Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Modelland" is a Great Book for Girls

One of the best things about Comic-Con is the ARCs, advanced reader copies, passed out by book publishers. I usually come home with a year's worth of good reads. Today I was moving a pile of them, and one of my favorites was in it.

Last year, Comic-Con 2011, I picked up "Modelland," by Tyra Banks. I was sitting in a room waiting for a panel to start, and this book was on top of that day's pile. So I started reading it.

The book sucked me in. The setting is perfectly established in the first three pages. 

The next two pages describe the protagonist. How can an ordinary female resist "Have you ever seen her? The girl whose face not even the meanest person you know would describe as yuck but who you'd never in a million-no, a trillion years describe as alluring either...Have you ever seen Tookie De La Creme?...Tookie was a Forgetta-Girl, one of the most forgettable girls in the entire world. But maybe not for long."

I loved this book. And everything about me should have made me hate it, since I don't care anything about clothes, hair or make-up. 

I went to a "charm school" in high school. When the teacher told us that with lots of practice we can get our morning-makeup routine down to 11 minutes, I quickly calculated the time lost over a year I would spend on my face when I could be sleeping. I stopped listening.

What a terrific name, Tookie De La Creme. And as a Forgetta-Girl myself (until I open my mouth and talk to you), I immediately loved her.

Her family is awful, but so amusing. And she understands them. She finds herself in a setting she did not choose, and might not have chosen. But she does the best she can with what she's got, in all the ways she can think of.

Tookie reaffirmed that one cannot judge a book by its cover, or a woman by her surface beauty.

All the girls in my family are too young for this book. But I'll give it to them when they're older, whether they are into hair and makeup or not.

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