Review: The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky

 

Title: The Time-Traveling Fashionista

Author: Bianca Turetsky

Publisher: Poppy

ISBN: 978-0316105422

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

What if a beautiful vintage dress could take you back in time?

Louise Lambert has always dreamed of movie starlets and exquisite gowns and longs for the day when she can fill the closet of her normal suburban home with stylish treasures. But when she receives a mysterious invitation to a vintage fashion sale in the mail, her once painfully average life is magically transformed into a time-travel adventure.
Suddenly onboard a luxurious cruise ship a hundred years ago, Louise relishes the glamorous life of this opulent era and slips into a life of secrets, drama, and decadence. . . .

Dreamy and imaginative, The Time-Traveling Fashionista features thirty full-color fashion illustrations to show gorgeous dresses and styles throughout history.

Review:

The Time-Traveling Fashionista is a fun read and a promising start to a new series by debut author Bianca Turetsky.  I love time-travel books, so I was happy to journey along with Louise when she is hurled back in time after trying on a beautiful pink dress in a vintage clothing shop.  When she discovers she has ended up on the Titanic she is less than thrilled, but she becomes determined to save everyone on board by convincing the captain that they are headed for certain doom.  Yeah, that doesn’t work very well, because everyone believes the hype – that the world’s largest passenger ship can’t ever sink.  Instead of looking like a knight in shining armor, Louise only looks like a nutcase, which doesn’t help her cause much.

I liked Louise quite a bit, and immediately starting hoping she could somehow change the disastrous accident that befalls the ship she’s on.  When she is first propelled back in time, she acts like any 12 year old.  She is dazzled by the glitz and wealth suddenly surrounds her, and she kind of spaces out where she is.  It never crosses her mind that she is on the Titanic, and when she does finally get a clue, she is panic-stricken.  She’s made friends, and she doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.  Herself included! Her efforts to save the ship and its passengers are courageous,  and make for a suspenseful read.

The historical details of the time period and the Titanic are interesting, and made me curious to learn more.  I hate to admit that about the only  thing I knew about the Titanic before reading the book was that it was a really big ship, it hit an iceberg, and it sank, with much loss of life (and no, I haven’t seen the movie!).  Bianca Turetsky fleshes out the incident, building an engaging read around the real life events. 

The book itself is so pretty!  There are full color illustrations throughout, in addition to splashes of color in the chapter headings.  Illustrations add so much character to a book, and I don’t think publishers realize how much they make a book stand out.  I realize that they are expensive to include, but they make the finished product so much more memorable.  The Time-Traveling Fashionista is gorgeous, offering up visual treats as Louise journeys through the past.

I have only one complaint with the story.  The villain is too one-dimensional, and I didn’t find him to be an interesting opponent.  His interference bogged the story down, and his actions just didn’t seem convincing to me.  There was no compelling reason for why he was trying so hard to stop Louise from trying to save the ship, and it seemed that his only purpose was to cause problems for Louise, without adding depth to the plot.

The Time-Traveling Fashionista is a fun read that will appeal to MG readers, as well as those who enjoy stories with historical settings.  I like the premise that vintage clothing holds the memories of the people who once wore the garments,  and wonder what adventures Louise will have next.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher