Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Violet In Private by Melissa Walker

I "reviewed" (let's be honest, we all know that's not really what I do) the first book in this amazing series while at D&d. You can check it out here. And since I've already posted a rant for the day, I'm just gonna dive right in...

Violet In Private by Melissa Walker


I know I'm supposed to be Violet Greenfield the fresh-faced runway model, a cultured and worldly nineteen-year-old with super-high confindence because I've done fashion weeks internationally. But the truth is, modeling hasn't raised my self-esteem all that much. And now that I'm finally headed to college, I'm afraid I'll turn back into that girl who blended into the walls all throughout high school...

Vassar is just a two-hour train ride from New York City, so technically I could keep working. But I'd rather accept an editorial internship at Teen Fashionista. It's a chance to be appreciated for something besides my height and weight! My friends in fashion think I'm crazy to stop modeling, but my best friend Roger is all in favor of it. Of course, things have been weird between us ever since we kissed - and now he's got a new girlfriend. So I guess the question is:

If I'm not "Violet on the Runway" anymore, who exactly am I?

I Love the Ya genre. Seriously. The reach of the YA book is going far beyond that of the age range it's geared toward which is awesome, in and of itself. But what I really love about a good YA book, is that it holds the power to suck a reader in and change them from semi-reader to Reader. It's books like this one that do that.

In VIP Walker once again takes us into the shoes of Violet Greenfield. She's off to college and she's pretty sure she's done with the modeling thing. But the modeling thing won't let her go. But sometimes that's not always a bad thing. Being a model helps Violet land a great internship, allows her to speak to high schoolers about body image, and has brought her one of her best friends.

Walker's is one of the freshes voices in the YA genre. Violet is a character that females of all ages can relate to. She faces victories, self doubt, and yes even heartache, "Still, I don't know if I'm ever going to get over this betrayal. It's completely weird how your heart can physically hurt. Like, I can feel this actual pain in my chest right now, and I'm not just imagining it. It aches, like if someone hit me really hard on my left boob, or like I broke something there." It is rare for me to want to cry and smile at the same time, but Walker managed that feat.

If you have a daughter, niece, granddaughter, friend, whatever, give her these books. Read them with her, experience this wonderful world together. Where super models don't always feel so super and real life and love cause us pain as well as bring us joy.

VIP will leave you with a huge smile on your face and a desire to run to the bookstore to find more wonderful YA titles. If you've been hesitant about picking up a book labeled YA, nows the time to give 'em a try, I say start with Walker.

Take Care


Brandy said...

Is this appropriate for a 13 year old? (One who reads on a HS level? But, whom I am sheltering from books like Gossip Girl.) If you like YA have you read Rosemary Wells?
Thanks for the review!

ChariDee said...

Hi Brandy! If Miss Beautiful were 13 I'd let her read the books. I would definitely start with the first, Violet on the Runway and read them in order. The growth of this character is fabulous.

I will suggest you read them first, or even at the same time, so that you can discuss some things with her. I have no doubt there will be questions, but I think the books could open up a huge window of opportunity for some good girl talkage with the younger crowd!

Christine said...

Hi ChariDee!
My 13 year old daughter just finished VIP the other night and loved it. I haven't read the series, yet but my daughter has shared some of the story line and character development with me and we've had some really great discussions.

I couldn't agree with you more about how many wonderful YA novels are on the shelves today. Novels that address tough issues facing today's young adults, yet deliver wholesome messages to our impressionable and highly intelligent young adults.

Take care! :)

Lisa McMann said...

I adore Violet. Nearly finished reading ViP. Great review! Also love the boob punch line. :)

ChariDee said...

Hi Christine!

I'm so glad that you are there to discuss the books with your daughter! If you do get a chance, read them. I really think you'll love them. I love that the younger generation have all these great books to read and I love hearing even more that their parents are reading with them and are open to discussing them. Miss Beautiful and I are still pretty much stuck on The Poky Little Puppy, and let me tell ya, I have a whole post I could do on THAT one LOL. However, Bear (who will be 9 soon) and the entire family have been reading The Underland Chronicles this summer and it has really opened up some great conversations at our house. I just love these books that capture the young mind SO MUCH!


Isn't Violet wonderful? She's just so wonderfully written. And yes, the book reference had me laughing through my heart ache with her. Melissa Walker is one seriously talented author!

Thanks to you both for stopping by!

ChariDee said...

Um, *BOOB* not BOOK reference! Geez! Lousy spell checker!