The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2001) meets The Devil Wears Prada (2003) in this lighter-than-air chick lit about five young fashionistas in training.
Each chapter showcases one of the girls and highlights her personal issue with a telltale item from her closet. New girl Justine tries to hide the fact that her parents’ marriage is crumbling behind her obsession with a paper dress from the 1960s. Model-perfect Becka may own a Donna Karan raincoat, but it doesn’t protect her from her therapist mom’s intrusive questions. Stylish Robin wears pajamas as regular clothes since her shopping addiction has left her penniless. Sporty Polly is a championship swimmer, but she’s afraid the white designer jeans she adores will only make her large posterior look even wider. Preppy Ann hopes that if she ditches her Gap duds in favor of her grandmother’s vintage threads, she will lose the academic pressure her parents put on her as well. When they all come together in the same New Jersey high school, predictable drama ensues. And even though the endings aren’t all happy, the girls learn that they can depend on each other, and on their wardrobes, in times of crisis. While the voices are virtually indistinguishable from one another and the writing leans heavily toward the stereotypical and the clichéd, this artfully designed package doesn’t seem to care about general audiences.
For junior Project Runway wannabes. (Fiction. 12-15)