The Fashion Committee
"The Fashion Committee is another winner by one of my all time favorite authors."--Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author of the The Princess Diaries and Mediator series Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion. John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn't care less about clothes. Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. Whoever wins the fashion competition will win the scholarship--and only one can win. Told in the alternating voices of Charlie's and John's journals, this hilarious and poignant YA novel perfectly captures what it's like to have an artistic drive so fierce that nothing--not your dad's girlfriend's drug-addicted ex-boyfriend, a soul-crushing job at Salad Stop, or being charged with a teensy bit of kidnapping--can stand in your way. With black and white art custom-created by fashion and beauty illustrator Soleil Ignacio, the book is a collector's item, perfect for anyone with a passion for fashion.

The Fashion Committee Details

TitleThe Fashion Committee
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseMay 23rd, 2017
PublisherViking Books for Young Readers
ISBN0451468783
ISBN-139780451468789
Number of pages304 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Art, Young Adult Contemporary

The Fashion Committee Review

  • Meg Cabot
    April 13, 2017
    Susan Juby is a joy. Her ability to blend humor with gut-wrenching emotion is one in a million. Another winner by one of my all time favorite authors.
  • Melanie (Novel Descent)
    May 18, 2017
    “It was beginning to occur to me that I was a little too in love with stereotypes and preconceptions.” You can find this review and all of my other reviews at Novel Descent Thanks for the support!The Fashion Committee was much better than I had anticipated. I am not the biggest fan of light contemporary but this had a wonderful balance. Trigger Warning: Drug addiction and domestic violence. This book started off as your typical, light contemporary novel. It was exactly what I was expecting a “It was beginning to occur to me that I was a little too in love with stereotypes and preconceptions.” You can find this review and all of my other reviews at Novel Descent Thanks for the support!The Fashion Committee was much better than I had anticipated. I am not the biggest fan of light contemporary but this had a wonderful balance. Trigger Warning: Drug addiction and domestic violence. This book started off as your typical, light contemporary novel. It was exactly what I was expecting and that was fine. However, part-way through the story the characters were revealed more and more and their backstory started coming out. They were dealing with drug addicted parents, self-esteem issues and poverty. It went deeper than I had anticipated but not so deep that when you are finished with the book you feel completely drained and depressed. This book is a dual perspective of two people trying to get into an arts school by winning a fashion show. Our first perspective is from Charlie (short for Charlene) is a very eccentric character. She is very passionate, borderline obsessed with fashion. She is constantly trying to build herself up and gear up for her life in the fashion world. This, of course, means she is learning very questionable French from Google Language. She dropped a lot of random French through-out the book and the funny thing was is that I didn't find it distracting. Her fit her oddball character and her desperation for fitting into the fashion world. Making a name for herself. I thought Charlie was wonderful and I liked that she really wasn't a mean person at all. Competitive, yes - mean, no. The other character along on this journey is John. He's got the bad boy vibe going - though he doesn't come from a stereotypical broken home. He has loving supportive grandparents that would do anything for him. However, he still has a chip on his shoulder. He's resentful, selfish, and a bit of a jerk. I have no idea how the author made me like this character but she did. John just seemed authentic. He's young and makes rash and selfish decisions - that makes sense to me. He's not a horrible person - just someone trying to figure themselves out and making some poor decisions along the way. I didn't find him as complex or interesting of a character as Charlie but it was still interesting watching his part of the story unfold. The side characters were mostly great in this one. I was drawn to Mischa the most and my heart ached many times for that woman. She just seemed so lost and broken and I wanted it all to be ok for her in the end. I felt her character was very well-written - even if a few times Mischa and Charlie were in some more unrealistic situations. The last thing that I adored about this book is that it's Canadian. I didn't notice that when I first picked it up but there are many references to Canada, so you pick up on that the author must be from there pretty quickly. I mean, is it wrong to get happy over a Tim Horton's reference or two? Great book that has some more mature themes than it first presents itself. I guess this probably falls somewhere between light contemporary and realistic contemporary but the author made it work. I recommend checking this out if it sounds appealing at all.
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  • Jen
    May 17, 2017
    I wasn't sure about The Fashion Committee at first. It's told in a journal format, narrated by two characters who are competing for a scholarship to a fashion school. The female narrator, Charlie, was a bit of an oddball. She writes her entries in Franglish (English sprinkled with somewhat questionable French) and her prose had a stilted sort of quality. At first I thought her narration might drive me nuts, but its soon became clear that she's a kid who's had a hard life, and I realized that all I wasn't sure about The Fashion Committee at first. It's told in a journal format, narrated by two characters who are competing for a scholarship to a fashion school. The female narrator, Charlie, was a bit of an oddball. She writes her entries in Franglish (English sprinkled with somewhat questionable French) and her prose had a stilted sort of quality. At first I thought her narration might drive me nuts, but its soon became clear that she's a kid who's had a hard life, and I realized that all her put-ons - the overly formal way of speaking, the Google-translated French, the costume-y clothes she sews herself - are her armor against the unpredictabilty of her world. The male narrator is John. He's not really a fashion designer, more of a metalwork artist, but is entering because he really needs the scholarship. He's in a sort of friend triangle with another girl and a guy. She's in love with John and Guy #2 is in love with her. The competition was fun and Project Runway-inspired, which I loved. And I thought the characters and plot were quirky in a good way, meaning that what would typically happen in a YA book ... didn't.This one won't be for everyone, but if you love Project Runway and stories on the quirkier side, you should definitely give this one a try!Please follow me on Instagram! Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin The FTC would like you to know that the publisher provided me a free advance copy of this book, that free books can be enjoyable or not, and other readers may disagree with my opinion.
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    May 25, 2017
    The Fashion Committee is a story about a fashion competition that had so much potential. The concept is so original, but I found the main characters to be annoying and unrealistic. I also didn’t enjoy the excessive use of random French words and the main character’s habit of referring to herself in the third person. I’m a bit disappointed with this one, but I would still recommend it to those with a strong interest in fashion.This book has a super unique concept that really interested me. Basica The Fashion Committee is a story about a fashion competition that had so much potential. The concept is so original, but I found the main characters to be annoying and unrealistic. I also didn’t enjoy the excessive use of random French words and the main character’s habit of referring to herself in the third person. I’m a bit disappointed with this one, but I would still recommend it to those with a strong interest in fashion.This book has a super unique concept that really interested me. Basically, there is a high-stakes fashion competition, and the winner receives free admission into an elite arts school. Of the two main characters, one is fashion obsessed and the other has no interest in the fashion industry. I found these two contrasting voices so enjoyable to read, since both candidates for the scholarship have such different motives. This book does an excellent job of demonstrating the fashion design process, and even contains some amazing drawings!One of my issues with this book is the way the main characters acted. First of all, there’s Charlie. She honestly sounded more like an old woman than a teenager to me, and I just couldn’t relate to her. John was better, but his character really bothered me. I get that the scholarship is his only shot at getting into his dream school, but I didn’t like the way he posed as a fashion student. I would have been fine with it if he did all the fashion work himself, but he actually gets someone else to help him out. His dishonesty annoyed me, and I found it hard to root for him.Another aspect of this story that I didn’t enjoy so much is the way it’s written. Charlie is trying hard to learn French since it is the language that her favourite designers speak, so she throws some French vocabulary into her sentences. I found this to be fun and quirky at first, but after a while, seeing French words in every other sentence got distracting and annoying. Also, when Charlie is writing in her journal, she often refers to herself in the third person. This confused me for a while, since she kept switching from first to third person.The Fashion Committee is a book about a high-stakes fashion competition that I wish I could have loved. The main characters annoyed me, and the constant French vocabulary thrown in got old. However, if you are really interested in fashion, you would enjoy this book.
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  • Karyn Silverman
    April 25, 2017
    A delight from start to finish. Trademark Juby -- all breezy and light sounding, full of dark depths, because life isn't all peaches and cream. Funny but mostly I teared up from heartbreak - there's a lot here. Addiction and resilience, issues of culture and class, all tied up in sequins and lace and a real respect for fashion. Easter egg love - the school is the one from her last book, which I read last year (?). I love too that all my expectations were wrong - it's not a romance. John's girlfr A delight from start to finish. Trademark Juby -- all breezy and light sounding, full of dark depths, because life isn't all peaches and cream. Funny but mostly I teared up from heartbreak - there's a lot here. Addiction and resilience, issues of culture and class, all tied up in sequins and lace and a real respect for fashion. Easter egg love - the school is the one from her last book, which I read last year (?). I love too that all my expectations were wrong - it's not a romance. John's girlfriend is not a terrible person. There were several moment where I thought I knew what would happen, because tropes, and I was wrong every time. Magnifique!The cover, however, should be taken out at dawn and shot. It is 100% terrible (in a French accent, a la Charlie Dean) and does the book 0 favors. Awful. Someone failed to understand either this book or the ideal audience.
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  • Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
    May 21, 2017
    4.5 Stars. This was a bright shining star of a surprise!! I wasn't expecting to love it so much, but the characters in this book crawled into my heart. The only thing I was meh about was the ending. I guess I was looking for that HEA since this felt like such a fairy tale.
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  • Lynn
    May 18, 2017
    Outstanding! Juby's strengths are character, voice and the ability to turn the expected on its head and those elements are here in force. Two gifted artistic teens enter a scholarship competition for a place at a private school. In their required diaries, both record their artistic journey while revealing so much more about themselves, their lives and their discoveries. Juby has a sharp observant eye for the foibles of teens and culture that always makes me laugh but her true skill is gifting re Outstanding! Juby's strengths are character, voice and the ability to turn the expected on its head and those elements are here in force. Two gifted artistic teens enter a scholarship competition for a place at a private school. In their required diaries, both record their artistic journey while revealing so much more about themselves, their lives and their discoveries. Juby has a sharp observant eye for the foibles of teens and culture that always makes me laugh but her true skill is gifting readers with a penetrating look at the vulnerable human heart within her characters. This novel is funny, moving, insightful, thought-provoking and completely entertaining!
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  • Melissa
    February 5, 2017
    I'm two for two with loving Susan Juby. Like The Truth Commission, this book takes a dishy, lighthearted concept and peoples it with characters facing some seriously hard shit in seriously believable ways. I thought Charlie Dean was going to be a fashionista bubblehead, but instead she's a goddamn survivor whose journey through some of the worst things life can throw at you is made bearable by her belief in the power of self-presentation. This book never looks down on its characters or on the wo I'm two for two with loving Susan Juby. Like The Truth Commission, this book takes a dishy, lighthearted concept and peoples it with characters facing some seriously hard shit in seriously believable ways. I thought Charlie Dean was going to be a fashionista bubblehead, but instead she's a goddamn survivor whose journey through some of the worst things life can throw at you is made bearable by her belief in the power of self-presentation. This book never looks down on its characters or on the world of fashion; instead it tells a deeply human, often funny, sometimes sad story that avoids cliches and ends up being genuinely inspiring, weirdly illuminating, and super entertaining.
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  • Jessica
    March 17, 2017
    Alert! Super-fun realistic YA! Teens with authentic, passionate hobbies! A delightful lack of a driving romantic plot line! Alert alert!
  • Catie
    March 19, 2017
    The Fashion Committee was a little tough to start, but definitely pulled through and had me unable to put it down at moments. Charlie Dean is a girl who solely loves fashion - it’s her escape. At the start of the novel, she comes off as a bit of an airhead, using exclamation marks and awkward french expressions - tres irritant! But when we get to take a look past the surface, we see Charlie is battling big problems at home - this gives the whole book substance, especially in the realistic way th The Fashion Committee was a little tough to start, but definitely pulled through and had me unable to put it down at moments. Charlie Dean is a girl who solely loves fashion - it’s her escape. At the start of the novel, she comes off as a bit of an airhead, using exclamation marks and awkward french expressions - tres irritant! But when we get to take a look past the surface, we see Charlie is battling big problems at home - this gives the whole book substance, especially in the realistic way that she faces it. This is something you don’t find often in YA. (For the record, I absolutely adore Charlie Dean ☺) John Thomas Smith is a boy who really wants to get into the arts college - so much that he’ll fake an interest in fashion to do it. While he is relatable in his flaws, unlike Charlie Dean, who is really unique, he’s kind of stereotypical. He cheats on his girlfriend for a girl who likes him for unknown reasons and is just really pretty. He justifies this later by explaining how Brenda was not the right girl for him, but it comes across rather forced. He does have some redeeming qualities, such as when he stands up for a young girl being bullied, but his willingness to cheat and general selfishness didn’t sit well with me.Some things I loved were: Charlie Dean!! I just love her character - and she is so, so strong. Some final moments were absolutely gripping - I simply couldn’t put the book down. I also loved the general lack of romance. For the majority novel, Charlie Dean is single, and doesn’t really lament the fact - which is totally awesome! This is so hard to find in YA literature. For once, romance isn’t a driving plot point :). Even when this romance does come at the end, it’s so natural that you can’t question it. It’s also a lesbian relationship, which brings some nice representation. However, some things about the plot line didn’t quite hang together. The most jarring thing for me was the premise - the characters are writing ‘fashion journals’ which will be submitted at the end of the competition. Charlie’s makes total sense, and looks like something that could actually be used. John’s however, opens with: “It seems pretty stupid that applicants have to keep a diary...what the hell.” For someone who has his heart set on getting into this school, this seems like a pretty sure-fire way of getting rejected. One other thing - Green Pastures is apparently the best art school in Canada (in the novel.) How, then, did John’s fairly, and I quote, “half-assed” application get selected to get to the next round?But, those aside, Fashion Committee was a fun YA read with a refreshing lack of romance and heavy subjects dealt with in realistic ways. Summary:Reread value: 7/10 - some parts that I could read over and over forever :)Unique points: 7/10 - while fairly cliched in the premise, unique execution especially with CharliePositive Examples: 7/10 - Charlie is really awesome, but JTS cheats, both romantically and academically, with little to no consequences.Diversity: 10/10 - First Nation, Muslim, and POC fashion designers, Charlie Dean is shown to be gay at the end but there isn’t a big deal made about itCharacter Believability: 9/10 - again, yay for charlie but JTS is the stereotypical hormonal teenage boy4 stars
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  • Summer
    May 26, 2017
    4.5 Stars. J’adore Charlie Dean!Chapters alternate between Charlie Dean and John, each desperate to win a prestigious art school scholarship, the problem for John is that it’s a fashion competition and he knows nothing about fashion, in fact he hates it, but if he can win, maybe he can transfer to metal sculpting, his true passion.While there were descriptions of John’s finished work, I would have liked to have seen some of the process that goes into making the sculptures, since I know next to n 4.5 Stars. J’adore Charlie Dean!Chapters alternate between Charlie Dean and John, each desperate to win a prestigious art school scholarship, the problem for John is that it’s a fashion competition and he knows nothing about fashion, in fact he hates it, but if he can win, maybe he can transfer to metal sculpting, his true passion.While there were descriptions of John’s finished work, I would have liked to have seen some of the process that goes into making the sculptures, since I know next to nothing about it, that might have been interesting. As far as his character, he wasn’t my favorite, but I liked how much he grew from the negative, angry person he was in the beginning even if his growing pains involved some unlikable actions, the lies piling up on him felt honest (if that makes sense) and he did have the occasional redemptive moment, particularly some sweet ones with his model. I loved Charlie Dean. She had this amusing Miss Piggy tendency to drop random French words and phrases into her thoughts and conversations. Her style was pretty unlike any other YA character, with a suit for every occasion and 1940’s hair. Her love of fashion shines through on every page, you truly feel her passion and as a reader it’s kind of infectious, you want to feel that excited over things in your own life. There was a moment in Charlie Dean’s story that felt like maybe it was a step too far, but I still so enjoyed my time with this character, especially when she’s dealt a rough hand (as the child of a drug addict that happens a lot to Charlie Dean), and the inspiring way she brushes off and forges ahead.I would have liked more illustrations and more than a passing glance at Charlie Dean’s love life, but other than that I thought this was a well-executed blend of serious social issues, humor, and endearingly flawed characters. I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • LouLou
    May 25, 2017
    Please see full review at http://www.compassbookratings.com/rev...Known for her contemporary fiction laced with humor, YA author Susan Juby continues her comedic streak in The Fashion Committee.Told in first person dual narrative through journal entries, teens Charlie Dean and John Thomas-Smith fill readers in on their quest to win a scholarship to an ultra-elite art school via a fashion competition. While Charlie truly has a passion for fashion, John despises everything the fashion world stands Please see full review at http://www.compassbookratings.com/rev...Known for her contemporary fiction laced with humor, YA author Susan Juby continues her comedic streak in The Fashion Committee.Told in first person dual narrative through journal entries, teens Charlie Dean and John Thomas-Smith fill readers in on their quest to win a scholarship to an ultra-elite art school via a fashion competition. While Charlie truly has a passion for fashion, John despises everything the fashion world stands for but is eager to attend the art school to further his welding skills. Charlie is fiercely optimistic despite her family circumstances while on the other hand, John is full of indignation towards pretty much everyone and everything. Although they differ in attitude, they are rather like two sides of the same coin, their voices being comparatively similar. With most of the narrative detailing how people look and what they are wearing, the depictions seem to drone on, thus decelerating the pace of the story, but as it is a novel all about fashion, some readers may savor the over-detail to style.It isn't all vogue with comedic banter; there are some grittier elements to this teenage tale (please see content review below). While most of the narrative is playful and geared towards a tween audience, because of the addition of more mature subjects, it may be more suitable for older teens.If you're a fan of Meg Cabot or the Shopaholic series by Sophia Kinsella, then you'll probably enjoy the writing style of Susan Juby. Review of an Advance Reader's Edition
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  • Jessie
    May 8, 2017
    I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.The two narrators have strong and very distinct voices. It took me a while to really appreciate those voices, Charlie's in particular, but she's really honest in her cheerfulness and optimism. (However, while I knew they were intentionally off, her French/Japanese never stopped making me cringe.) John I warmed up to more quickly.Favorite Charlie moments: talking Mischa through a panic attack, when Charlie thinks "Or maybe the dress woul I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.The two narrators have strong and very distinct voices. It took me a while to really appreciate those voices, Charlie's in particular, but she's really honest in her cheerfulness and optimism. (However, while I knew they were intentionally off, her French/Japanese never stopped making me cringe.) John I warmed up to more quickly.Favorite Charlie moments: talking Mischa through a panic attack, when Charlie thinks "Or maybe the dress would just sit in her closet and remind her she was special" and considers this a more than acceptable outcome, every time Charlie uses she/her pronouns for God.Favorite John moments: meeting Esther at Salad Stop, convincing Esther of how awesome she is and only stopping when he runs out of money for the swear jar, everything about trying to buy fabric, the conversation with Brian in the workshop.Also, a Charlie line that hit really hard: "I once attended a school near Red Deer that banned a book because one of the characters smoked pot and did acid. I remember worrying that if they knew how we lived, they'd ban me."Neither character's arc is particularly straightforward, but I really appreciated where they both went.There's one spot with the phrase "that girl/boy/fascinating mix of both," which felt a little odd/wrong to me.
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  • Desiree
    May 22, 2017
    I didn’t expect anything much for The Fashion Committee. But what can I say? J’adore! Because a story that I once thought will revolve around fashion and clothes are so much more than that. I got that impression because of the cover. I don’t think it fits the story no matter how cute it is. Anyway, it deals with deeper issues that some teens are going through. It is not your usual YA book so don’t expect any romance and cutesy scenario, it is not one of those. But that just adds to the appeal of I didn’t expect anything much for The Fashion Committee. But what can I say? J’adore! Because a story that I once thought will revolve around fashion and clothes are so much more than that. I got that impression because of the cover. I don’t think it fits the story no matter how cute it is. Anyway, it deals with deeper issues that some teens are going through. It is not your usual YA book so don’t expect any romance and cutesy scenario, it is not one of those. But that just adds to the appeal of the story. It is brave to deal with issues such as having a drug addict parents, domestic violence and even poverty. It is an awesome read and I will sure be checking out other Susan Juby books. The characters are fun, and so is the plot. It is also well-written and unexpected in a lot of ways that you don’t mind if it’s not what you’ve imagined. An empowering and feel-good read that is perfect for people who loves fashion. Contemporary YA readers will surely enjoy it, as well as relate to it.Read the full review on my blog https://desrandomthoughts.blog/2017/0...Thank you!
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  • Eve
    May 6, 2017
    Charlie Dean is a fashion obsessed teen as taught by her mum when she was younger but now, with the opportunity to win a scholarship to a prestigious private art school which would be Charlie's dream come true!However, as always there's competition in the form of John, a sculptor who's going against Charlie for the place too.The book is told through diary entries made by both as per the rules of thew competition, they have to keep a record of their lives, design ideas etc until the big final fas Charlie Dean is a fashion obsessed teen as taught by her mum when she was younger but now, with the opportunity to win a scholarship to a prestigious private art school which would be Charlie's dream come true!However, as always there's competition in the form of John, a sculptor who's going against Charlie for the place too.The book is told through diary entries made by both as per the rules of thew competition, they have to keep a record of their lives, design ideas etc until the big final fashion show.The book was light hearted and fun, but also both Charlie and John had tough issues in their lives to deal with, drug addict or imprisoned parents for example. They also used disadvantaged models to make them feel special and have fun through tough life times. If you loved Sophia Bennett's Threads series, this is for you!Thank you to the publishers for allowing me a copy to review!
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  • Rebecca
    May 28, 2017
    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. A nice mix of lightheartedness with serious issues told in journal format. I found Charlie's voice somewhat inauthentic at times (the French and Japanese insertions were quite annoying), but I still enjoyed following the two main characters as they competed for a scholarship to attend a prestigious arts school.
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  • Andi (Andi's ABCs)
    May 24, 2017
    I wanted so much of this to just be better. I admit that I struggled because there wasn't really a romance in this story and I love a good romance. I also didn't like the random French and Charlie Dean talking in third person. But the end was super weird. But all that aside I did find the competition fascinating. It was really cool to see two people coming at it from different passions and agendas. That is what kept me interested.
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  • Marie
    May 11, 2017
    The Fashion Committee was a fun, realistic young adult book, tackling interesting issues I did not expect in a book I first only thought of as a very light read. Each of the characters' voices felt authentic and unique and we could clearly see Charlie's passion driving her forward, which I really enjoyed. I have to admit I kind of had a hard time connecting to the characters, which probably prevented me from loving this book as much as I could have.Full review coming closer to pub. date :)
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  • Shotobhisha
    May 17, 2017
    Mixed feelings about this. I liked how it tackled heavy issues very realistically and different to how they are in other books. It's written very well, with both main characters having distinct voices. The story was very real and interesting but I couldn't connect with the characters so it didn't impact me as much as it could have.
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  • Nat
    May 13, 2017
    ***This book was given to me by the publisher for an honest review***I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story, told in dual narrative. Review to be posted soon.
  • Tash
    March 20, 2017
    not only does this book look really good, it comes out on my son's 4th birthday!! =]
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