June 8, 2011

Book Review: THE TIME TRAVELING FASHIONISTA by Bianca Turetsky

BOOK DESCRIPTION:  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!

Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?

The Time Traveling Fashionista combines some of the themes I love most in books - - time travel, old Hollywood, glamorous fashion and the Titanic - - and it manages to turn out a truly fun, cute book. 

While the book is marketed and geared toward the Young Adult audience (main character Louise is twelve years old) adults can appreciate the book's charm.  I certainly did. 

I thrilled in the descriptions of the mouthwatering fashions circa 1912, which were exciting enough in my mind but the illustrations scattered throughout the book - - nearly 30 of them, I believe - - were absolutely beautiful and provided an additional bonus to the book.  I dare you to read The Time Traveling Fashionista and walk away not feeling the glamour of the times.  The glamorous people, the glamorous clothing, the glamorous travel.  Everything was just so darn glamorous.  If you traveled first class, that is. 

Ms. Turetsky took real people from the actual Titanic disaster and brought them to life through Louise's eyes, interspersing them with fictional characters who plumped up the story and added drama.  Who wouldn't feel at least a tinge of sadness reading about Louise's meeting with Isidor and Ida Strauss, knowing they would not survive the Titanic's maiden voyage?  Or Captain Smith, who was so proud and sure of his White Star lady? 

Louise herself made a nice little heroine for teens and tweens alike.  She's gawky, she has braces, she thinks her hair is frizzy and she wishes real life was more like movie life.  She takes pictures of herself on a daily basis, hoping to see the transformation from girl to woman and feeling disappointed daily with the lack of results.  Waking and finding herself in the body of a seventeen year old silent movie star, one who is elegant, charming and utterly stunning, at first delights Louise to no end but she quickly realizes that movie life isn't everything it's cracked up to be and wants to return to her life as a normal pre-teen girl.  Yes, there is a life lesson in the book, as well as perhaps a bit of a history lesson for those kids who haven't learned about the Titanic,but the story is just so darn cute (I know, I'm repeating myself) it's worthwhile.

What didn't I like about The Time Traveling Fashionista?  I was frustrated that Louise didn't realize she was aboard the Titanic for nearly twenty-four hours - - obviously an adult from today would have realized that in quick fashion.  As her placement on the Titanic is known from the book's jacket, withholding it from Louise didn't make a lot of sense to me.  I think she could have realized where she was and what was going to happen sooner and the story would still have moved along nicely. 

At times I also wished the book was more geared to adult audiences as I thought the story concept was fantastic.  As I don't read a lot of Young Adult books, I had to readjust my brain, in a sense, to remember that I was reading a story from an adolescent's point of view. 

All in all, I found The Time Traveling Fashionista good, old fashioned fun.  I would recommend it to any reader who enjoys time travel, the Young Adult genre and perhaps historical fiction, but light historical fiction.  Titanic buffs might be a bit disappointed that more facts and details about the disaster were not provided.  However, I was left happy and content and looking forward to the next book in the series.  Bravo, Ms. Turetsky.

The Time Traveling Fashionista is  available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.

For information on author Bianca Turetsky or further information on the book, please visit the series' website.

FTC Disclosure: This book was borrowed from my local public library. I was neither compensated nor paid in any way for this review.

1 comment:

Tales of Whimsy said...

I've been reading this one too. I must agree, super cute and the fashions do sound mouth watering.