- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
- Series: Threads
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Chicken House (January 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 054524241X
- ISBN-13: 978-0545242417
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,244,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings (Threads) Hardcover – January 1, 2011
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Praise for Sequins, Secrets and Silver Linings:
"A rags-to-riches tale... adopted by readers of all ages." -BritishVogue.com
"Promises to win the hearts of stylistas of all ages. Feel good and fashion-fabulous? That's a perfect prezzie right there." -MarieClaire.co.uk
"We suspect it will be finding its way into many a stylish handbag." -ElleUK.com
"Great fun. Girls will love it!" -Jacqueline Wilson, author of How to Survive Summer Camp
"Elegant and funny and has real narrative verve." -David Almond, author of Skellig
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Top customer reviews
At a blush Sequins, Secrets and Silver Linings looks to be a light, quick read packed with friends, fashion and fun. Ms. Bennett cheerfully gives us that. The charismatic cast engages in witty and quite funny conversations, particularly over Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream. Nonie is bold in her in improvised, innovative couture, while sweet Jenny tries to walk the red carpet walk as an emerging, yet sadly suited starlet. Edie grounds the trio, focusing on Harvard entrance and her exponentially growing blog.
With three teen girls centered in the story, of course we can expect boy crushes, hopes (realized and dashed) and heart-break. Admittedly consuming in real life, Ms. Bennett politely puts this in perspective reminding the readers that “looking for love” is truly only a very small part of life for these brilliant, talented young ladies.
The aforementioned alone, told in Ms. Bennett’s compelling, captivating tone, would make for a fantastic read, but that’s not how Ms. Bennett rolls. Rather, she shows the side of teens that is often overlooked. Crow, the ridiculously talented, young African girl designer is understandably complex and quiet. Her father forced her to flee the war zone to live with an aunt she barely knows.
Attention naturally shifts from somewhat trivial items to actual issues. The brutal rebel group, The Lord’s Resistance Army is still active and believed responsible for the kidnapping of Crow’s older brother Henry. As the friendship develops between Crow and three gal pals, horrors that were studied in History class become someone’s every-day life. Passionately livid and personally offended, as only a teen can be, Edie rallies her friends to help Crow compete in a coveted fashion-designing contest, simultaneously taking to her blog to raise funds for the Invisible Children and try to find out what became of Crow’s older brother.
Sequins, Secrets and Silver Linings was exactly what I needed. The fascinating fun and ever changing dynamics among teen girl friends was delightfully distracting. The sheer determination, righteous indignation and swift action taken by these young folks against the LRA helped center me with hope and inspiration, because Ms. Bennett never lets me down.
Three best friends Nonie, Edie and Jenny are doing very different things. Jenny starred in her her first movie, with Hollywood's sexist couple. Edie is always looking for a good cause to support. Nonie loves fashion and dreams of one day carry a famous person's coffee.
Nonie and Edie are doing their best to support Jenny, her movie is about to premiere. Edie is tutoring 11 yr old Crow a young Ugandan girl who is living with her aunt. Crow loves fashion as much as Nonie. Edie doesn't speak fashion, but she uses this connection to help Crow with her reading. Very early on its clear Crow has a great eye and was born to design. The friends do what they can to help make that happen.
Nonie is the narrator of this novel. (the first of three) I loved her voice. It was well drawn out and real, she does an excellent job of hold everything together. As the novel progressed Nonie grew, the same is true for Edie and Jenny.
Bennett's writing was smooth, fun and funny, with great dialogue. I will admit to getting a little choked up at the end. Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings is deceptively more layered then it looks. Everything fits seamlessly into the story. This is a must read for any readers of young adult who love fashion. Ages 11 up
What talent or passion makes some people seize onto childhood hobbies and turn them into lifelong careers? How do others let go of their childhood dreams and discover how to make themselves shine in other, unexpected ways? Those are just a couple of the questions Sophia Bennett explores in her debut, SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS.
At the center of the novel are three best friends, each of whom has already identified her own passions, more or less. Jenny is a statuesque redhead with real stage presence; her skills in the theater have landed her a part in a popular Hollywood film, but her body type --- which isn't helped out at all by her stylist's bad choices --- is getting her the wrong sort of attention in the gossip rags. Edie is the brains of the bunch, a high achiever with her sights set on Harvard or Oxford, and beyond that a career in politics. She has a popular blog, an impeccable GPA, and a dedication to global issues, even when her less idealistic friends question whether she can make a real difference in the world. And there's Nonie, whose lifelong passion is for fashion. She knows she'll never be a model like her mother was. She aches to be a designer, but is not sure she has the talent.
Nonie's doubts about her own skills are highlighted further when she meets Crow, a 12-year-old Ugandan immigrant who, by all accounts, seems to be the real deal. With little help and no budget, she has managed to design skirts and sweaters that clotheshorse Nonie snaps up eagerly. How far could Crow go if she can just be introduced to the right people, given the right materials? Nonie is determined to find out, even though her unspoken envy of Crow's talent sometimes makes things hard for her. And Edie is eager to help Crow, too, especially when she learns the younger girl's painful personal and national history. Meanwhile, there's Jenny, flitting around from red carpet to red carpet; she also wants to help Crow, even though she's in need of plenty of help herself.
Sophia Bennett's debut novel, the first in a projected trilogy about these three talented teens, will be devoured by the growing crop of young fashionistas and aspiring designers fueled by the popularity of shows like "Project Runway" and the expansion of media coverage of the fashion industry. Girls these days know their Dior from their Armani, and they'll eagerly drink up Nonie's vivid descriptions of designer couture as well as her own unconventional ensembles. They'll love the behind-the-scenes drama that goes into a runway show, and the descriptions of the creative process will have them running for their sketchpads and sewing machines.
Although SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS is a frothy, fashion-filled fantasy, the book is not just fluff or simply wish-fulfillment fodder for junior von Furstenbergs. As an author's note reminds readers, the focus on Crow's story is based on real-life tragedies, stories that may inspire political action as well as pattern making. And Nonie's story in particular, about discovering your true talents and real happiness only when you set aside stubborn childhood dreams, will speak to even more. "Less Fashion, More Compassion" is the theme of Crow's runway show; readers will love that Bennett provides both style and substance in equal measure.
--- Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Most recent customer reviews
Nonie loves fashion, but lacks the talent for design.Read more