From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this debut novel, the setting is a future world that is suspiciously like our own. The failing economy was supposedly reinvigorated by adding children to the workforce, and all of society is controlled by fashion trends. Told in alternating perspectives of Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde, this preposterous premise only gets more convoluted as the story progresses. Both teens were chosen in a ceremony to work in the all-powerful creative sector of society. Mara is a supreme-court judge for a fashion design firm and Ivy is a superstar singer living a manufactured life as a glorified spokes-model for the corporate "Silents." Following Marla's fall from favor at her company, and encouraged by her new coworkers in the "drafting" department, Marla and Ivy have a chance encounter at a fashion show that leads to a collaborative attempt to break the cycle of injustices that plague their society. The protagonists lack the charisma of dystopian heroines and the romantic triangle that emerges among Marla, Ivy, and their mutual friend, Felix, feels formulaic and lacks tension. The climax and conclusion are muddled by too many competing plotlines. Perhaps the most puzzling aspect is that in this world that is so focused on the novelty of fashion trends, no actual new ideas appear—Disco, Bohemian, and even 'Eco-Chic' are all old news to any reader with a genuine interest in fashion. VERDICT Only for die-hard dystopian fans who have read everything else in the genre.—Tara Kron, formerly at School Library Journal
"Through its likable characters, sly humor, and smart, fast-moving plot, this entertaining debut raises serious questions about the costs of disposable fashion and pursuit of celebrity, asking readers to ponder who's driving the bus. Sly, subversive fun."
"Consumerism and fashion trends strike at the heart of this novel...Material Girls might make teens take a look at their wardrobe, but more importantly, they might reconsider their consumer footprint."
"A book that should make kids think about many things, especially how the culture tries to manipulate them."
“Project Runway, step aside. Material Girls is a captivating and fast-paced ride where teens control the economy by deciding what’s in and what’s out. Or maybe they just think they do.”
—Joelle Charbonneau, New York Times best-selling author of The Testing trilogy