Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: "The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette"

The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky
3 out of 5 stars

Although this sequel was not quite as good as the first Time-Traveling Fashionista, I still enjoyed it. The styling of these books is exquisite...gorgeous covers with equally pretty hard-bound books underneath and the illustrations throughout add an extra star to the story easily. My sister has threatened to steal this book for her room as well lol...I need to just go buy her some "pretty" books sometime!

It's a year after Louise's first adventure and she is still just as obsessed with vintage clothing and their stories, but she's also growing up and starting to like *whispers* boys more. Her BFF, Brooke, is turning 13 and Louise has to find the perfect outfit for her party and she knows just the place...the Traveling Fashionista Sale is back in town. She's a little apprehensive about it at first, because what if she goes back in time again? Or worse, what if she doesn't? Her dad has just lost his job and her parents can't afford to send her on the school trip to Paris, so of course, all she wants to do is go somewhere, do something, be somebody. This, more than anything, pushes her to the vintage sale and encourages her to try on a satin blue ball gown, even though the eccentric old ladies (sisters?) tell her not to try this particular dress. Louise is immediately transported back to 1770-ish France and into the body of Gabrielle, close friend of one Marie Antoinette. At least she didn't go back as Marie, although, according to the history section at the back of the book, Gabrielle didn't fair much better.

The descriptions of Petit Trianon (the castle "playhouse" of Marie and her friends), the fashions (Marie was the leading lady in those days), and the decadent food all help transport you back to that time. It also helps that I'm listening to the French Pop station on Accuradio while writing this hah! While the descriptiveness is still top-notch, the story itself is a bit lacking. Louise seems unsure of what's going on a lot of the time; considering she's already been through this once before, this seems odd. She tries to make Marie change her excessive spending and help the people of France, before she loses her head, but as on the Titanic, there's no use. There is a pleasant surprise though, when Louise/Gabrielle discovers another Time-Traveling Fashionista (or two?). I look forward to hearing more about the other specially chosen children in future books. Overall, this is a good sequel and I would recommend it for those interested in fashion, history, Paris, etc...with the caveat that they maybe read some true-life books on the events as well and learn how things actually happened. Turetsky bends the truth to suit her story-telling, which is fine, but sometimes the truth can be just as interesting. And now I'm done lecturing, how about a pretty picture to end this? ;)

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