Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Material Girls

Material GirlsMaterial Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish there had been more kick-butt characters and less tree hugging lectures.

Thanks, Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group, for this free book to review!
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?
What I liked:
1. Ivy Wilde! While her voice was pretty similar to Marla's, I liked Ivy more. She's so full of life and has to make a ton of hard decisions, while Marla's seem pretty obvious. I gotta admit, Ivy's last chapter took me by complete surprise. Spoiler: She gives up and becomes a singer with an addiction issue! Even though making a deal with her record studio was obviously not a good idea, I'm impressed she had the gumption to make that choice. I reluctantly respect that.

2. Elaine Dimopoulos's decision to write Ivy's chapters in third person and Marla's in first. It was so seamlessly done I actually didn't notice it for a while! Maybe I should give it a try....

3. All the cool ins-and-outs of the fashion industry! It's obviously very different that what it's like today, but still really exciting.

What I didn't like:
1. The preaching. I get it, you like the environment. I don't need it rammed on me again and again. This may have been my fault though--I had expected it to be more of a dystopian instead of people arguing over workers' unions.

2. The people who go on strike are almost as bad--or worse--than their employers. I wish this book would have explored the downfalls of mob mentality more, but it seemed totally fine with it instead, since they were advocating for a good. But seriously, they were actively violent, while Torro-LeBlanc was more subtle. Which is worse? That's up to you. Personally, I find it hard to side with people who are totally chill about their friend clubbing an officer.
disney animated GIF
3. What the heck is up with the CSS people? Are they personal law enforcers for the fashion industry, or are they government police? Because if they're from Torro-LeBlanc, Marla should have gotten help from someone, and if they're real police, then she REALLY should have gotten help from someone. Like Katniss Everdeen.

4. Marla never says what she's thinking. I know some people like to think before they speak, but seriously, she could have called some people out on what they did. It's hard to read about someone who never speaks her mind.

Still, I loved the writing so much I could hardly put this book down. If you plan on going on strike at work, maybe this will help (hint: get a celebrity on board, but be careful with the consequences!).

View all my reviews

Language: B or C
Violence: A? B?

1 comment:

  1. Great review! Sounds interesting, and I love the cover.