Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Look ~ Sophia Bennett (earc) review

The Look
March 1, 2013
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

It was the cover of The Look that first drew my attention. When I saw that it was authored by Sophia Bennett (whose Threads I've been intrigued by -- but sadly, not read -- since its release) and published first by Chicken House who've yet to do me wrong, I was thrilled.

Can she be a supermodel and a super-sister? She finds her answer in just one look.

Two sisters, both beautiful in different ways: Fifteen-year-old Ted has got "The Look." That's what the scout for the modeling agency tells her, and she can't believe her luck. But just as Ted's jet-setting off on her new career, Ava is diagnosed with cancer. Can Ted be a supermodel and a super-sister? Or will she have to choose between family and fame? With their worlds turned upside down, the girls have to look past appearances, look deep inside, to figure out what really matters.

Part fun, lighter self discovery novel and part heavier, family drama, Bennett's The Look pairs Ted's foray into the world of modelling with Ava's cancer diagnosis -- and all that both new worlds entail. Neither girl is experiencing things they  ever expected yet they each have their sister there by their side.

As much as possible

Ted and Ava are quite different girls, something we learn from the very beginning of the story. Ava's the one everyone would 'expect' to be a model: bubbly, gorgeous, outgoing. While Ted's too tall, too skinny, awkward, and doesn't care about fashion or those in it. Yet, we also see right from the beginning the relationship the sisters have with each other and what they'll do for each other.

Their relationship is one of the things that makes The Look so brilliant. We see the changes it goes through, as Ava's life changes, as Ted's life changes, as the family's whole life changes. I loved that they were such different individuals but also such close sisters. They didn't need to be carbon copies of each other to get on well and they didn't hate each other because of their differences.

Ava's battle with cancer definitely brings a high level of emotion to The Look - as does how well Bennett writes it. Things are kept out of any melodrama territory, though, by Ava's attitude toward things, Ted's modelling prospects and that line of the story and that the two halves of the story are balanced so well.

Bennett does a good job having the modelling details included so that it doesn't feel like someone imagining being a model but like what it's supposed to be, Ted being a model. The details around Ava's cancer also are there and help that feel real as well. While proper terminology may seem small, using it really keeps readers in the story and makes the story feel more whole and enjoyable.

Ted doesn't have her life over here and Ava has hers over there. Though modelling and cancer may seem very divergent plot lines, they're fully integrated in The Look for a very cohesive story. One with strong emotion and fantastic character. It is a great read.

The very ending may have seemed to be a wrapped up a little . . . neatly. Though, I can't think of any other way to end it all that would not have. Still a great read that I highly recommend.

Rating: 9.5/10 so 10/10

thank you to Scholastic & NetGalley for my egalley

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