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THE LOOK by Sophia Bennett

THE LOOK

By Sophia Bennett

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: March 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-46438-3
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic

Two sisters face vastly different futures—one as the world’s next top supermodel, the other as a lymphoma patient.

Ted (short for Edwina), 15, feels awkward and plain next to stylish Ava, 17, with her gorgeous looks and hot surfer boyfriend. Each resents having to share a bedroom in the cramped apartment the family now occupies, thanks to their father’s job loss. Everyone’s surprised when Ted, not Ava, draws attention from a modeling scout. The same night, Ava’s swollen glands draw her parents’ attention. Soon, Ted’s enjoying a major makeover and tons of attention, including from the intriguing artist son of a London modeling maven, while Ava struggles with chemo-induced nausea and hair loss. Ted narrates with humorous insight, though her incredulity that others find her attractive quickly palls. Ava’s a more harmful stereotype: Cancer transforms her from bitch-in-training to selfless angel, though her touching determination to remain in control—both liability and asset—is skillfully portrayed. So too are Ted’s evolving feelings about their relative fortunes and her view of the high-fashion world. Marketing-driven high concepts can shape stories into lifeless, literary topiary, but this one’s less gimmicky than advertised. However, readers should know this is Ted’s story; Ava’s cancer is seen through her eyes.

A good bet for readers with a taste for glam fashion and boldface names. (Fiction. 12 & up)