Indie Girl

Kavita Daswani, Author . Simon Pulse $8.99 (232p) ISBN 978-1-4169-4892-6

In her first YA novel, fashion correspondent and author Daswani (The Village Bride of Beverly Hills ) offers a sometimes moving, often funny glimpse of Indian-American family life along with a look at the cutthroat world of fashion journalism. Her 15-year-old heroine, Indie, has lived and breathed fashion for years, and dreams of being a fashion journalist. Now she has a chance at an internship at Celebrity Style magazine—if she can make an impression on its owner, the infamous Aaralyn Taylor. Indie does indeed win notice (after chasing Aaralyn’s limo) but ends up with a different job: baby-sitting Aaralyn’s tantrum-prone two-year-old. Despite the setback (and her parents’ strong misgivings), Indie is determined to wow her boss with her fashion finesse and ability to get the scoop on what celebrities are wearing. Some of her efforts prove fruitful, but along the way she learns some hard lessons about racism and nepotism. The exaggerated show-down between sincere, youthful ambition and fashion-insider ruthlessness and self-absorption can make this novel read like The Devil Wears Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, derivative and far-fetched, but those who share the protagonist’s passion for trend-setting fashion will willingly suspend their disbelief in hopes that Indie will eventually come out on top. What sets this novel apart is Daswani’s nuanced take on her character’s Indian-American subculture, the pressure she feels to be like her more conventional cousins, her desire for independence, American-style, and her pride in her heritage. Indie is a heroine worth meeting. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/12/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4391-2064-4
Prebound-Glued - 232 pages - 978-1-4177-9700-4
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