Saturday, December 3, 2016

stardust arc reviews: alterations

Stephanie Scott


release date: December 6 by Bloomsbury Spark


If anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they'd think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn't know that all the plans she's made for them are just dreams, and that she's the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family.

When Amelia's abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can't imagine leaving Miami--and Ethan--for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. She meets people her own age who can actually carry on a conversation about stitching and design. Her pin boards become less about prom with Ethan and more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan's awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app.

As Liam and Amelia get closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all . . . even though he has a reality TV star girlfriend he conveniently keeps forgetting about. The "new and improved" Amelia soon finds herself in between two brothers, a whole lot of drama, and choice she never dreamed she'd have to make.

full review under the cut!

 SQUEE! This book is so adorable!! Thanks to Bloomsbury Spark for providing me a copy of this one!

This book is a modern retelling of the movie Sabrina, originally made with Audrey Hepburn and then remade in the 90s. I absolutely love that movie, so I was really excited when I realized that this book was a retelling of that story! Basically, the plot of the movie is that this girl, who isn't very well off, is in love with this rich dude but he barely notices her. She then goes off to Paris and becomes crazy sophisticated and confident, and when she gets back, he is like WOW, but he's engaged and his brother is falling for Sabrina anyways. It's a really fun movie, and I thoroughly enjoyed what Stephanie Scott did with the story from a modern perspective.

Amelia is a great character. Love that she is so close to her mother and her grandmother, and even though she does some truly cringe-worthy things, she was still so sweet and had a kind of innocence about her that I couldn't help but love. I think I wanted her to become a little cooler over the time that she was in New York, but at the same time she stayed really true to her character, so I eventually came around to enjoying her voice. I liked that she was super into fashion, and I found it so interesting to hear about her fashion choices, both in the clothes that she made and in the clothes that she picked out for herself and other people. I love that she had her main passion, and then everything that went on with the boys was a distraction from that, but she was still firmly established as someone who wants to pursue fashion.

I thought the time that Amelia spent in New York was really fun to read. I loved that she got to become friends with people who were just as obsessed with the fashion industry as she was! I hated that she got herself into a hard situation with an innocent lie on the first day, but I also think that helped her develop as a character, so I enjoyed the inevitable confrontation that happened when her lie was discovered. I had such a vivid image of her life in New York and the dress that she designed, so I really appreciated that part of the book! Her grandma is the real MVP for pushing her to go there and follow her dreams!

Liam was such a completely adorable character, I fell in love with him from the start. I thought it was so cute how he was such a computer and coding nerd but he made a real effort to understand fashion, both for the app and also because he wanted to understand where Amelia was coming from. He was just so sweet, and I felt bad for him because his family kind of sucks. Ethan, on the other hand, was just TERRIBLE. I mean, he was a good character for what he was, but I was so annoyed with him the entire time, and annoyed that Amelia would delude herself into thinking that he was right for her!! I was so so happy in the end when she found her strength when it came to him.

I thought it was kind of hilarious that there was a Kardashian-esque family in this, filming a reality show. It was something that I was definitely not expecting when I started the book, but I thought it was great when I got to it. I liked how Haylo and Amelia could have easily been drawn as rivals, but they actually formed a genuine bond and ended up liking each other. I was glad that neither one of them was subjected to stereotypes.

Overall, this book was a really sweet one, about finding yourself and figuring out what you want, having the guts to fight for your dreams, and realizing when a person is nothing more than a figment of your imagination and when they are real. I thought the New York and Miami settings were great and colorful backdrops to the drama that was taking place in the forefront, and I thought the ending was incredibly satisfying! Y'all should definitely read this if you are looking for something quick and fun to read over christmas! It comes out December 6 and is only like five dollars on amazon!


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