By Melissa Walker
Teen model Violet would like to lose the 'teen model' title. She stayed in the picture for the travel opportunities and because she liked the message a campaign was trying to send, but now she's ready to be a Vassar Girl. In addition to finding her place in college, with new friends, she's also discovering a talent for writing that lands her a job with magazine Teen Fashionista.
I respect Violet. She thinks she's much less assertive than she actually is, but it's easy to identify with that lack of self-confidence. Besides, it lends itself to a scene of supreme irony. (Those in middle or high school, take notes for your book reports. Teachers love irony.) Her ad about loving your body comes out, and her classmates think it doesn't work because the message doesn't square when paired with an image of ideal beauty. But the real reason it doesn't work is because Violet doesn't believe the message herself; she isn't comfortable with her body or the weight she lost for the ad. It's an incredible scene.
For those who have not read VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY or VIOLET BY DESIGN, I do not think it will be hard to get into VIOLET IN PRIVATE. Melissa Walker reviews past events concisely. These instances also don't come at once, but are spread throughout the story as they become relevant. She writes the relationships between the characters so well I think even newcomers will appreciate their progression.
The new relationships are also satisfying. Oliver is a nice guy and would be excellent for Violet if Roger weren't in the picture. Kurt is hilarious, but not a one note comic relief. Some of his cutting remarks are actually pretty cruel.
While Violet gains new friendships and grows as a person, she still makes some mistakes. She enjoys her internship with Teen Fashionista and makes the most of that opportunity. On the other hand, she's horribly irresponsible about her remaining modelling jobs. She doesn't talk to her boss or her coworker sometimes, and makes no effort to promote the campaign. It's easy to understand why she wants to avoid confrontation, but in a few moments it is hard to feel sympathy for her because of the way she ignored her responsibilities.
VIOLET IN PRIVATE could be a wonderful end to the series, or we could be lucky enough for a fourth. It's a well-written story with likeable characters, reasonable dilemmas, and it addresses various issues in a mature manner. (One I would like to talk about would absolutely spoil the book. Feel the frustration of the reviewer!) Plus, there's Christian Louboutin heels. Those things are crazy.
VIOLET IN PRIVATE hits shelves this Tuesday, August 5th. That means the winner will get it pretty close to the release date! You can find out more on Walker's blog. Plus, she has contests every Wednesday!
To win VIOLET IN PRIVATE, leave a comment on this post.