Thursday Review: Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker

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The blurb: A wallflower in the spotlight can do one of two things: wilt, or blossom…

Violet Greenfield’s life changes forever when a lady in giant Chanel shades tells her she could be IT, the next Kate Moss-but taller, and without the PR problems. That’s how Violet winds up with a business card in the front pocket of her jeans on her first day as a senior in high school. Angela Blythe from Tryst Models in New York City wants to put Violet on a plane and whisk her into the world of high-heeled boots and oversized sunglasses. Tall, skinny Violet, who’s been P-L-A-I-N practically forever.

And guess what? She’s going.

The review: This is not my typical read, but I’m having to do some research about models for my next book, and I’m curious what other authors do with the same information. Descriptions can be tricky. This book reminded me a lot of The Devil Wears Prada, for a younger audience. I had a difficult time relating to some of the side characters (everyone’s reactions to news they didn’t like tended to be polite silence, which seemed odd) and there were a lot of times I didn’t get Violet’s logic. I had an issue with the ending (I had an issue with the ending of DWP too) because

(SPOILER) it seemed to imply that a person couldn’t exist in that world without being corrupted and the only way around that was to get out of it. I could respect it if that was the answer for that character, if it was simply that she didn’t have the strength of will to exist in that world without becoming someone she didn’t want to be….except then she went back? And to be fair, there was one model in the story who didn’t seem to go completely off the rails, but she vanished midway through.

That just doesn’t seem to be a realistic portrayal. There are women in the modeling industry, strong, successful women with a secure sense of self, and it’s a shame this book didn’t take the opportunity to focus on one of them or to show Violet become one of them. But maybe all of that will change in the next book

The dialogue worked well, I was always very grounded in my setting, and overall the story was well written. If you like books about models, this one is worth a look. If you’ve read any other great books about models, please recommend them to me. I need to do some more reading.

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