The Time-Traveling Fashionista
Author: Bianca Turetsky
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 2011
Twelve-year-old Louise is ready for a change. She is bored of the way she looks, the food her mom cooks (doused in vinegar, always), and the plain old boring life she leads. It's a good thing the school dance is coming up to give her something to look forward to, and to shop for. You see, Louise loves vintage clothing—the feel of the fabric, the style, the stories each garment holds. So when she gets an invitation to the Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale, she figures this is the perfect place to find The Dress of her dreams. And she's right. But she has no idea just how far she will "travel" once she puts it on.
Basically, this is a simply written but engaging story of a girl who is sent back in time to 1912 into the body of another woman, who just so happens to be on board a glamourous ship going from England to America. Guess which one. It's full of fashion and descriptions of high living, from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl from 2011.
The writing is, again, simple, especially for something labeled "teen." I would categorize this more as a middle-grade novel, though it masquerades as teen. This isn't necessarily a bad thing either. It actually worked pretty well for one of my Girl Scouts who is less confident as a reader, and whose teacher would only look at reading level when she judged its appropriateness.
By far my favorite aspect of this book was the artwork. Beautiful illustrations by Sandra Suy are scattered throughout the book, showcasing the fashion designs Turetsky describes. It really brings the story to life, and I relished each piece of art.
All in all, this was a fun historical fiction with a contemporary character thrown out of her world and into one she (mostly) wished she could live in. Real people are characters in the novel, so we even learn a bit about the people aboard the great ship. (By the way, I did find myself tearing up toward the end; I got attached to some of these characters, even if they were only minor.) If you are looking for a quick read and you love fashion and color, by all means go find copy of this book. If you're looking for something with a bit more depth, you might want to consider another historical fiction novel.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.