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Secrets of the Model Dorm Hardcover – January 2, 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Everything that could be expected in a novel about aspiring models is present: casual sex, drug usage, club hopping, backstabbing, and though Kerlin, an ex-model, and Oh, a DJ and music consultant, are familiar with the lifestyle, they manage to make it a chore to read about. Heather Johnston, newly arrived to Manhattan from the modeling minor league in Miami, is determined to prove to herself and her doubting family that she can succeed as a model. The agency that represents her provides her with the use of a downtown apartment, which she shares with a handful of other aspiring models, including Svetlana, a calculating Russian possessed of a dubious grasp of English. While out one night, Heather meets a dashing French nightclub owner, Robert du Croix, who shows unusual interest in Heather as a person, not merely a body. Svetlana, though, is obsessed with Robert as well. Something akin to drama ensues, but even the frisson of titillation that should accompany a book about desperate models is lost to flat prose and crude stabs at character development. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Anyone attracted to the glamour of modeling will do a double take upon reading former model Kerlin and Oh's fictional expose of New York's fashion world. Heather Johnston leaves Miami for New York City when she is accepted by the Agency, one of the hottest modeling firms in town. But she experiences a rude awakening when she finds herself housed in a dorm with several other models and forced to sleep in bunks that are too short for the tall girls and to contend with a messy place only one bothers to clean. Her roommates are a colorful bunch, however, including Svetlana, who is crazy for both men and cocaine; Laura, who is being driven crazy by the Agency's shoddy treatment; and Kylie, a friendly Australian who downs more Metamucil than food. Heather soon learns that being a young hopeful has its advantages when a handsome French nightclub owner begins to pursue her. Readers will be engrossed by this inside look at the lives of ingenue models. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; First Edition edition (January 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743298268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743298261
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,133,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Love it. In fact, I think I owe my sanity to this book - it's the perfect antidote to a week of wholesome holiday family fun. It's hardly going to win a Pulitzer, but if you're tired of the usual toothless chick-lit favorites ("Oh no! I'm unmarried and saddled with a wacky family/zany group of close friends! Will I ever meet that mystery man?") then you'll enjoy the glamour and the wicked humor. For a New Yorker and a loyal (secret) viewer of America's Next Top Model and Project Runway, Kerlin's book was a complete guilty pleasure.
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Format: Paperback
This book was very mediocre, but I read it until the end. You have the party girl gold digging eastern european who speaks in 3rd person and screws Russian mobsters, check. Black girl who was kicked out the dorm for being a baby mama and who could dance, check. Sweet as pie christian who has the favor of the lord on her and all good things happen, check. Playboy french charmer modelizer, check. Bitchy boss/agent with gay happy boy assistant, check. Meh!

The protagonist is nice enough, but very laissez faire about everything. She CLAIMS to want to be some big model but wants to do none of the work for it. Sure, she goes on some castings, but the girls spend like every single night partying and getting drunk, then refuse to ever workout yet expect to drop weight. They whine about the "lucky bitch" who DOES get up every morning to workout and ends up snagging a huge campaign, yet don't put 2 and 2 together that maybe they should also workout. She goes to the gym for half an hour ONE time the whole book, big whoop. Then wonders why she isn't working. NONE of the girls in that dorm are working, so I don't know if they should even be called models. Just party girls who want to bitch about everything.

The "love story" is weak at best. They go on 3 whole dates in 6 months, two of which he doesn't kiss her or anything, yet she's soooo wrapped up in him to the point that she won't date anyone else. You can tell that he's some slick talking suave playboy but she decides to take his side even when someone nice and helpful clearly has her best interests in mind and has done no wrong. Weak plotline with Row-Bear for sure.

I too hated the inconsistent accessories like other comments mentioned. One moment jimmy choos another louboutins, get it together!
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Format: Hardcover
I finished this book only because I paid $30 for it. I read a lot, and considering that, this is one of the worst books I've ever read. At times it was painful - I was constantly cringing and looking away with my eyes closed.

The reasons for this are:

1. Cliche. This book is one big cliche - the most unoriginal metaphors and similies I have ever come across. Awful.

2. Language - I suppose it's supposed to be written as the author speaks or thinks, but it doesn't work - it screams unoriginality. Chick lit does not have to be this banal. One of the worst examples is this: Heather is casually dating a French man named Robert - when they finally kiss it is described in this way: "I swore I felt an electric charge pass between us. I pulled in a quick breath and let him hold me close, as we even - yes, I'm sure you're wondering - Frenched a little bit. It was, well, wonderful." Revolting. How was this book published?

3. Predictable. Stereotypical.

4. Bad editing - the main character would be wearing one brand of shoes to an event, and on the next page she would be wearing a different kind.

Despite all this, it's like a car accident (I had to add in a cliche to fit the book) - it's awful but you don't want to look away.
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Format: Paperback
There are days when I enjoy getting absorbed entirely into the wonderful worlds created in fantasy or sci-fi novels; and then there are the days when I look forward to something that's a little more girly and easy to read. I had one of those days when I read this particular novel so it suited my needs at that moment in time.

The book is written by a former model, Amanda Kerlin, so you can be assured that there is some semblance of reality in the interesting portrait she paints for us throughout the story. I duly applaud the time and effort she took to write this book, which is basically just her story with occasional bits of fabrication here and there, I'm sure.

What I liked about it was that it was rife with the glamorous parts of being a model (getting to shoot important campaigns, rubbing elbows with famous people, easy entrances into a lot of places), as well as being populated with an interesting variety of characters. It's also a major plus for me that the whole story was set in New York City, where I currently work and play.

It's also nice how Amanda takes the rose-colored glasses off when it comes to the world of modeling and shows us a seemingly real, grimmer portrait of the real life of a model. I say "seemingly" because although the situations in the book may be true, I can't honestly say what goes on in a model dorm in the real world. This seems to be a pretty accurate account though, so it was also interesting for me to see that.

I finished this the same day I started it because it was just such an easy read. Though enjoyable and demonstrating an interesting, decisive perspective into the world of modeling, I found that this book was just average for me.
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