I’ve been eyeing this lovely book since it was revealed it would be a YA version of Sabrina that takes place in my home state and in the city of Miami, specifically.  When the cover was revealed, I knew I was most definitely going to read this novel.

From the book flap:

If anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they’d think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn’t know that all the plans she’s made for them are just dreams, and that she’s the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family.

When Amelia’s abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can’t imagine leaving Miami–and Ethan–for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. She meets people her own age who can actually carry on a conversation about stitching and design. Her pin boards become less about prom with Ethan and more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan’s awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app.

As Liam and Amelia get closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all . . . even though he has a reality TV star girlfriend he conveniently keeps forgetting about. The “new and improved” Amelia soon finds herself in between two brothers, a whole lot of drama, and choice she never dreamed she’d have to make.

Overall: 

I don’t usually read contemporary YA.  I feel like if I’m going to escape from life with a book, I need an escape from the everyday.  I tend to lean to fantasy and science fiction or historical fiction to do so.  However, Alterations incorporated one of my favorite topics, fashion, so I just HAD to pick it up.

And I wasn’t disappointed!  Amelia’s fashion design skills weren’t just on the sewing table.  She deftly utilized modern-day technology, such as apps like Instagram, to build a large following and make herself a taste maker in the fashion industry.  Pretty savvy for a girl who should only be focused on being hopelessly in love with a boy who never seems to notice her.  I liked that Amelia was stronger and a more feminist than Sabrina was in the movies.

Amelia travels to NYC to participate in a summer fashion camp and the many, many parallels to Project Runway begin.  There is sewing, learning and, of course, DRAMA.  Much of it is caused by Amelia herself, who needs to gain her strength to deal with the circumstances of her life.  I found myself yelling at her a lot, especially “GET IT TOGETHER, AMELIA!!”

Overall, I can see a film company like Disney or Freeform buying the rights to turn this book into a perfect movie for teen girls.  There is drama, fashion, overcoming the odds, technology, empowerment, KISSING.  Basically, this book contains everything you need to come out of it feeling positive and good about taking a chance in life.

Judge a Book by its Cover:  A whimsical tie-in to Amelia’s fashionista ways and her trip to the Big Apple. This cover is just adorable!

Body Count:  While the book takes place in Miami, this is not Scarface.

Bizarre Love Triangle:  The brothers Laurenti were Amelia’s seeming two choices for love.  Ethan just never escaped this smarmy aura that surrounded him from his first appearance on the page.  Since this story is told from Amelia’s perspective, I was never sure if Liam was as much of a dud because the story was told from her perspective and she didn’t seem to pay much attention to him or if he was actually a wet blanket (sorry team Liam!).  If you’ve never seen the original Sabrina movie, I urge you to watch it and see how much cuteness potential there is for both the love interests.  Stephanie Scott captures this struggle perfectly.

Open tab/Last call: I will wear my best vintage dress and have a cafe con leche waiting at La Carreta (the original location) for Stephanie.

cafe-con-leche

~Carmen

Alterations by Stephanie Scott, Bloomsbury Spark, ebook, December 6, 2016

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