March 1st 2012
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?
The Look is a book that I wasn't expecting to enjoy a great deal, mainlt because it's about modelling (and as much as I love ANTM, I'm not that into modelling as a whole) but the down-to-Earth narrative and other side-plots made it really easy to read and to get lost in.
Ted, I think, was a rather lovely character. She's very under-assuming and doesn't appear to have a great amount of confidence in herself at the start, but even when she did start her journey as a model and started having success, she never let it get the better of her. She never lost herself to prospects of fame and success, and her sister was always at the forefront of her mind. And she is a damn good sister! But I think she struggled a lot with trying to find the balance between being a good sister all the time and letting herself do things she wanted to do. She also let herself get bossed about quite a lot by her, and anyone who blames Ted for 'abandoning' Ava is silly because Ava's the main person who encouraged her to go into modelling anyway!
But that being said, I think Ava was wonderful too. She had cancer, true, but she didn't really change that much. Well, I mean, she did, obviously, and there were times when you saw her at her worst (which was also good because I don't like it when people kind of glorify cancer and cancer patients like they're always fine and sparkling and saintly because that's simply not true), but she was just kind of normal. She just kind of wanted to get on with things normally and try not to worry people or stress them out while coming to terms with the fact that she does have cancer, and there is a possibility that she could die. Which is a lot to deal with. But there was this wonderful scene with Ava and Ted that exemplifies their wonderful sisterly relationship (you'll know the bit I'm talking about).
I also actually really enjoyed the bits about modelling too. It was really great to see both sides of the industry, and I think that, although the second half was a bit unrealistic in terms of her instant success (then again, I know jack about modelling), it was all a pretty accurate and realistic portrayal of getting started in modelling with go-sees and failure and dealing with the harshness of it all at such a young age. Even ANTM doesn't take on 16 year olds!
One thing: I kind of felt that the romance could've been developed more? But perhaps I'm just saying that because I really, really liked Nick and I really wanted to see more of him and find what had happened to him to make him hate models so much from him POV. I don't know, I just wanted to see a bit more of him is all, though I do think it was important to have most of the focus on Ted and Ava.
The Look is a really fab read, and don't be put off by the idea of being about modelling. No doubt you'll be entranced by Ted's snarky, nervous, down-to-Earth narrative and her love for her sister like I was. A really, really, really good book.