The Time-Traveling Fashionista is a middlegrade/YA novel by first time author Bianca Turetsky.
Seventh-grader Louise Lambert has always felt a bit out of place in the 21st century. All of her favorite movies are black and white, and she's obsessed with the clothes of different eras - finding today's culture and fashion to be boring and without passion. In fact, Louise has become a little fashionista, reading up on vintage and taking her newfound knowledge to scavenge thrift stores for special outfits.
Except for her longtime best friend Brooke, Louise doesn't really have friends. They don't get her "weird" way of dressing. But she doesn't mind all that much, because she'd rather meet a James Dean or an Audrey Hepburn than all the kids at her school.
When Louise receives an invitation to a vintage fashion sale, she jumps at the opportunity. And once arriving, Louise is blown away the absolutely beautiful pink gown she finds. The two odd owners of the store encourage her to try it on, and the next thing she knows - well, she's on a cruise ship.
One hundred years ago.
The Time-Traveling Fashionista's Louise is definitely a flamboyant, passionate character that quickly educates we the readers on fashion. My initial impression of her was a loose one - and that didn't really change, which was disappointing. Because despite the novel being a fluffy read, I do like to connect to the characters and writing - otherwise it feels distant and cold.
However, some of the lines sprinkled throughout The Time-Traveling Fashionista were laugh out loud worthy and it did become increasingly fun. Yet, I must admit that I was frustrated with Louise. The amount of time it took for her to realize what ship she was on (I won't say in case you haven't guessed it yet, but I'd still be surprised if you didn't figure it out before Louise while you're reading) seemed inordinately long and made her appear a bit dim, since there was a mountain-load of clues, but maybe that believable. Maybe I'm being too tough on her.
But once she did finally realize her predicament, the sense of urgency did become more palpable - but still lacking in depth. There was a breezy element to The Time-Traveling Fashionista, though, that made it very easy and fast to read, and I can honestly say I was never bored. Perhaps this is a novel that would be better appreciated by a younger girl with a love of clothing. For me, it just didn't have the strongest plot - but there was one thing I did absolutely love about The Time-Traveling Fashionista:
The 25 full-color fashion illustrations! The drawings are gorgeous recreations of the stunning clothes worn by the era, and I truly wish I could wear almost all of them! They were always accurate representations of what was being described in the book, as well - which is always a plus. These illustrations were dreamy, and I might be moderately interested in the sequel to The Time-Traveling Fashionista if only for the curiosity of what period and style of clothes would be featured and drawn with such talent!
*I received a review copy of The Time-Traveling Fashionista from Hatchette Book Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.