Sixth
Dominique and Monique
Creamy De La Crème
The Incredible Chris-Crème-Crobat
Bev Jo
The LeGizzârds
Shiraz Shiraz
Guru Applaussez - A guy whose head is a hand. Really.
Chaste Runnings - Ironically a "strumpet"
Guru Gunnero - the physical embodiment of that time Miss J taught the girls to walk a runway whilst wearing thigh-high boots
Persimmon the Persecutor
SheLikee, HerLikee, ILikee and MeLikee (Quads?)
Guru Pacifico Cruz - Who has a rubber face
Guru Lauro
Macy Kamata
MattJoe Von Megalo - A sorta troll TwoFace
Purse Drestookill - A woman dressed in pistols, knives, nooses, and razors.
Camina Marche
Ray Faye

And worst of all....
Cremalatta Defacake!!!!

Terrible Things That Happened

Fog that lifts "like a push-up brassiere"

The chosen group being called the 7Seven

Weird direct mentions of ANTM, like the Seven golden-ticket-type talismans called SMIZEs, Go-See-Gos and Tookie's notebook, which is called T(yra)-Mail Jail

The Day of Discovery, which most people shortened to T-DOD? (Why? How??)

"Metopia was split into four quadrants, each with its own weather system" How come? Explain please.

the Zarionneaux Peanut Empire

TaterMash, which I think is vodka

The ridiculousness of Mrs DLC causing her husband's trapeze accident by momentarily blinding him with a compact mirror due to her vanity, immediately topped by the ridiculousness of him spearing out his own eye directly afterward by bowing onto a sword.

Senturas, magic belts worn by the 7Sevens which give them magic powers. Maybe

Some of the worst magic powers of all time, including being good at selling things, fashion sense, ThirtyNever, and Seduksheeon

The part when a random crazy man separates Tookie from her family in a crowd and gets her on her own to tell her how special and beautiful she is, and it's played as inspiring rather than the behaviour of a predator.

The lecture on “menstrual synchrony”. Followed by the revelation that the girls will no longer have periods, as a gift from Modelland. Anorexia metaphor?

The part when the girls are punished for gorging on their favourite foods, even though they haven't eaten for 24 hours. And divided into Gut Chowers, Gut Jammers and Gut Poachers.

The explanation of how models are much better actresses than actresses. Also, actresses are the real skinny sufferers of eating disorders, not models.

So many song poems 🙁

The Australian character saying things like "Roo jerky leaves your breath so rancid it makes koalas fall out of the gum trees.”

The sentence “Pretty boy kooky over Tookie, and want her nookie,” Shudder inducing.

The debate on bras vs. going braless, including extended melon metaphor and song about knobbies.

The part when the only fat girl doesn't love her body and skinny Tookie is very disappointed in her.

Everything about Tookie's friends, a "dwarf" who speaks in offensive pidgin English, an "albino" and a fat girl. Who are apparently all freaks. And who at one point realise that they should all be sorry for Tookie and support her because she has the worst problem of all - she is sad!

The sentence “Too-Too just mouth-pee-peed all over you!” How could a human being write this?

People constantly saying friggling. Which I was reading as frigging for a long time.

Flute Creepers – Sorta like if flutes were reverse boa constrictors.

D-Head as a cute nickname - Think it through!

The lecture about girls not living for men. Which sounds good, until you realise that the offered alternative is living for a feminine beauty cult.

Tookie finding self-confidence because a pushy boy fancies her.

The monster that steals people's legs.

ManAttack - A boy vs. girl gladiator battle make-up competition in underwear, with sexual assault elements. I have no idea what's happening.

The fact that ugliness and old age seem to be considered the same thing.

The fact that things conclude with Tookie/Tyra as Christ, promising to empower all girls around the world and take on their suffering. Via the power of modelling, I guess.

Overall, this novel hates women, most of whom are shown to be hideous, evil, vain competitive bitches who destroy men and each other. It’s also racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist and frequently unintelligible. On the plus side it’s occasionally entertaining in its madness. Sadly far too occasionally for its immense length.

At least every time De La Crème was mentioned, I thought of Ben and smiled. But it’s not a lot to get through a whole book.

Lets hope Tyra never publishes the threatened sequel!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
28 reviews
January 21, 2015
This book... This...Masterpiece of a book... Where do I start? This book is, in my honest opinion, unratable. 5 star entertainment with 1 star writing. Tyra has the best imagination ever, however, she's no writer. It's obvious from very early on in the story that it's her, it's all her. There's no ghost writer here. Had there been, it had the potential to be really good, like un-sarcastically good. But the final product is still very good, in a so-bad-looped-all-the-way-back-to-good-at-least-three-times way.
The story is all over the damn place. There are so many different plot lines I lost count, 95% of these unfinished and unexplained. What happened in her childhood that made Creamy go from loving mother to crazy biatch? What's the deal with the doll? Is her father actually her real father? What happened in Lizzie's past that made her this way? What happens to Lizzie in the end? Need I go on?
I loved it, I can't lie, I have no shame. I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the sequel. If she decides not to write it I might cry.

Profile Image for Sonja.
209 reviews50 followers
August 14, 2012
normally a book this badly written would receive one star, but i have to give tyra an extra star for ~*imagination*~. i mean, i have no idea what she was TRYING to write, but this is almost bizarro fiction. okay, it IS. tyra hasn't done anything this weird since LIFE SIZE!

first of all, i have to share this little snippet from the acknowledgements at the end of the book:

"It was a real treat for me to read a section of Modelland for half an hour to childen who didn't speak English. I thought that if I could hold their atention that long, maybe my book had a chance at success"

... i'm pretty sure the measure of success is not how long you can captivate non-english speaking people with your english language book!

the giant problem this book has is that it is wayyyyy tooooo loooong.
halfway through i was almost ready to give up. 500 something pages is really too much - apparently, her first draft was 1000 pages though, so we have to thank an editor somewhere for that. yes, this book did actually go through an editing process!

the story is quite slow and her overuse of adjectives makes it virtually impossible sometimes to visualise what's happening. i did kind of start to care about what was going to happen next but not in any emotionally-attached way.

i think my 'favourite' parts were actually the over-the-top physical descriptions of the characters. OH and the clothes! the school uniform is a green unitard with a yellow sash belt - this sash contains their future modelling powers, btw.

many reviewers have said it before, but it is completely true - EVERY CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK IS TYRA. SHE IS ALL OF THEM.

anyway, i will leave you with a little excerpt of the genius held within this book:

"It's going to be under a perfect sunset, near a garden of golden flowers spreading as far as the eye can see," Tookie said, making it up as she went along. "The lucky guy who will get to pucker with my suckers will be wearing a ... tuxedo. And ... and he's going to sing to me a song he wrote, and he'll ... dance to it. It needs to make me laugh and make me cry."
Bravo blinked. "Are you for real?"
"Hell yeah, I'm for real! Then he will open up his shirt like a superhero," she went on. "Oh his chest will be written Tookie you are the most amazing girl I have ever laid eyes on. And I can't decide which I love more, your green or your brown eye. Then he'll have to touch my face gently with both hands." Her eyes spilled newer, fresher tears. "And he'll kiss my forehead, both of my cheeks, and then my nose. Then he'll spray whipped cream straight into my mouth and then his. And then he'll part his mouth just a little and press his lips against mine. And for me, it will feel like the kiss will never end. Because it won't. It will go on forever. And it will be amazing!"

Profile Image for Jessica Lewenda.
Author 1 book259 followers
June 25, 2012
Look, I won't lie, I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it in the way that I enjoyed watching the first four seasons of Jersey Shore back to back.
It's ridiculous. I think the only memorable mention is that there are so many fashion puns, like "Run-way, don't walk!" that made me cringe and laugh, because I love puns, no matter how bad they are. In fact, the worse they are, the better.

As for everything else? Meh.

The world building is confusing, and I still have no idea what happened. I assume it's set in our world, since there are countries like Oktooberfest (Germany), Canne Del Abra (the Middle East?), NorDenSwee (Sweden, I'll assume), Chakra (India), and, Digeridoo (Australia). Punnish, I guess. But the stereotypes Banks uses for folks from each of these countries are so over-the-top stereotypical, it made me roll my eyes.
What makes me wonder most is, since this is a futuristic vision of our world, how did it get to be like this? This book is marketed as dystopian, so whenever I approach a dystopian novel, this is the first question I ask myself. More often than not, the question is never answered, and this book, unsurprisingly, offers no explanation as to why the entire world is obsessed with fashion and nothing else. The world is filled with unexplained super technology AND what seems to be a touch of magical realism, but it seems to be there for convenience.

Nothing here makes sense.

Now, I think that Tyra has a great imagination, but with this book, it feels like she put every idea she had into the pages. There's just too much, and combined, it just doesn't make sense. A lot should have been edited out--in fact, the book could have been about 200 pages shorter.

The only thing I really got out of this book was an intense desire to watch America's Next Top Model.
Profile Image for Laurie Smith.
33 reviews2 followers
September 9, 2011
Update: Remember her audience appeals to 12-15 year old tweens.

Many of the reviewers passed through this awkward phase in life and probably can not relate to the story's message.

* * *
Original Review:
I admit, I am a self-professed America's Next Top Model fan hooked since season one. I find the model world and teens everywhere wanting this quest fascinating. Therefore, sit back, open the book, and enter the realm of Modelland. Tyra Banks delivers a fantasy tale with the same creative gusto which J.K. Rowling used to conjure up Hogwarts. Readers, you'll totally enjoy Modelland! Once you complete it, you'll be ready to read the next book in the series. Well done, Ms. Banks!
Profile Image for Lindy.
237 reviews51 followers
February 26, 2017
You know what? I'm giving this five stars; it was the most entertaining and bizarre thing I've read in ages. In order to help you all understand, I've written an analogy that will take you back to studying for the SATs:

My Immortal : Harry Potter :: Modelland : America's Next Top Model

Profile Image for Liane.
10 reviews
May 29, 2017
UPDATING THE REVIEW TO REFLECT MY UPDATED 5 STAR RATING - It is awful yes, but I couldn't put it down and I've reread it multiple times since then. I don't know why but it's a pretty enjoyable read as long you turn off your brain and let Tyra take you on a wild ride.

So I found this book in a collection of horror (and some other genres but I firmly believe that Modelland is a horror book) and oh my god. It is going to give me nightmares.

That's not the worst.

I feel like I have been in the Tyrant's head and I never want to go back again. But I'll probably read the sequel too because this is a car crash and you can't stop looking at it. I want to see if Tyrant can outdo herself in the sequel in sheer wtfness.

I now will quote bits from acknowledgements and author bio because omg TYRANT U CRAY CRAY.

Speaking of the shore, much love to the Pacific Ocean. Your crashing waves crashed through my few bouts of writer’s block.

If you didn't believe that she thanked an OCEAN in the top-rated review.
p.s. the ocean probably hates you for thanking it for Modelland.
p.s.s. please don't throw your copy into the Pacific, throw it into the Atlantic.

Lake Como, thank you for providing me with a beautiful landscape in which to create and for inspiring the creation of Abigail Goode. As I gazed over your water, she popped into my mind. Hair? Water? Not sure what the connection is, but thanks anyway. (It didn’t hurt that George Clooney lived a few doors down.…)


Stephen King (it feels so good to even type your name, especially because people will assume we are friends!), I want to thank you for writing On Writing. Yep, I read it. Twice. I may have failed when it comes to your advice that one should not use too many adverbs and adjectives. But Modelland is so splendiferously, kaleidoscopically, out-of-this-world colorful, I couldn’t help myself! Please forgive me

Stephen King will never forgive you.

Tyra invested five years in conceiving and writing Modelland, her first book of fiction. Her lifelong love of reading and storytelling is deeply embedded in every page.

HOW DID SHE NOT REALIZE THAT IT WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA. And way to go make me hate reading and storytelling and life.

I gave it two stars because I didn't throw it and burn it. I KEPT READING TO SEE HOW IT WOULD GET MORE WTF. She did not disappoint me. I guess I should have known because I used to watch ANTM before it jumped the shark.

Here are a collection of gifs of my feelings about this "book"

i wanna die
910 reviews256 followers
June 2, 2015
There's been a number of hilarious reviews detailing exactly how bad this book is and why, so this review is more of a long rant about people who make excuses for terrible writing. Feel free to skip through reading this.

I find it pretty amusing that many people who have given this 5 stars seem to keep saying: "well yeah the writing is really bad... but Tyra doesn't have an English degree, so it's okay and this book is good anyway because the idea is so creative!!"

I could write a flowery description of one of my nightmares in excruciating detail, and it would be as "creative" than Modelland - assuming, of course that "creative" actually means demented, disturbed and utterly nonsensical.

However I don't know if I, or anyone I know, could write as appallingly as Tyra has here. This is strange, because I also don't have an English degree. However, I somehow can reason, without the power of a degree, that writing lines such as 'Too-too just mouth pee-peed all over you!' is not a good idea, especially when gems such as this are liberally sprinkled across every page.

The assumption that not having an English degree somehow excuses people from terrible writing is kind of funny, but mostly just sad. Degrees do not equal good writing - Stephanie Meyer had a degree and look at the atrocities she's come out with. At the same time, hundreds of brilliant authors have never been to university, let alone done a creative writing degree.

I like Tyra, I do. (I think...) I liked her more before I read this, but as it is I mostly just feel sorry for her. The fact that she was allowed to publish this as it is, not to mention the state her head must be in to both come up with these ideas and think they are good - well, for all her riches and success, lets just say I wouldn't want to be her.
Profile Image for Melissa Powers.
30 reviews1 follower
February 1, 2012
Sometimes a decent book is slightly weird enough, or slightly cliche enough, or slightly stupid enough to ruin your enjoyment. Tyra Banks' "Modelland" is an amazing achievement, boldly flying in the face of all those problems, and is somehow weird and cliche and stupid enough to be surprising and riveting.

One of the only books I have ever read where I was literally kept guessing until the end. So unexpected, I loved every second of the madness.

Also, for all those unsure of picking this one up, you will come across books with far worse prose. At least when the prose is bad here, it is hilariously bad, and not just mediocre-ly bad.

EDIT: Thought about this some more, and I'd like to add that Banks does a really good job of writing in life lessons for the younger crowd. For example, don't share eye makeup. Also, she talks about people feeling bad about being fat in a very honest way. Although, admittedly, I am a little puzzled by the mixed messages of staying beautiful despite eating whipped cream for dinner every night (???).

EDIT: I hope that, along with Shakespeare and Aristophanes, this survives as a classic. I would like to time travel and see what future historians make of it.
Profile Image for Lore.
713 reviews
Shelved as 'not-going-to-read'
October 3, 2011
Oh. Okay.


Okay, so first it's Duff, now we got Tyra Banks?

I'm sorry, but stick to your day job.

And Tookie De La Creme? What is this girl? A Desert?

...And after reading the first chapter online for free, um....well it makes a stephenie meyer book look like a masterpiece.
No kidding, I might be being harsh, but really, go see for yourself:
Here, If you dare

And I guess it was about time some pop-head decided to write a Hunger Games/Uglies rip-off.

...Intoxibellas? *loses faith in humanity*

Please shoot me if I ever read the rest of the book.

PS. That cover could use some serious work.

Anj just look HERE for an interview with miss model author herself.
Now tell me she should have written this book.

I'm sorry Tyra, you have ideals, but you really lack the skill to pull this book thing off.
Profile Image for Lisa Eskra.
Author 3 books9 followers
September 4, 2011
Take the first Harry Potter book and mash it together with some cheesy romance and prose comparable to Stephanie Meyer. That's "Modelland." I'd expected a short book, but it's over 500 pages long, and is the first of a trilogy. I cannot get over how amateurish the cover looks. It looks worse than many self-published novels I've seen. And judging by the clunky text, I'd almost mistake it for one.

The first think I noticed about the novel were the questionable name choices for the characters. Tookie De La Creme; her sister, Myrracle De La Creme; her mother, Creamy De La Creme. Zarpessa Zarionneaux. Ci~L, along with most of the people in Modelland. Whimsical names I can handle, but these are ridiculous (eye-roll inducing, actually). Only the minor characters seem to get normal-sounding names.

The book showcases everything that's wrong with popular culture today. It's a feminist's nightmare: an entire society of shallow girls/women who aspire to nothing beyond beauty and the lure of Modelland. Where you're a Forgetta-Girl if you're perceived to be unattractive. Mothers prepare their children from before they're born for the Day of Discovery to be a famous Intoxibella, who gain superpowers through their training. And not being chosen makes the truly vain/obsessed "diseased" with an affliction worse than the Bubonic Plague. The internalized misogyny is staggering. So much for the strong girls Banks lauds in her intro. It's the wrong message to send teenage girls, to aspire to beauty before everything else (because even Tookie envies the Intoxibellas). Modelland itself is the single source of happiness for the entire world -- a sick, sad reflection of trends in society.

Stereotypes abound, as do bland one-dimensional characters. Not one character is particularly likable, most notably Tookie. The ugly duckling protagonist didn't garner any sympathy. In fact, Banks goes out of her way to make Tookie boring. Why do I want to read about a boring nobody? Oh wait, I don't. She's a clumsy, awkward, ~special snowflake~...hmm, where have I read *that* one before.

The world-building is laughable for a fantasy novel. Names for locations are as bad as the names given to characters. StripTown, SansColor, Kremlingrad, FiveHundred, Bou-Big-Tique Nation? So bad it spoofs itself. Seems like their entire world revolves around the industry of fashion, beauty, or entertainment, and I have a hard time believing that.

Finding the SM-IZEs in the water is lifted straight out of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and turns out exactly how you'd predict. The storyline is a bastardized adaptation of Harry Potter, and it's a poor imitation in every aspect. Repulsive parents fawning over other sibling? Check. Mysterious school where ~magical~ things happen? Check. A student who inexplicably hates the protagonist? Check. A game in which the protagonist excels? Check. It's too bad none of the plot was copied over.

The book is way too long for what little actually happens. Too much emphasis is placed on what people look like and the clothes they're wearing and not enough on character development. Or plot. At times, it reads like a bad reality TV show. Tension comes out of nowhere and feels forced. The ending is fairly anticlimactic and really sort of pointless.

The novel had some good ideas and elements, all of which were poorly developed and poorly written. It could've been a powerful statement against a superficial culture, but instead it does too much to glorify it. Maybe by the end of the third book, a positive message will come out, but Banks doesn't do the job here. A weak start for the series. In the hands of a decent writer, this might have been a compelling story.
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