A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Questionable message about female body image throughout. Also, main character sacrifices dignity to follow orders of arrogant boss.
Violence & Scariness
Main character's best friend is in a car accident when drunk and ends up in coma.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A 20-something girlfriend sleeps with boyfriend, another has multiple casual sex partners. Other characters describe gay sexual relationships and sleeping with someone while away for the weekend. Descriptions of "hard bodies."
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"F--k," "s--t," "goddamn," "loser," "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Designer names everywhere, Starbucks, hotel names, restaurants, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking as social activity. Drunk friend in auto accident. Reference to smoking crack.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book -- which was adapted for a movie by the same name -- provides teens a more than adequate glimpse into the shallow world of top fashion. Characters aspire to be skeletally thin and look down upon anyone wearing clothes off the rack. The protagonist's boss also berates her abilities and criticizes her physical appearance in ways that are shocking, blunt and deliberately hurtful. Young women and men drink excessively, to the point of injury; have casual sex; and at times swear like sailors.
Is It Any Good?
The book has a fun premise, but it's a complicated choice for teens, who may miss out on the message embedded here. Unfortunately, by the time the main character does learn her lesson, she has become fairly unsympathetic.
Protagonist Andrea Sachs is learning a life-long lesson about the ultimate virtue in being true to yourself despite potential professional sacrifices. Adult readers know this from the start. But teens curious about the world of New York fashion and this look into the inner operations of clothing designers, stylists, models, and photographers may be too caught up in the glitz to catch the author's point.
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