Hi friends! I’m here to review a book that I wasn’t expecting to like but actually loved. And no, I did not reread Twilight. Instead, I’d like to give a huge thank-you to the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.
But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.
As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?
I went into this thinking, “okay, this might not be that good” despite the intriguing premise and gorgeous cover. The thing is, you have to go in not expecting much. This is a really good book but don’t expect an intense thrill ride of emotions, or a philosophical dive into dragons and dinosaurs and Doritos*. But it is a love letter to all sorts of fashion. As someone who literally wears nothing but jeans, sweaters, hoodies, and t-shirts, it was really fascinating to read about all the different pieces and concepts of couture.
*i don’t have to trademark the Doritos. right???
Emmy was a likeable girl. She was passionate, motivated, hardworking*, and best of all, had character development. She had dreams and ideas. Another person I ended up really liking was Sophie. At first, it seemed like she’d just be the classic “mean girl” put there to make the main character have obstacles. But she ended up being a lot more than I originally thought!
*basically everything i am not.
Oh! And the whole “Fashion House” idea reminded me of the houses in The Belles. Except significantly less painful lol. The plot wasn’t anything too deep or even incredibly original but it was so incredibly entertaining. And I loved witnessing the creative process a lot of the characters went through! And the competition. I just really, really, really love competitions. Bonus points for magic! Bonus points for fashion! Bonus points for puzzles! I love basically all competitions in books okay. And this one had interesting characters, fashion, and an interesting interal struggle that I’m not going into because I’d rather you experienced it for yourself. Also the ending has enough closure to leave you feeling perfectly satisfied but also leaves room for a sequel.
Um…the romance. I didn’t hate it, it just felt too unnecessary for my tastes. There weren’t any sparks, any development, I felt nothing for the entire relationship. But what can you do, it’s YA. And I personally really enjoyed the plot, and wouldn’t change much about it but some people are going to think it’s too predictable, and not super deep. You definitely need to alter your expectations if that’s the case!
Basically, this book was Project Runway but even more enjoyable. I mean, a fashion competition in the Victorian Age??? What other book has that? Anyways, my rec for this book is…
Spin the Dawn! I loved this one a lot more but if you find it lacking in fantastical concepts, magic, and just the really intense stuff that fantasy is know for, you might prefer Spin the Dawn. On the other hand, if you liked the first half of Spin the Dawn more than the second, I’d especially recommend A Dress For The Wicked! And there are quite a few reasons I’d reccomend for fans of The Belles but the main one is that the whole “clientele” and “you must follow rules the of the house” themes are similar!
So that’s it! Even though I only gave it four stars, I can honestly say that I enjoyed it enough that it might make my top list of 2019. Are you excited for this??? Tell me if you’ve read any good Project Runway-y books!