Is a novel written by the American "supermodel" Tyra Banks (yes, really, as in, actually all her own work) and published in 2011 and subsequently pushed relentlessly on her programme "America's Next Top Model," which, if you don't already know, is a reality show in which naive fragile-looking girlies fight to immerse themselves in the plastic-walled money trench that is the world of high fashion and be taken advantage of in multiple ways by the preening snobbish he-bitches that rule it. I felt a duty to inform the good citizens of E2 about this, so I took it upon myself to procure a copy by methods that will not be related here and reviewed it.
meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
in a cocaine-and-LSD-addicted fashionista's worst nightmare.
A bit more detail, if you don't mind?
Oh gods where to start.
Well. The protagonist, a plain-jane type gal called Tookie de la Creme (no, really) is a "forgetta girl," someone so average looking that people literally don't realise she's there. Overshadowed by her awesome Mary Sue of a younger sister, Myrrical (no, really), and her parents Chris de la Creme and Creamy de la Creme (seriously, truly, this is real) in a world ruled by magical supermodels called Intoxibellas, who, every year, select seven gals by way of putting magical tokens called SMIZEs into bodies of water round the world who give those who find them a 91% chance of being randomly selected by scouts hidden in lampposts and taken to Modelland, the magical supermodel school on a mountaintop, to train to be the next generation of Intoxibellas. Tookie is inadvertantly selected despite the pushing of her parents for Myrrical to be picked (the scene in which people are selected is inadvertantly quite nightmarish) and she goes off to be trained. Her abusive parents, however, think this is a bad idea and try to rain on her parade when she goes off to be trained in the art of magical supermodellery, thinking that her spoilt sister Myrrical should have been picked and it was all a mistake. Tookie, she of the five-head (because it's embarrassingly huge to be a forehead) is meanwhile yukking it up with fellow Intoxibellas in training in a matter wholly reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Which, thinking about it, this is a clone of with the terms all changed around, isn't it.
I can't say what happened after that, I was suffering too much. Jesus fuck this is horrible.
Firstly, the authorial voice is, disturbingly, that a world ruled by supermodels is a Good Idea. It is not. The world of Modelland is basically our world but each nation, state, etc., is named after and turned into what a coke-sniffing Californian airhead would caricature it as. If you're not alone in thinking that this is all a bit racialist and laden with Unfortunate Implications, you're right. Then there's the characters. I did not care what happened to Tookie de la Creme because with her designated average scrub status it was obvious that she was going to be some sort of unique and special snowflake despite having no real personality beyond a myriad of physical flaws. The other stupidly named characters (Creamy de la Creme, anyone? Zarpessa Zarionneaux, anyone? Theophilius Lovelaces, anyone?) are also flatter than a board. There's also the super annoying prose that reads like Tyra spent most of the writing process interspersing her typing with shlicking over a thesaurus. Gratuitous portmanteau terms abound. Each chapter is headed by an italicised narration that manages to be almost giftedly bad. This carries on for 420 pages and then there is the promise, or should I say threat, of a sequel.
There's meant to be some sort of moral about how it's really the good natured forgetta girls of the world like Tookie de la Creme who are beautiful on the inside, but it's broken in half by the fact that she's packed off to Modelland to be turned into a supermodel with magical powers deriving from her own attractiveness anyhow. So... nope.
In a way I am not surprised. People are advised to write what they know, so, considering all Tyra Banks knows is the slime-bucket of egotism that is the world of fashion and modelling, this was inevitable. The only reason this ever could have got published is because Tyra Banks probably threatened to throw Naomi Campbell at the publishers unless they gave her a deal.
There's also a theme tune. Click at your peril.
I would go on, but I'd make myself all borsant. In the meantime, have a dramatic reading.