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Modelland Hardcover – September 13, 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tyra Banks on Modelland

From the moment the idea for Modelland came to me while driving down the FDR to the second my editor said, "Pencils down, Tyra," five long years passed, but Modelland finally made its way into the world. Once the novel hit the shelves, I began smizing from ear to ear and then embarked on a five-city tour to bring Modelland to my fam. (I call them fams not fans because they are family to me!) In between Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, and New York, I found one common theme between everyone that came to see me. In every city, young girls shared fears and questions on how to accept their appearances and how to deal with bullies who make self-love that much harder.

When I was in elementary school, I was the mean girl; I was the bully. Then I turned 11, grew 3 inches, lost 30 pounds in three months, and suddenly found that I was the one being bullied. Perhaps this action was deserved? I got the chance to see how I made other girls feel when I was the leader of the mean pack. Nevertheless, I’ve seen both spectrums and want children and adults all over to realize that bullying is not ok.

On my book tour, I realized that Modelland would allow me to continue to reach young girls and push society’s idea of beautiful, just like America’s Next Top Model. Anyone who’s watched the show knows that I am passionate about atypical beauties, and Modelland is continuing that idea.

The campy, fun, and adventurous world of Tookie De La Crème and Modelland works to share the message of celebrating individuality and unique beauty by transporting readers to my wacky, neon magical world of fantasy, sprinkled with glimpses of my personal life, experiences, and a larger message of beauty and acceptance.

While I dreamt up Tookie, I put many of my own traits into her personality and appearance--from her forehead that goes on and on and on to her insecurity to the fact that she started modeling at 15. More importantly, I created Tookie to relate to everyone and serve as a platform for discussion regarding the fact that beauty should not be defined by clothing size, hair color, or body shape. I want my readers to connect with Tookie and her friends in Modelland--Shiraz, Dylan, and Piper--because they are different, because they are unique, and because they represent YOU.

So now I give Modelland to you and encourage you to not only enter the thrilling world, but connect with Tookie and her journey while expanding your own definition of beauty.


"The combination of absurdity, social commentary, and familiar tropes makes it an enjoyable guilty pleasure."
- Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Modelland
  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038574059X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385740593
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book absolutely blew me away--and I don't mean that in a good way. Oh, do I not mean that in a good way.

Let me be clear on something first; I have been an avid reader ever since I learned how to read. I read constantly--I'd say on average a couple of books a week, unless I'm working on something of truly epic length. I will give pretty much anything a try, from non-fiction to just about any genre of fiction that exists, which unfortunately means that I have stumbled across a few books truly mind-bending in just how heinously eye-gouging they are.

With that being said, I am pretty certain this is literally the worst book I have ever read. Now, to be clear, I went into this assuming it was going to be bad--actually, I went into this assuming it was going to be very, very bad. I thought it would be good for a few laughs, a couple of eye rolls, a snark here and there...and then I began actually reading it, and I discovered that, like a protagonist in one of the Anaconda movies who has just discovered there is a giant man-eating snake with the persistence of an entire special ops unit after them, I needed to get the hell out, NOW.

And yet I did not. I kept reading, because I genuinely could not believe my eyes--what kind of ADULT writes like this? I understand this is a YA novel, but there are plenty of well-written YA novels out in this great wide world, so I hardly consider that an excuse. I really do not know where to begin with this review. From ridiculous names (yes this is a fantasy novel, but please--Tookie? Creamy? Bravo? Zarpessa? Theowhateverthehellhisnamewas Lovelaces?
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Take the first Harry Potter book and mash it together with some cheesy romance and prose comparable to Stephanie Meyer. That's "Modelland." I'd expected a short book, but it's over 500 pages long, and is the first of a trilogy. I cannot get over how amateurish the cover looks. It looks worse than many self-published novels I've seen. And judging by the clunky text, I'd almost mistake it for one.

The first think I noticed about the novel were the questionable name choices for the characters. Tookie De La Creme; her sister, Myrracle De La Creme; her mother, Creamy De La Creme. Zarpessa Zarionneaux. Ci~L, along with most of the people in Modelland. Whimsical names I can handle, but these are ridiculous (eye-roll inducing, actually). Only the minor characters seem to get normal-sounding names.

The book showcases everything that's wrong with popular culture today. It's a feminist's nightmare: an entire society of shallow girls/women who aspire to nothing beyond beauty and the lure of Modelland. Where you're a Forgetta-Girl if you're perceived to be unattractive. Mothers prepare their children from before they're born for the Day of Discovery to be a famous Intoxibella, who gain superpowers through their training. And not being chosen makes the truly vain/obsessed "diseased" with an affliction worse than the Bubonic Plague. The internalized misogyny is staggering. So much for the strong girls Banks lauds in her intro. It's the wrong message to send teenage girls, to aspire to beauty before everything else (because even Tookie envies the Intoxibellas). Modelland itself is the single source of happiness for the entire world -- a sick, sad reflection of trends in society.

Stereotypes abound, as do bland one-dimensional characters.
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15 Comments 219 of 246 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tookie, according to the urban dictionary is an adjective used to describe a) a shotgun killing, in particular those of notorious Crips Gang founder, Stanley 'Tookie' Williams, and b) a female sex organ.

After having read this book, I think I can safely say that Ms. Banks is not alluding to Stanley Williams, his innocence or guilt or gangsta culture in general as for the female sex organ, hmm, I'm still not entirely sure.

Tookie de la Creme, the heroine of Modelland, wants to be a model, she also wants friends, a boyfriend and other stuff. In particular she wants to be an Intoxibella, think super models + the kind of power over life and death that Kim Jon Il has over the North Korean people. Somehow her life's goal is meant to be not only normal, but admirable.

Now if you thought Modelland was just a book, think again, it has it's own language, watch out J.R.R. Tolkien, you thought you were so clever putting your years of linguistics training to use creating a language of the elves, Modelland's vocab is totally Sm-ize (that's a term for a ridiculously coveted object of power). Here, I will use it in a sentence, 'my new headband is Sm-ize.'

One big barrier for Tookie's goal to be a model; she's ugly and a Forgetta-Girl (another prime example of this book's kickin' made up language!). The story abounds with descriptions of her freakishly ugly appearance, giant feet, a punch bowl sized head, frizzy hair, I could go on and on but I won't.

Oh, also, no one can see her. Seriously folks, Tookie tumbles down a flight of stairs, is so badly injured that she lies on the ground for hours and crowds of people walk around her, parting like waves around a rock and she is completely invisible (cue the spooky music).
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