I enjoyed reading Sophia's novel about one girl struggling with what it means to be like herself and still feel beautiful, withstanding trials involving her family and that once in a lifetime brush with stardom, and what she's willing to give up for fame and fortune.
Title: The Look by Sophia Bennett (UK edition)
Release Date: March 2012 (UK release)
Published by: Chicken House
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Ted is fifteen, and...oh yes...tall. When she's spotted by a model agency, she can't believe it.
At the same time, Ted's fashionista sister, Ava, is diagnosed with cancer. With her world turned upside down, Ted has a lot of growing up to do, some of it in five-inch platforms. Should she be the model sister for Ava? Life in front of the camera is harder than it looks. And will they still be smiling when it’s over?
Like when most careers start, Ted was trying to earn some money with her sister when she was scouted by someone. He tells her she has something special in her, something that will make her a star. But self conscious Ted has endured quite a lot growing up and someone telling her she has potential is the last thing she'll believe. When she realizes it wasn't fake and becomes an opportunity for her to reinvent herself and be a model, Ted wants to give it a try. But then her older sister Ava got sick, and as Ava's health deteriorates, Ted's entry into the fashion world has brought about experiences she might not be able to handle, and Ava might not have much time left.
First of all, let me just say this. I admire Ted. She might have the lowest self-esteem a teenager can have, but living all her life as a freakishly tall, stick thin kid doesn't exactly give her the boost she needs. All she wants was to feel good about herself, and she thought modeling can give it to her. What Ted went through while she was trying to fulfill her dreams made me admire models. They work hard just like everyone else, and they face rejection constantly. However glamorous life might be for them, they worry about a lot of things, weight, appearance, which I think will crush one's self confidence any given time. They're tough, and Ted had to learn that. What made me like her all the more was her love for older sister, Ava. Ted would do anything to make Ava happy, and being the selfless person that she is, if becoming a model can make Ava happy, Ted will do it for her.
I dismissed Nick as a potential love interest at first. He's Nightmare boy, and he lives up to the name. He was so condescending, temperamental and stubborn. Are artists supposed to be as opinionated as he is? But even though Nick can be harsh at times, it was because he knew what Ted was getting herself into. But no matter how bad he was with Ted, his type, the artsy, quiet type is someone who will surprise you. He's a character who surprisingly gives some great insights into the profession Ted was aiming for. Nick is definitely an unconventional guy, the type who sees the beauty in someone who isn't even aware of it. I like him for his frankness and his shyness makes him so adorable!
There is quite a mix of personalities in all of the characters you will meet in the look. Ava is definitely one you will love with her determination to live on despite the challenges. She's this bright, ball of energy, the complete opposite of Ted. Together with Ted, they set out to discover just what true beauty is. She can be fierce and she's a fighter. There's also those who are cunning and would do anything to get what they want. The Look has a wide range of characters that made the book feel so alive, it's hard not to hate and love all of them.
What I loved about The Look is Sophia's ability to convey Ted's experiences in great detail. I felt her frustrations, her sadness, her fear for Ava, her enormous love for her family, her uncertainty with herself. I instantly connected with Ted. It makes one look inside herself and think of just what being beautiful really means. Is it a state of mind? A feeling? The things you do to yourself? Sometimes we have to take that leap of faith in order for us to know what's out there for us. Ted might not be suitable for modeling, but her experiences taught her how to see herself the way everybody sees her, that she's beautiful in her own way.
The emotions were palpable in each turn of the page. This book is so gorgeous in a lot of ways. Like Ted, it just blossoms into something really good. Just when you think it's depressing, you realize that it's not. It's entertaining, it's emotional and you'll have that satisfied smile on your face by the time you finish reading it. Hopeful, sweet, and highly relatable, The Look is a book worth reading. There were tears quite a few times but The Look is a book you'd want to read over and over.
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This book has a special place in my heart.
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
Definitely eye catching!
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.