The Compulsive Reader: This Year's Model by Carol Alt

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This Year's Model by Carol Alt

Melody Ann Croft is a little creeped out when a man she serves at the restaurant she waitresses at insists that she must be a model. Certain that he's a pervert or just plain crazy, she really doesn't think much of the business card with phone numbers of top modeling agencies scrawled on the back, or his insistence that she use his name to get an appointment. But curiosity wins out in the end, and Melody schedules a few appointments just to see what happens.

What happens is she's snatched up in a minute by Delicious Models, and put to work right away. Melody becomes Mac, the svelte, chic, and sophisticated model whose dreams morph from attending Penn State and becoming a nutrionist into picking up an ad campaign and making it big. Nothing in this business is easy, but with the help of her new best friend Jade Bishop, Mac is getting by, making money and becoming famous. But even the prettiest facades of modeling have a darker underbelly that Mac can’t ignore.

This Year's Model is yet another fiction book written by an insider, model Carol Alt, to hit shelves. The novel contains all of the obligatory topics covered in such stories: the glamour, the pressure associated with weight and BMI, alcohol and partying, and snippets of drug abuse, and the plot unfolds in an interesting and engaging manner. Mac's disbelief that she could become a model is genuine and not overdone, but how easily she adapts to her new life is a bit surprising.

Alt also glazes over details of running to and fro castings, and instead focuses more on Mac and Jade's friendship and the jobs they land rather than the times they've been turned down, giving readers a slightly skewed impression of the competition involved, but readers won’t mind as the name dropping and lavish events are detailed.

Mac is a more daring character than those seen before as well, at first wary of lecherous men and nudity in modeling, but gradually she becomes willing to shed all of her inhibitions—and clothing—in the name of art. Despite this, she remains grounded and realistic, even as she's exposed to drug users, alcohol abusers, and men with lacking morals. However, Mac is no Mary-Jane—she deals with friendship issues that are just as familiar to us regular girls as the attractive and famous, which punctuates the book with reality nicely.

This Year's Model leaves off with a twist that gives the cliffhanger at the end an abrupt, underdeveloped feel, but promises of a sequel, Next Year's Model, and advice and extras from the author herself soften the blow and cause excitement for more dish on the modeling lifestyle.

This Year's Model is in stores today!

Are you an aspiring model? Well, here's your chance to break into the modeling business. Starting today, the NEXT YEAR'S MODEL Search Online Sweepstake is accepting entries for candidates to grace the cover of the sequel to This Year's Model. For full contest info, go to www.harpercollins.com/nextyearsmodel. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Ooh, sounds pretty good. I might add that to my reading list soon. :)
Great review! Keep it up!


Words Speak Volumes said...


Rachael Stein said...

i really really want to read it. after Violet, i cant get enough of the fashion world

Carolina said...

I just added this book to my list. I'll try and see if I can find a copy at my bookstore.