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Monday, December 05, 2016

Release & Review - Alterations by Stephanie Scott

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Alterations
Author: Stephanie Scott
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: December 6th, 2016
Publisher: 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.

Buy Links: Amazon


ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Bloomsbury Spark!!

When I read somewhere this book was supposed to be a mix of Sabrina (the movie) and Project Runway, I knew I had to have it. I absolutely adore the movie (I’ve watched the 1995 version a hundred times) and the fashion reality TV show is one of my favorites (it only loses to ANTM and its many versions worldwide). Plus, who doesn’t like Tim Gunn? It’s impossible not to love the “Make it Work” fashion expert.

So I’m only happy to say that Alterations delivers on what it promises.

The first part of the book is a heavily inspired on Project Runway. With Amelia (yay for Latina MC!!!) going to NYC to take part on a fashion summer program, we get to see her go to Mood, design her own clothes, meet fashion-lovers and even make a gown that is presented on the runway! I kept having flashbacks to all my favorite episodes of the show.

(I love Elena & Dmitry and the baby challenge episode was one of my favorites EVER)…

Anyway… going back to this review.

Amelia’s time in NYC allows her to take a good look at herself and her life choices. Girlfriend had an unhealthy obsession with Ethan Laurenti, a boy who wouldn’t even know she existed if her family didn’t work for his. With distance comes perspective, and with good new friends comes her decision to focus more on her and less on her long-time crush.

This almost felt like two books into one, because that first part I just mentioned had its own conflict and resolution: Amelia going to NYC, learning more about herself and her passion, creating trouble because of lies and making the decision to get over Ethan.

While I did enjoy the Project Runway part of the story, I had a few problems with Amelia’s choices when she was in NYC, especially the ones involving her new friends and her lies. They felt unnecessary, and I couldn’t really understand her motivation. But, like I said, Amelia had an arc and she showed growth, maybe not as much as I would’ve liked, but it was still progress.

Then the second book within the book comes when Amelia returns home and needs to face Ethan, and his brother Liam. That’s when the romance aspect of the story kicks in. In my opinion, it takes too long to get here, and if it had not been for the whole Project Runway similarity, I wouldn't have waited as patiently for this moment. In fact, the book has a lot less romance than I thought it would.

This is also when we get the Sabrina feels! 

Amelia likes Ethan, who didn’t pay attention to her until she returned. Ethan’s brother, Liam, liked Amelia since… ever (which is pretty clear from the start, but Amelia somehow doesn’t see). Amelia starts to hang out with Liam while she helps him develop a fashion app (I totally need it, BTW) and learns that Liam might be a lot more interesting than his brother.

While I did enjoy seeing Liam and Amelia together, I wasn’t a big fan of how long it took Amelia to develop feelings for Liam. We were 80% in and Amelia was still struggling to let go of her crush on Ethan and see Liam as the true love interest. I felt robbed of truly experiencing the chemistry between Liam and Amelia, because she was still comparing him to his brother the whole time. I needed her realization to come a little earlier. I’d even take hints that she was interested in him at some point before the 90% mark.

I also wasn’t a fan of how Amelia often referred to Liam’s lack of fashion sense. Sure, we got that he doesn’t know how to dress to impress, but she didn’t need to keep pointing that out every few pages. Every time she did, she grew a little more unlikable to me. And Amelia has all the traits to make her extremely likable in my book. She’s hard-working, creative, funny, loves her family…She didn’t need the lies from the first part or the way she talked about Liam’s clothes in the second.

The ending followed the Sabrina theme, which I super approve, because there was no way I’d be happy with a different outcome. Yay for picking the right guy, Amelia, and making money on an app I need ASAP!

Overall, this book had a really interesting concept and made good use of the comparative titles, which is always a plus. There were a few things I wish had been handled differently, but this was a fun and fast read, and fans of Project Runway and Sabrina will probably really enjoy it.

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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