Thursday, 22 March 2012

Review: The Look - Sophia Bennett

Title: The Look
Author: Sophia Bennett
Format: Paperback
Pages: 325
Genre: YA
Published (UK): 1st March 2012 (Chicken House)

Ted is fifteen, and...oh yes...tall. When she's spotted by a model agency, she can't believe it.

At the same time, Ted's fashionista sister, Ava, is diagnosed with cancer. With her world turned upside down, Ted has a lot of growing up to do, some of it in five-inch platforms. Should she be the model sister for Ava? Life in front of the camera is harder than it looks. And will they still be smiling when it’s over?

At school Ted is known as a freak. She's tall and skinny, with birds-nest hair and she isn't really into the things all the other girls like. Out in London with her sister, Ava, Ted gets spotted by a model scout but it takes her a while and some convincing that it isn't just some joke. Ava talks her into visiting the model agency and from there Ted's career as a model starts, with many highs and lows, twists and turns along the way.

I really liked how the fashion world was portrayed in this book. It takes a well balanced view point on the topic, with it being neither all glamour and glitz nor making a big issue about the dangers of suspect agencies and anorexic models. Both ends of the spectrum are certainly mentioned but generally it focused on the middle ground. Ted's modelling days are hard work, sometimes boring and she doesn't know what she's doing half the time. It's realistic and Ted is a great character to see the world through.

The other focus of the story is Ava's illness. She is diagnosed with cancer and it is essentially because of this that Ted takes up modelling - because she thinks it's what her sister wants her to do. Plus the money would make things easier for the whole family. Ted takes on a lot of responsibility for a fifteen-year-old and handles it well. She might not make all the right decisions, but they're all made with best of intentions.

The Look is a book that will have you emotional one moment and laughing the next. I didn't particularly expect it to be a book I would really enjoy as I'd assumed it to be more superficial and fluffy. However I found myself really liking it. It was much more than I'd expected and I would definitely recommend it.

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