Friday, April 24, 2009

New York Debut: My Review

New York Debut is the latest book in Melody Carson's Carter House Girls series. Like Lost in Las Vegas, which I reviewed a few months ago, it features girls who live together under the supervision of a former fashion model. DJ, the main character, is the granddaugher of Mrs. Carter. She is a Christian and a leader among the girls.

The book is clearly one of a series. There are references to previous books and some characters make appearances which seem only to serve the purpose of updating readers on their status--they have nothing to do with the plot of this book. As in Lost in Las Vegas, teen drinking is addressed in this book. The other big issue, which is very topical right now because of American Idol, is our society's fixation on appearance. Evidently in an earlier book, the girls were asked to model for a new designer during "the" week in New York. In preparation, Mrs. Carter runs modeling classes on Saturday morning, and opens them up to other girls, some of whom will be invited to model too. One of the girls has a brush with anorexia and while some of the root causes are discussed (basically poor self-image, reinforeced by society) I'm almost afraid this was too easily cured in the book.

New York Debut is fun teen chick lit, despite the serious topics addressed. There is the bitchy girl, the girl who is afraid of her own shadow, the girl with her act together, the girl who doesn't quite fit.... It is Christian fiction. One of the girls comes to Christ in the book and we see her life improve because of it; the Christians are the good girls; the girls who are on a path of self-destruction aren't Christian. Even given that, it isn't really preachy, however it is definitely faith-based fiction. I hope my daughter likes it.

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