Showing posts with label YA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YA. Show all posts


Book Style: The Island

The Island

Fact: I rarely like non-fantasy YA.
'nother Fact: I adored Olivia Levez's The Island.

Definitely recommending this gritty and realistic novel which absolutely earns the comparisons it has garnered to Robinson Crusoe and Hatchet. Our protagonist, Frances, is sentenced to a work program on an island in the Indian Ocean in lieu of jail time for her crime. When the plane carrying her, the group leaders, and her fellow juvenile delinquents crashes in the middle of the ocean, Fran's survival skills are put to the ultimate test. There's nothing like hours of solitary time on a deserted beach to really think about the consequences of her actions, either. By the time it turns out that Fran's island may not be as deserted as she assumed, you'll be rooting for this unlikely, and often bristly, hero.

I wanted to do beach-worthy and youthful for today's Book Style. It's not Fran's exact outfit - I refuse to style Spongebob bikini bottoms. Honestly, I'm so far from teenage now that I'm not even sure a 16 year old girl would wear anything I style. Anyways...

Let's start with a "Castaway" bikini. (Not pictured: All the sunscreen you'll want to apply. And reapply. And reapply again.) A pair of "Love Yourself" denim cutoffs seemed appropriate for Fran's journey. A "Françoise À La Mer" tee on top keeps the look easy. A pair of terrier leather flip flops are surely something Fran would love; she has a soft spot for pups, after all. I kept the jewelry simple with sparkly fish earrings, a fishtail bracelet, and an "Indian Ocean" necklace. In the category of Things-Fran-Would've-Loved-To-Have-Had-Handy we have a bright blue pair of aviators and an adorable shark iPhone case. Of course, even stranded, Fran was never without her eyeliner (this one is "Delinquent") and her nail lacquer (this sandy taupe is "Coconuts").

If you want to entertain and challenge your DIY survival skills, check out Olivia Levez's tutorial on how to make a shoes out of your bra!


Book Style: Eating The Cheshire Cat

Eating The Cheshire Cat

Eating the Cheshire Cat by Helen Ellis is the first real YA I ever remember reading that wasn't a classic. It's also the first time I read a book review in a magazine and actively sought out the book in question. Before Eating the Cheshire Cat I'd never gone to a store looking for a specific title that wasn't either a) Nancy Drew or b) assigned school reading. As a result this novel, Helen Ellis' debut, truly was my introduction to the world of making my own reading choices and developing my own unique literary taste. I love this book is what I'm saying. It's got dark comedy blended with Southern Gothic themes. It's got real teenage girls struggling to mature in the extremely homogenized and image-centric South - something I was struggling with a lot when I first read it. I clearly remember being intrigued by the Wonderland reference in the title (Alice fangirl for life!) and it's crazy to me that this book only came out in 2001 because I feel like I read it before 11th grade, which clearly is inaccurate, but this book was so momentous to me that it seems like it's been part of my life for much longer. My little sister currently has possession of my coveted copy, long overdue since I spent a good few years trying to prevent her from reading it, convinced the more adult themes would be exposed to my mother and she would try and keep me from reading more realistic YA (which is pretty crazy when you consider that the same year I was assigned Ellen Foster and The Poisonwood Bible as school assignments...). And I am now going to stop blathering on about how much I adore this dark and twisted coming of age story and how life-changing/shaping it was for me because I will just keep on talking and we'll never actually get to the discussion about the Book Style and Brandi just stop talking just type a period and start a new paragraph come on you can do this...

This is a hard, I mean hard book to Book Style. That's why, besides it's apparent nearness and dearness to me, I haven't tackled it before now. You can thank my wonderful sister for the prompt. I wanted an outfit that I could see a young woman of good social standing in the South wearing, needed it to have at least some tie-in to the book (there's not a lot of blatant symbolism that would work), and I needed to match a neon green, orange and floral cover?! All in all, I'm pleased with the result. This maxi dress is way beyond my budget reality but I will now be actively looking for a suitable lookalike. I added a light cardigan on top in "Fire" because it matched the goldfish and it also ties in to the story's fiery conclusion. "Sarina Billy" slingback heels keep the look a little dressier while referencing one of three main characters, Sarina. The "Vendetta" purse also ties into the twisted relationship between Sarina and another main character, Bitty Jack. An axe ring and earrings are another nod to Sarina, her mother, and the shocking opening to Eating the Cheshire Cat where a (deliberately) drunk sixteen year old Sarina allows her mother to smash her crooked pinkie fingers with an axe so that they will be reset straight, thus eliminating her one physical imperfection. A "Roll Tide" necklace and an Alabama necklace reference the novel's setting. The "Southern Belle" lipstick, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" nail lacquer should be pretty obvious references - it's a book about three Southern belles after all. I tossed in some cat-eyed sunglasses because I think sunglasses are a crucial part of any wardrobe and they're catty, just like Nicole (the third main character), Sarina, and Bitty Jack. 

I wholeheartedly endorse this novel. Just don't confuse Southern Gothic with goth. For that matter you probably shouldn't confuse Gothic with goth when it comes to literature, or you, like many disgruntled reviewers, will be confused and disappointed.