Sunday, December 6, 2009

America's Next Top Model: Face Value book 1, by Taryn Bell

You Wanna Be On TOP?
Chloe, Lindsay, Alexis, and Shiva Rose do, this is why they are admitted into Top Model Prep, an elite modeling school located in fashion central NYC. They are four very different sixteen-year-old girls who find themselves among the forty other girls enrolled in the academy. It might seem obvious that Chloe comes from a family of supermodels, and is destined to be the winner, even though she'd rather be at home with her boyfriend. She is into text messaging all hours of the day on her iPhone. But she's got some fierce competition. Lindsay is a former child star, will do anything to get her fame back. She is surprised that none of the other girls except for Shiva-Rose recognize who she is until she announces it. Wild Alexis might be the one to steal the show, among other things. She is the outspoken girl who tells it how it is. International Shiva-Rose just might be it, especially since her crush is someone on the inside. These girls are beautiful, but do they have what it takes to be at the top--or will they lose themselves along the way?

In all honesty, I didn't expect much from this book or this series. As a first impression, Face Value seemed to be a lame takeoff from the hit TV show, America's Next Top Model. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed the book. As the story is set at a modeling academy, I actually learned along with the aspiring model characters more about fashion, hair and makeup, and, of course, the industry itself. Where this novel starts to take a dip for me is character development. It's easy to get a general idea of who each of the characters is; Alexis is spontaneous and friendly, Lindsay is clever and driven, Chloe is withdrawn and sensitive, and Shiva-Rose is focused and moral. Still, there are little bits and pieces about each character's background and personality that don't quite fit the big picture, and that partially ruined any relationship I as the reader formed with the characters. Aside from that, Face Value is a quick and enjoyable read, filled with drama, romance, and a bit about the life of the fashion elite.

This book in my opinion would be good for teen girls who are looking for something to read during leisure time. I do not think that it is for the classroom. There are few lessons to be learned, but it is not school appropriate for several reasons. First of all, this is not a gender neutral book. For the most part, I do not think that teenage boys would find an interest in the series mainly because there were no characters that they could relate to. Second, I do not think that there are enough valuable lessons that can be deeply discussed in a classroom setting in the book. Also, I do not think that it is a good representation of the modeling industry. Overall the book was funny and cute, it makes you wonder, “Do you have what it takes to be Americas Next Top Model?”


Andra said...


After reading your review, I agree with your comments about it. It does sound like it is geared toward girls. I can't really see a middle school boy choosing to read this book. I also agree that it should be a leisure book. There seems to be little that a teacher could do if she were to use it in the curriculum.

I have two questions:
1. Why don't you think it is a good representation of the modeling industry? Is it a strictly fiction book with things blown out of proportion or is it loosely based on realistic events?
2. You said that you couldn't really relate to the characters. Do you think that is because you're older than the average reader of this book? In other words, do you think middle school girls could relate to the characters?


Alex H. said...


This book is definetly girly. My ten year old had a similar book , but it was titled "Bratz". I believe that middle grade school girls can relate to the book because their at an age where appearance is everything. They're interested in the latest fashions, skin treatments and so on.I recently asked some sixth and seventh grade girls what they wanted to be when they grew up. Their answers were; models, actress, pop star and fashion designer.

Paige said...

To answer your questions I agree with what Alex said, I think that I cannot relate to any of the characters in the book because of the age that the book is geared for. I think that it might interest girls about 15-18. Also, I think that the book generalized too much. Personalities were based on what your typical stereotypes of what a model would be like. There were different personalities between the characters, but they were all more similar than different. I have a cousin who is a model and she is a very sweet girl, she is smart, puts school before anything, religious, and not catty at all.