- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 272 pages
- Publisher: Random House USA Inc
- Publication Date: 10/10/2011
- Category: General
- ISBN: 9780385740593
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.
Review by BookAddictDiary
I wasn't sure what to think when I first saw this book. I'm always skeptical when I see books written by celebrities, especially fiction. Most of the time its either written by a ghost writer or said celebrity thinks that they can write and is easily able to land a book deal due to their celebrity-dom. In fact, I've never read something written by a celebrity that was good. I thought that I'd give Tyra a chance. Not only did I have the chance to review an ARC of Modelland, but the blurb seemed semi-interesting -I'm also something of a closet Top Model fan, though Tyra isn't what makes the show for me.About 100 pages into this book, I had to throw it aside and read something else. It was so horribly written, so badly put together that I just couldn't stand it. In fact, I nearly gave up around page 30, but kept going because I typically hate to give up on books that early on. But by the time the big 100 rolled around, I had had enough. I had to spend the next few hours reading good literature in order to scrub as much of this junk out of my head as I could.First, Tyra doesn't know anything about writing. Nothing. It's horribly stilted and doesn't make much sense. I couldn't see the world, I couldn't understand the characters, and the plot didn't make sense at all. It didn't help that there were several times that I could almost hear Tyra's voice reading it (especially in dialog), which made all the characters seem like the same person and parts of the narrator felt strange. Also, what kind of name is Tookie de la Creme? Seriously?As a side note, Modelland also suffers from horrid editing, but it's likely that the publisher rushed this one and probably banked on its success purely because Tyra's name is on it. It didn't help that random details would be introduced and then completely forgotten by the next sentence. It's like Tyra wrote a first draft one afternoon and nothing changed.Then, there's the plot....I really don't know what in this book was trying to be a plot, but it didn't exist. It's incredibly slow (probably around half or more of 100 pages I read should have been cut out) and, well, the main character's lack of personality makes it hard for me to buy into this whole idea that she really wants to go to Modelland (read: become a model). Modelland is also a feminist's nightmare. It basically plays up everything that makes young girls develop eating disorders and want to get plastic surgery as good and pure and something to aspire to (if you're not perfect, how could you go to Modelland, and everyone wants to go to Modelland). I also incredibly dislike the fact that this book assumes that every young girl "wants to be a model." Absolutely not true. Something of them have other aspirations and, unlike Tookie, have brains.Bottom line: stay away from this book. Do not waste your time or money on it. If this manuscript had been submitted by a non-celebrity, it would have been thrown away and never allowed to see the light of day. Without a doubt, Modelland is the worst book I've read this year.
Review by mcelhra
Tookie De La Crème is a Forgetta-Girl - no one notices her. With frizzy hair, a huge forehead and spindly body, she can literally lay in the middle of the hallway at school and everyone just walks on by. In spite of all that, Tookie finds herself selected on The Day of Discovery to be a student at the magical Modelland. Of the hundred or more girls chosen on The Day of Discovery, only seven extraordinary, fabulous girls graduate Modelland each year to become Intoxibellas - the most worshipped and influential women in all the world. Tookie can't figure out why she was chosen to go to Modelland instead of her beautiful younger sister Myrracle.Tyra Banks, former supermodel and host of America's Next Top Model, wrote this book. It was exactly like Tyra herself - crazy, manic, and over the top. The book is set in a future, dystopian society where the standards of beauty are the law of the land. Everyone is a superficial consumer. Even though every girl dreams of going to Modelland, it has a sinister element. Rumors of girls not good enough to become Intoxibellas being tortured abound. Girls who aren't selected make pilgrimages there, never to be heard from again. And once you're a student at Modelland, trying to escape has dire consequences.Knowing Tyra Banks wrote this book, I expected it to campy. She definitely went above and beyond my expectations in that department. I don't think the word subtle is in Tyra's vocabulary. I was expecting this book to be similar to the Uglies series - filled with metaphor and symbolic lessons about judging people by their appearance,etc. This book was more like a hammer, hitting you over the head with that message. And there were no metaphors. Everything was straight up as it appeared. For example, in the health clinic at Modelland, the head purse (nurse) is Purse Drestookill and her outfit is described as, "an elaborate sage-green cape made of multiple types of pistols, knives, nooses, and razors, with a hat shaped like a guillotine."* Get it?? She's literally "dressed to kill"! Get it?? And then there's Guru Applaussez, who's head is shaped like a third hand - all the better for him to clap with my dear.It may sound like I didn't like this book at all, but actually I was strangely drawn in. I should probably disclose that I'm a big fan of America's Next Top Model - it gives me a chance to rest my brain and watch the madness that is Tyra and Company. And this book has little inside jokes for ANTM fans. For instance, the BellaDonna, head master at Modelland, hates actresses and says disparaging things about them. Tyra also holds actresses in low esteem, compared to models; and says disparaging things about them on ANTM. I felt much the same way while I was reading this book as I do watching ANTM, although I did feel like the pacing of the book was too frantic. A different science fiction effect was around every corner and almost none were repeats - it was overwhelming. This book is the first of a planned trilogy - I don't know if I'm invested enough in what happens to Tookie to keep reading the series but I did have fun reading this first book.*This quote is from an advance reader's copy - the final version of the book may differ.
Review by squirrelsohno
Modelland, a place where every girl’s dream comes true. A place where girls are turned into Intoxibellas, superheroes with powers of seduction, teleportation, empathy…Okay, let’s face it. MODELLAND might possibly be one of the biggest literary train wrecks ever. If Tyra Banks was not some famous supermodel with bigger name recognition than Madeleine Albright, then this book would have hopefully never been published. The fact it was published anyway makes me question lots of things, particularly Tyra, who apparently thought that this was a great idea. The morals behind it – a girl who isn’t conventionally beautiful learning to stand up for herself and love who she is – are there, but the execution… Oh, Lord, THE EXECUTION!Reading MODELLAND is like reading what a five year old might write after watching a marathon of every America’s Next Top Model episode while high on a mixture of LSD and apple juice. Such fun (and whacked out) changes to reality include 1.) a city named Metopia where each quadrant has completely different weather 2.) a fashion emergency department store (aka the Modelland hospital) where doctors have roller skates instead of feet and nurses are called purses 3.) a board of directors that are actually called the BORED – because they look bored like the people on the front rows of fashion shows and 4.) names like Tookie de la Crème and Shiraz Shiraz. I personally wonder if Tyra realized Tookie is also the nickname of a rather infamous gang member named Stanley Williams who murdered people and was executed. But that’s beside the point.I can only imagine that this experience is best when you are high on multiple drugs mixed with a healthy dose of alcohol. Since that is illegal and I don’t drink, I did it while high on cake and tripping on a lack of sleep. Exploring Modelland and the various international locales of this strange world made me wonder if I was going insane. A country entirely located inside a grocery store. Countries named Nordensee and Iceyland, identical quadruplets who share a bed named ILikee, HerLikee, MeLikee, and SheLikee, a ship in the middle of Modelland that teaches runway techniques while swaying back and forth, a class called Mastication where you are labeled a “gut stuffer” (among other titles) and taught to use a wall that pops out whatever food you want.Describing the plot of this book would be pointless and futile. Imagine the most ridiculous plotlines imaginable. MODELLAND is more ridiculous than that. It draws elements from THE HUNGER GAMES, HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, and so many other ideas, but mixes them with acid and insanity. The message of MODELLAND is a good one – every girl is beautiful, not just the conventionally pretty ones – but it’s heavily muddled in lots of completely insane bits and bobs that didn’t fit together.I won’t give MODELLAND one star. I read this thing cover to cover and enjoyed it, if only because it was a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from. It gets two stars for the sheer hilarity this book was. It made little to no sense and was filled with some of the most elementary school-esque writing I’ve ever seen (but I’ve seen worse from even the biggest publishers, to be honest). Tyra Banks is no author, but at least she has a whacked out imagination.VERDICT: MODELLAND is quite possibly one of the most inadvertently hilarious books ever. The writing is horrible, the plot makes no sense, and the world is crazy. But why do you want to read this? To experience it all first hand.
Review by librarybrandy
Holy hell I'm DONE with this travesty. The acknowledgements mention that this 560-page beast was edited DOWN from the original thousand pages, and I think they could have trimmed more than just 44%. There's a lot of waste here, and it's just awful. Some of it is terrible in the hilarious b-movie way, but most of it is just plain terrible.
Review by chickalea
OMG this book is quite possibly the worst thing I've ever read and I've read some serious crap in my time. Part of it is hilarious in it's absurdity but after a while it stops being 'It's so bad it's funny' and just becomes tedious. <br/><br/>Tyra Banks is a joke with this book and I suspect it's not an intentional joke but it's a joke nonetheless.