Friday, 26 June 2015

Book Review: Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos

Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Format: eARC from NetGalley

In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?

Smart, provocative, and entertaining, this thrilling page-turner for teens questions the cult like mentality of fame and fashion. Are you in or are you out?

I really really loved this book. I wish there was a better way to show just how much I loved this book with text because I feel like just saying I loved it just doesn't do it justice.

I first requested for this book because it involved fashion and I have yet to notice a teen fiction novel (as far as I know, at least) that focuses primarily on fashion and how it affects the world around the main character's world. Or, well, maybe I should say 'main characters'. Of course, we do read a little bit about what most main characters are wearing in their respective book but I feel like because the writing has to focus on the actual storyline at hand it doesn't get touched on too much. With this book, it becomes incredibly important to clarify on what the focused characters are wearing to reflect their status in this world.

We get to see this world from two point of views: Marla, a teenager who manages to be part of a group in a huge corporation that allows her to determine what sort of fashions get to be the next trend to the public. At least, for a short while...; Ivy, a teenager who managed to shoot herself up to stardom- something that almost everyone wishes to achieve one day for both the fashion, the money, and the fame. But things are not as what they seem on the outside and Ivy is struggling to keep to her persona while also remaining true to herself before becoming popular.

Needless to say, having the focus be on fashion in this world is fairly unique to say the least. Some of it may even ring familiar to what we go through in real life. In fact, even though there is so much focus on fashion, there are still people who work in other jobs not clothing related. I believe, if I recall, there were some who were secretaries and teachers. It helps keep the world balanced. Sadly, there's little focus on them as most of the characters find them dreadful in comparison to being a part of choosing new fashion creations.

This is certainly a book that not everyone will like though. It is definitely one of those hit or miss reads. There are some couple warnings that I feel like that should bring up related to this book. Many of the characters seem to be fairly addicted to drugs. When I read the book, I kind of interpreted the pills as a sort of... calming drug? Most of the time when it's used, it's meant to help someone relax a bit so they won't mess up. I guess it didn't affect me as much because I use calming pills as well. I'm still jealous that these pills work so fast though (but I'm pretty sure it's unrealistic anyhow). I didn't like how some characters resist taking them because of the connotations behind it. There's nothing wrong with wanting a bit of a boost when it comes to anxiety or being tense.

And, of course, when it comes to fashion... you're more than likely going to hear a bit of slut-shaming. Sadly. that definitely happened in this book, and you're probably going to hear it a bit... especially from Marla, I believe. It's far and few in between, though, but I know that there are some people who will still feel like it's too much. After all, it is 2015... we really shouldn't be shaming someone for what they're wearing. At least when it comes to how much skin they're showing, that is. I hope this makes sense. Although this could be used as a lesson in collaboration on how people shouldn't be judged for what they're wearing even though the clothing isn't mainstream. It's silly.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this book but I know it's not something for everyone. Hopefully this review will help you think on whether this will be the book for you. If you can get past the negative, though, and focus mostly on the positive, I'd go for it. Maybe if you just wanted to read a book that focuses on fashion... this is for you.


  1. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed this one. I loved it so much that it's one of my new favorites, because I loved the world so much. I did however feel that it was wrapped up a bit quickly. Great review.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian