Catwalk by Deborah Gregory 2008
IQ "For starters, every time I come in contact with someone-whether they be frenemy, a ferocious friend, or an outright foe-I'm going to ask myself, What are their dreams? If I take the time to answer that question, then I have a better shot at dealing with the person as a human being. In other words, just like me." Pashmina
Pashmina Purrstein and her posse--Angora, Felinez and Aphro--are poised-ready students at Manny Hanny's famed fashion central--Fashion International High School. These four friends blessed with feline fatale attributes vie for entry into the Catwalk competition where the winners really will take all. We're talking college scholarships, modeling contracts with Snooty Inc., and a trip abroad with all the trimmings of la dolce vita (that's the sweet life to all you non fashionistas) . But first, Pashmina and her friends have to assemble the ultimate fashion street team--while four other "houses" are struggling to do the same thing. Will the House of Pashmina earn their purr points? Wake up and smell the catnip--they're gonna rip the runway.
I never read the Cheetah Girl books (Deborah Gregory's first series), but I loved the first Cheetah Girls movie (the 2nd one was decent and I never bothered to watch the 3rd). Also, I'm not into fashion (I'm a basketball shorts and t-shirt kind of girl) and I dislike cats. Just saying that to be upfront. With that being said, I enjoyed this book.
Pashmina and her posse use lots of made-up words. Some are entertaining and clever while others can cause confusion. One of my favorites was "click, dial tone, good-bye!" It means "dropping the communication line on someone who is getting on your nerves." I also liked "Work it for points on the Dow Jones. This means "to capitalize on a situation. Or to prance on the catwalk like your paycheck depends on it!" Some words made no sense and I constantly had to stop and flip back to the glossary to check. I eventually gave up and just ignored them.
My favorite character was Angora. She's majoring in fashion journalism, she is a "model-blogger". She always knows what's going on in school and with her friends. She's very perceptive and kind. I love how Deborah Gregory always givers her characters such mixed and interesting ethnic/religious/class backgrounds. Some of Pashmina's friends are rich, others poor. Angora is rich and French Canadian, Cajun and Choctaw Indian. Almost none of the characters have one single racial make-up. Also, I really enjoy the creative names that Deborah Gregory comes up with (Elgamela, Angora, Shalimar). I think some of them mean something (you learn the meaning of some names in Catwalk and others in Catwalk: Strike a Pose, the next book).
This book is informative too. I learned many cool tidbits about black models, fashion history and the fashion business. I also liked reading about voguing. Voguing "(from what I gathered) is a pose-off. The students at Fashion International High School have a secret voguing battle to jump-start the Catwalk competition. They usually do it at lunch and challenge each other (basically like a dance battle or freestyle battle). It sounds really fun and it'd be interesting to see something like that at my school!
If you like fashion (clothes, the history, modeling, accessories, etc.) you would definitely enjoy this book. Even if you don't (like me) I'm sure you will enjoy it and learn something. 7th grade and up