Sarah's Stars

Melissa Walker. Violet In Private
Berkley Jam $11.00 ISBN 978-0-425-22182-2  210 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 14

But Miss Mary Janes keeps talking and dropping SAT words as she goes on about how the ad features "a very thin model who's promoting a particularly harmful and hypocritical healthy body message," and I realize that there's no one here to wince with me. I am alone-and under attack.

I stare at Miss Mary Jane's straight black bangs. I don't want to look in her eyes, but I also don't want to look away. It's not clear whether she's aware of the fact that I'm in the ad. She hasn't said anything directly to me yet, and the photo is so glam that it's certainly a contrast to the puffy-coat-and-fleece uniform that I've been wearing around campus. Maybe no one knows. Maybe no one has to know.

Violet Greenfield used to be just an ordinary wallflower in a small town, but after being discovered by an incredibly high-strung and rude lady named Angela, Violet has entered the glamorous world of high fashion. What started with a runway show here and there ended with international Fashion Week shows and a major ad campaign for a celebrated designer. It also took Violet into the dark side of the fashion world. Dealing with a nasty, jealous roommate with an eating disorder and a deadly addiction, despairing over her body and feeling like a totally insecure hypocrite, and on top of this, getting her heart broken numerous times. Now, Violet's ready to leave the rollercoaster life of a jet-setting model behind and she's looking forward to starting college and being a normal girl again. But the call of the press and the desire to be someone special is very, very tempting indeed.

And what about Roger, her best friend since forever? The two were in diapers together and then last year in Barcelona they shared an awkward but passionate kiss. Violet is finally coming to terms with the fact that maybe Roger isn't just a friend, but then he goes off and gets himself into a serious relationship with a different girl: perky, peppy Chloe. Will Violet be able to deal with college, her doomed love life, a new internship, modeling and new friendships? Or will she revert back into her shrinking violet ways?

The final (thus far) installment of the Violet novels is full of many different elements, like the tangled love triangle, the anxiety of starting college, the dangerously appealing runway and as always, Violetís insecurities. But Violet finds many new and wonderful things too: like new friendships with the flamboyant Kurt and the cool Fan and Jess, a fab new internship at a teen magazine (even if that's where Chloe works), a newfound appreciation for her body and then thereís the cute new guy named Oliver.

Violet In Private is a heartfelt ending to a topsy-turvy trilogy. The writing itself was very good but unfortunately, I think the book came down with a case of sequelitis; that dreadful disease many novels catch when they are unable to top the very first book. Even so, Violet In Private's emotions and struggles will keep avid readers hooked until the last page where we find out Violet's (and ultimately Violet and Roger's) fate once and for all.

I give Melissa Walker's Violet In Private four out of five stars.


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