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Book Reviews

Review: “The Time-Traveling Fashionista,” Bianca Turetsky

April 23, 2011
Review: “The Time-Traveling Fashionista,” Bianca TuretskyThe Time-Traveling Fashionista (The Time-Traveling Fashionista #1)
Written by Bianca Turetsky
Published April, 2011 by Poppy
272 pages
Genres: Historical, Time Travel
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When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure.

After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she’s not just on any ship– she’s on the Titanic!

This book is utterly gorgeous in terms of presentation but very hard to rate based on the story itself. While I did enjoy it and read it in one go, I had a feeling that the The Time-Traveling Fashionista was not targeted at older teens such as myself but more towards the tweens who are just starting to get into the genre.

I was so excited to read this one, and even though I only gave it 2 stars based on the story, I’m glad to have it in my collection for the beauty-factor alone. This book is one of the best presented books I’ve ever seen. I have the hardback and nothing is left plain and ordinary. I simply adore looking at it and the fashion illustrations inside. If you can find it cheap, definitely pick it up and add it into your collection for that reason alone (or enter my contest!)

As I mentioned quickly, the story itself is fun and fluffy enough but there’s not really any substance to it. If you’re familiar with the Titanic story you’ll find yourself increasingly flustered that Louise doesn’t pick up all the hints. I’m a HUGE Titanic fan and could basically tell you anything about it, so the fact Louise had no idea she was on the doomed ship until halfway through the novel grated on me disasterously!

But, keep in mind, our protagonist is only twelve years old.

The ending was so anti-climactic, as was the ‘sinking’ of the ship. I was expecting a lot more action. The ship seems to sink within the space of five minutes and it just didn’t feel right. I both liked and disliked our heroine Louise. She dedicates her life to the golden eras and the fashions of the past, yet she asks a maid in 1912 if she has any jeans she can put on? I don’t know how such a fashionista can make this mistake! Her maid, Anna, also comments how convincing she was as the 1912 silent film actress, Alice Baxter. I didn’t find her convincing at all! She was constantly making blunders and revealing her true time period, saying things like ‘awesome’ and ‘cool’. Yes, I realize she’s only twelve, but the fact she spends her life watching Golden Hollywood movies should influence this just a little, don’t you think?

All that being said, I think the story would have worked better for an older audience if it were longer and Louise herself was a little older. I did enjoy this book but there wasn’t a lot of brain-function required. If I were the target audience (a 12 year old girl) I probably would’ve given it a four. So, I’m rating this book based on my 22-year old reader self.

There’s another novel coming out in this series and although I’ll be curious about the art inside and the plotline, I think I’ll have to skip it. I’ll leave this series to a younger audience to devour and enjoy – because they will!

Recommended to: Anyone curious about the storyline should give it a go. At the very least you’ll enjoy aogling at the beautiful illustrations and a quick read.

About Bianca Turetsky

After graduating from Tufts University, Bianca Turetsky began working for artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel. She has been running his studio for the past 10 years and was his assistant on the Academy Award-nominated film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. She lives in a cozy studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York, that houses her very extensive and much-loved vintage collection.

1 Comment

  • Reply Cialina April 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Oh ok. Your rating is totally understandable then. I’ll keep in mind to think young when I read this one. It does sound totally adorable and the book is gorgeous.

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