Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos [ARC]

Pre-teens who are creative are tapped to go immediately into the workforce while those who are not are listed as “adequate” and continue their schooling to become teachers, doctors, and journalists. In this world fashion is everything and any given article of clothing could be in one week but out the next. The same holds true for people.
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Finally a Netgalley ARC that I enjoyed! I was starting to feel guilty for giving bad review after bad review, but I genuinely liked this book. Think Brave New World mixed with the Lego Movie set in the fashion industry and you have this book. That may not sound appealing, but it surprisingly works. I just finished this book today, but since it’s Earth Day, I wanted to get this review up as soon as possible. A big theme throughout is how wasteful this society is (and it’s obvious that the author thinks our current society isn’t too far off). Some of the characters try to start an “eco-chic” movement and at the back of the book there are some sources for being eco-friendly. Thus why I wanted to publish this post on Earth Day.

Okay, but onto the analysis. I liked that the chapters alternated between the characters Ivy and Marla. Ivy is a teen pop idol while Marla is working at one of the Big 5 Fashion Houses. It lets the reader see two separate angles of how the society operates. In addition, it was interesting that the author chose separate points of view for the characters. Marla’s chapters are written in first person while Ivy’s are written in third person. Not an obvious thing, but I thought it was interesting that the author chose to write that way. I also liked that Marla’s main group had a unique dynamic. They were united in a cause, but that was the only thing uniting them. They didn’t agree 100% on what their purpose was and they all had different degrees of investment in the group–if that makes sense. Lastly, a lot of times in these dystopian type books, teenagers form a revolution but it seems a little implausible that they would have as much power as they seem to have. It’s like…after hundreds of years in their society, all of the sudden these teenagers are special enough to take on the adults who are clearly running things and have everything under control. What gives them the power or the right to do that? Well, in this book teenagers legitimately have the power in society. So it’s more plausible when they stage a revolution against some of the more powerful adults.

A couple things I didn’t care for. First, I didn’t feel like any of the characters were that developed. As a group they had depth, but on an individual level I felt like they were lacking. But maybe they’re supposed to be portrayed that way because of the society they grew up in? Marla especially was an issue for me. I liked her, but she felt really naive. Even when she met the other drafters and *small spoiler* joined their cause, she seemed kind of clueless the whole time. I wasn’t 100% convinced that she thought the strike was a good idea or that she even knew what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing. Just a small thing.

The ending was great. Not necessarily a happy one, but realistic in my opinion. Make sure to pre-order yourself a copy before it comes out May 5th. Amazon link HERE.

Overall Rating: 4
Violence: Mild
Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Heavy. Characters repeatedly take an illegal “drug” called Placidophilus (P Pills).

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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