14 May 2015

Review #215: Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Yes, because that’s really what this whole multibillion-dollar industry is all about, isn’t it? Inner beauty.” 

----The Devil Wears Prada

Elaine Dimopoulos, an American author, pens her debut YA dystopian novel, Material Girls where two teenagers try to cope with the pressures of the world where staying in the latest trends is the top priority, whereas there are people who are trying to put an end to this kind of industry.


In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?

Marla Klein works as an adviser who approves the latest trends and designs. Ivy Wilde is a coming-age and a top pop-star who embraces those latest trends and show it off to the world. Unfortunately Marla faces difficulty in picking out the latest trends and her team mates thinks otherwise that maybe she can't do this anymore. Ivy feels guilty about the clothes that she wears for only one time, since she is a diva and she is allowed to wear one apparel at a time, and because of her changing trends, people, with less money, are facing trouble in buying those clothes. And one day, Marla and Ivy decide to put an end to the way the fashion industry runs.

All the The Devil Wears Prada and Confessions of a Shopaholic will love reading this book, as this book is rich and deep with fashion and trends and glitter and sparkle. Moreover, the author enlightens us about how a finished apparel begins it's journey from being a piece of cloth to ending up behind the glossy and shiny windows of a top-notch fashion brand's store. It was really delightful to read about those technical stuffs related to creation of apparels.

The author created a parallel world to ours in her story where trends last only for few weeks and they are decided the governing body and everybody must stay "in" trend and must obey them blindly. Apart from that the dystopian world that the author created in her book was pretty vague with no supporting back-story to tell us about how these trends became the lifeline of the government etc and other stuffs like that, so it was a big let down for me.

The author have vividly portrayed the vulnerable yet glamorous life of a pop-diva who tried real hard to stay on top of the billboard, who is everyday threatened by her competitors to take away her limelight, who tries hard to sty with the latest fashion trends despite of those free samples of clothes and other accessories. Her life is equally beautiful, sad and dangerous, and that the author have captured well.

The writing is good, the narrative style is also kind of articulate, in fact the book has got a steady pace without much drama, but there are lot of actions against the government, especially the rebels who can't afford to follow those trends.

Overall it is a strong and compelling book with an edgy theme but not very promising. Fashion freaks will have a great time while reading this book, and if you're a huge sci-fi YA fan, the you must read this book.

Verdict: Don't miss out this enchanting and enlightening dystopian novel about latest trends in fashion.

Courtesy: I'd love to thank the publisher for getting me a copy of the book in return for an honest review. 

Author Info:

Elaine studied writing at Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. She was admitted to its M.F.A. program on the basis of a single short story. That story would become the first chapter of her novel Material Girls.

Before dedicating herself to writing for young people, Elaine earned a degree in literature from Yale and an M.A. in education leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia. She currently teaches children’s literature and writing courses at Boston University and Grub Street. She served as the Associates of the Boston Public Library’s Children’s Writer-in-Residence while she wrote Material Girls and was also named a St. Botolph Club Emerging Artist. She blogs about children’s books for the parenting site Mommybites.com, and her writing has appeared in Of Looms and Lilies, a modern dance composition by choreographer Jody Weber. Elaine lives outside Boston with her family.
Visit her here

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