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Dystopian YA Review: Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos

Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos 


Egalley thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers

Synopsis from Goodreads
In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?
        Smart, provocative, and entertaining, this thrilling page-turner for teens questions the cult like mentality of fame and fashion. Are you in or are you out?
 


 Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

8.5/10

* * *
 What a delightful read, peeps! Dystopian YA is always touch and go for me, and I didn't know what to expect from this one, but it's actually very clever and paints a caricature representation of today's society.



Some years ago in a grip of deep economical crisis some countries came up with an idea of testing  kids in school for creative aptitude, and if they have any inclination and talent for creative jobs, take them out and put them to work in massive consumer and entertainment industries. So, some kids would finish school as normal and then decide what job they will do, others won't have that choice and will be put to work in certain industries.

The clever part is that such way of life is so glamorised and praised in a massive consumer society, that the majority of kids will be crushed not to become Creatives.

Marla Klein works in fashion industry, and at her sixteen years old she climbed the ranks quickly and now presides as one of the judges in trends court. Trends in her society change every month or so, and masses of people throw away their "old" clothes and buy new. Same happens in any other creative industry, where teenage judges decide on what next will become the trend of the month.

Of course it's an artificial, over-inflated economy, and frankly I couldn't imagine how it could sustain itself for a long time while consuming such enormous amounts of products. Never mind, - this book was fascinating.

So, Marla is a judge in one of the five biggest fashion houses, and she loooves her work! Although, recently her opinion differs too much from her fellow judges, secretly she finds outrageous trends more and more ridiculous, while her maturing mind develops its individual taste. Inevitably, she is disgraced and sent to work in the basement with the other designers, where she gets smack into a middle of cultural rebellion!

I won't give you any more spoilers, but, my God, I loved this quiet, lovely read and I hope to see more from Elaine Dimopoulos. Material Girls is quirky and smart, and I would dearly love to read more books like that. Recommended.

* * *

 Прекрасная книга, ребята! Антиутопичный подростковый фикшн редко приходится мне по вкусу, но это - книга умная и саркастичная, точно описывающая в карикатурном стиле наше общество потребления, помешанное на знаменитостях и моде.

Годы назад некоторые страны, находясь в глубоком экономическом кризисе решили проверять10-11-летних подростков на креативные способности, и если они их покажут, то забирать их из школ и отправлять на работу в развлекательных индустриях, тогда как остальные дети закончат школу обычным образом и потом уже выберут куда им податься.

Проблема в том, что такой нездоровый подход прославляется средствами массовой информации и популярной культурой, да так, что каждый ребёнок мечтает таким образом стать знаменитостью и заработать кучу денег.

Марла Кляйн в свои шестнадцать лет забралась довольно высоко по карьерной лестнице индустрии моды и работает одной из судьев трендов. Тренды создаются каждый месяц пятью большими домами моды, и народ выбрасывает "старую" одежду и кидается покупать новую.

Такая экономика огромного потребления наполнила меня недоверчивым скептицизмом. Как она вообще может себя содержать, я не пойму?

В общем, Марла обожает свою работу и моду, однако в последнее время её развивающийся вкус всё больше и больше расходится с остальными судьями, и в результате ее снимают с должности, которой она так гордится, и посылают в подземный этаж создавать новые  образцы одежды вместе с остальными модельерами. К своему удивлению Марла попадает в гущу культурного бунта и становится одним из его лидеров.

Я больше вам книгу не буду портить своими спойлерами, однако закончу мою рекомендацию пожеланием увидеть больше книг подобного образца - спокойных, тихих мятежников жанра, умных и провокационных. С удовольствием буду читать этого автора опять!

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