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I Take My Little Turn On the Catwalk

Don't be fooled by the frocks that it's got; Sophia Bennett's Threads is actually less fasion and more compassion!

I Take My Little Turn On the Catwalk

BOOK REPORT for Threads (Threads Book 1) by Sophia Bennett

BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 0
Talky Talk: London Vogue
Bonus Factors: Couture, Oh the Humanity!, The V&A, Kickass Gram
Anti-Bonus Factor: THE COVER
Relationship Status: Cool Little Sister

The Deal:

Nonie loves fashion. She doesn't want to be a designer or a model -- she'd be perfectly happy serving tea to Vivienne Westwood. Her mother's a famous model, her brother's just ... cool, and her best friends are Jenny, an actress, and Edie, an aspiring United Nations delegate, so even though she's pretty happy with trying out new, quirky ensembles (many of which she makes herself), Nonie feels a bit insignificant until she meets Crow. Crow's a 12-year-old Ugandan refugee who's one of Edie's tutorial students with a penchant for fairy wings and the v&a. She's also a brilliant fashion designer, and Nonie, Edie and Jenny decide to make her their pet project.

BFF Charm: Yay

Nonie's definitely got a solid head on her shoulders. She's snarky and observant, but she's also kind. She's always ready to kick Edie in the shins under the table when she shows her signature lack of tact, and she really wants to help Jenny out of her red carpet embarrassments. And even though she tells the truth, her sharpness never really makes you wince because you know she really feels your pain. Check this out:

When your best friend has just been standing outside the biggest cinema in Leicester Square, near one of the sexiest women in the world who happens to be dressed in form-fitting Armani Priv, sky-high Manolos and matching husband, and your friend looks like a traffic light, standing next to a fat, baggy guy with fake hair, there is no fashion vocabulary that can adequately capture the moment.

Nonie's both wise beyond her years and insecure, and it's a pleasure to watch her come into her own and make some of her dreams come true.

Swoonworthy Scale: 0

There's a tiny romance sub-sub-plot related to Jenny, but it's not enough to coax even a wisp of smoke from the swoon tinderbox. But the book's not about swoon anyway, and there's more than enough drama to keep it going.

Talky Talk: London Vogue

This book is filled to the brim with big-time names in fashion. And by big time, I mean THE Christian Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent and Coco herself, not Zac posen or anyone on Project Runway. If you're not interested even the teeniest bit in fashion, the book will lose you, but if you've even once window shopped on the Neiman Marcus website, you'll be able to keep up. It's also very London-y, what with the Tube, and Mayfair and all that, Bob's your uncle or something. Nonie's definitely a teenage voice, but she's not An anNoYinG TxTSpk kID.

Bonus Factor: Couture

So the talky talk pretty much has this covered, but the book is all about the hautiest of the haute couture. Fashion models, design students, crazy new textile inventions, the most beautiful dresses of all, bizarre experiments, you name it.

Bonus Factor: Oh the Humanity!

Ok, so really on the surface Threads is about fashion, but it's REALLY about using your powers for good to stop major scary evils out there, like the Ugandan genocides and violence against children. Really, it's totally eye opening to check out some of these links about the night walkers or commuters -- children who walk from village to village in order to have a safe place to sleep at night -- and the plight of child soldiers. And it's good to read a book that goes beyond the pretty dresses and gets into something more real. As Edie says, less fashion, more compassion.

Bonus Factor: The V&A

I cannot express how much I LOVE the V&A, and not just for the cafe. I love the rooms and rooms of furniture and clothes and buttons and jewelry and all the petty detritus of human life. Gah! I could spend the rest of my life there. I've made gloves from a knitting pattern in the V&A collection, I love that place so much. I could live there.

Bonus Factor: Kickass Gram

Nonie's grandmother has an entire attic full of original Dior pieces! Made by Christian Dior himself! And she's one of those snarky grandmothers who tells you to sit up straight and don't slurp your tea, but comes through in the end, and has more heart than you ever imagined.

Anti-Bonus Factor: THE COVER

Oh. Em. Gee. You guys. That cover so does not do this book any favors. Hello! Child refugee plus fairy-tale redemption! And for the LOVE OF GOD THAT DRESS. MY EYES! Puh-leez. That's so not anything like what Crow would design. Gah. I can't stand to even look at it.

Casting Call:

Kathryn Prescott as Nonie

She's totally got the look for Nonie.

Relationship Status: Cool Little Sister

This book is like a friend's cool little sister -- you know, you're friends with the older sister, but the younger one's the one you actually like hanging out with more. Who cares that she's more interested in getting milk shakes and going to the skating rink than knocking back cocktails and checking out guys? She's got a lot going on in that brain of hers, and I can't wait to watch her grow into a seriously kickass woman.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Chicken House. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Threads is now available.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.