Title: Bonjour Girl
Author: Isabelle Lafleche
Clementine leaves Paris, her school, and her past, to attend a Parsons fashion school in New York. She wants to leave behind an unpleasant experience with her famous mother and her, now ex-boyfriend.
Her desire is to succeed in the fashion world with a fashion blog about people who can be an inspiration in the fashion industry. In the new school, she immediately became friend with Jake, but also quickly realizes that competition in the fashion industry is severe. The atmosphere in the school is very competitive, and Clementine also gets “enemies” who would do everything to crush her in public. Luckily she has her friend Jake by her side. And Jonathan, fashion photographer, to whom she immediately falls crazy in love.
Book will be published on 25th August 2018. I got in on NetGalley for an honest review.
In the forefront of the story is the fashion industry and traps of it. Mostly bullying, especially on social media. Cyberbullying is currently a major problem among young people (and older ones), so I was interesting, how the author would deal with this topic in the book.
The story is very “modern” because it includes a lot of things that are currently popular. There are mentions of popular stars, events, songs, … There are also many references to social networks, Instagram and Twitter, which are currently the most powerful social media out there.
Nevertheless, I thought the story was very superficial. At the end of a reading, I had the feeling that the author tackled too many topics in the story, but she did not complete them. All story seems so faint, there are no concrete answers, and the story actually reminded me of self-care guides for well being and good manners. On the moments it felt like the story was written by some grandma for her granddaughter, who is supposed to act according to her guidance.
Even the romance, which could spice up the story, does not end up the best. Again, I had an impression that it was written for twelve years old girls, who would giggle while reading about kissing. But a relationship between Clementine and Jonathan soon feels odd for older readers. There is just no chemistry between them.
Clementine is a very dull character. She is boring, yet, she wants to work in the fashion world. She is very unconfident, but through the story, she begins to believe in herself more and becomes more self-confident, with a great help of “a book for a young ladies “(about how they should behave and react in different situations). Pretty absurd. And her idea about the blog… Such fashion enthusiast would have a blog for years already! There is nothing unique about having a fashion blog or fashion IG anymore. But she’s hiding her idea about it until her first post, which is a total success. Which, again, seemed extremely amazing to me. We all know, how much effort and work you have to put in every post and how many readers bloggers have at first.
So that the story is very flimsy, it can be seen during reading. The most obvious example of this is when Clementine invites Jonathan to a date and he rejects her because he’s busy because of his work at New York Fashion Week. Even I (and I don’t have a clue about fashion) know that this is one of the biggest events in the fashion industry and no real fan of fashion would forget when it is.
But I did enjoy between descriptions of all the eccentric clothing described by the author in details and all the locations Clementine visited with her friends and I believe are currently very popular on the scene.
I can say that this book was an average read. Nothing special. Perhaps the author should keep in mind for whom this book is intended. I got the impression that it is for readers in late teens (18-20) and she should consider that while writing. Certain things seemed to be included just that in the end, the story had a meaning (famous mother, relative/professor, …). The book is no surplus, but it is probably a reflection of the time in which any teenager who is a little interested in fashion would want to succeed quickly with a blog and visit all the fantastic hipster/trending sites in New York.
Rating: 2 stars