Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Time-Traveling Fashionista, Book 2 - At the Palace of Marie Antoinette

Bianca Turetsky's second book in this series about 12-year old Louise Lambert's unique trips in time holds up just about as well as the first one.  I picked up the three books in this series because it was a unique twist on the time-travel story - - in this series, Louise gets sent back in time when she dons vintage clothes being sold by two mysterious women, Glenda and Marla, at their traveling vintage clothing store.  In the first book, Louise travels back in time and takes over the body of a woman on board the Titanic (a woman who turns out to be her very own ancestor!).  This book picks up a few weeks after that first fateful trip, as Louise is preparing herself for her best friend's big 13th birthday celebration.  This time, Louise tries on a dress from the 18th century and finds herself transported back in time to France and the palace of Marie Antionette.

What I find interesting is that the books are being sold in the young adult section, along with other teen series, such as the Maze Runner and Twilight and the like; yet, the books are written at a much younger reading level.  In fact, I would venture to say the reading level is pretty much on par with early Nancy Drew books.  I can't imagine too many teens enjoying a series about a 12-year old girl (although, I'm an adult reading the books, so who am I to say?).

While the first book focused more on Louise's trip to the Titanic, this second book spends less time in the past and gives the readers more of the angst in Louise's life.  Will she get to go on the school trip to Paris, now that her father lost his job?  Will the boy she has taking a liking to at school return her feelings?  Will she and her best friend drift apart now that one is a teenager and the other is not?  Can she figure out a way to keep her time-traveling fashionista status a secret from her best friend?  Who are Glenda and Marla?  Did she really travel in time, or was it all in her head?

Watching Louise deal with her problems certain opens the door for character growth, it greatly took away from the time she spend in the past.  The author seemed to rush through Louise's time in 18th century France, which had a world of possibilities to explore, especially when she meets another Time-Traveling Fashionista in the very same place and time!  The author had hinted in the first book there were more TTFs out there, now that Louise has met one, it confirms it.  That, if nothing else, truly opens the door for some interesting trips and events in future books (if any new ones come out after the third).

And yes, before I forget, there was a bit of a cliffhanger ending, when Louise stumbles upon something that gives her a clue as to why she has this "ability" to travel through time via vintage clothes.

Would I recommend this series?  Probably not.  They are okay reading, and if you are really into time-traveling and pre-teen angst, then yes, you might enjoy them.  Otherwise, they are just quick and easy reads.  Oh, and yes, they do have color internal illustrations that pretty much focus on the fashions, both of the clothes the girls wear, as well as the decor in the various places Louise visits.

RATING:  5 out of 10 vintage dresses for providing a new take on the time-travel tale and creating some likable, realistic characters.

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