This is getting ridiculous. Modelland is now so overdue that I got a threatening letter from the library because I can’t bring myself to review it because it is So Dumb. And I always wonder about Tyra, whether she knows and is just having fun. Like, jumpsuits. Does she actually think they’re bangin’ or does she know she looks ridiculous and she’s still like, Fuck yeah jumpsuits?
I clearly can’t cajole myself into a coherent review. I do, however, have Thoughts. Brace yo’self.
(I suppose we should talk for a second about plot. Tookie de la Creme is a ‘hideous’ Forgett-a-girl with a high forehead and long limbs…no, that sounds too sexy. Skinny, bean-pole limbs. Basically, she is Tyra, who is always trying to convince you that she used to be uggs WE HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF TO THE CONTRARY TYRA YOU USED TO BE A MODEL. Anywert, she gets taken up into Modelland where young girls go to try to become
America’s Next Top Model an Intoxibella.)
I’ve watched enough Top Model to suspect that Ty-Ty wrote this herself, ghostwriterless. She is a hyperbolic hot mess. When everything is ‘the most delicious butter-pecan gelato you’ve ever tasted’ or ‘grander than every global holiday combined’ I stop listening. It’s like speaking in italicized all-caps all the time, and when you need to EMPHASIZE you have nowhere to go.
And your ‘dangerous Diabolical Divide always end[ing] in dismembering death’ or your girls who ‘deviated from dashing dress design decisions.’ YOU CANNOT RESIST THE ALLITERATION!
Anywert, all Tookie wants is for someone to notice her so she lies on the floor of her high school, ‘noticing’ apparently including accidentally stepping on her or dropping a book on her, neither of which is ‘noticing’ so much as it is ‘being inconvenienced or clumsy.’
The Intoxibellas appear to have Pokemon powers? Like, the first one has the power of Chameeleoné, which means she can change her hair color and body shape and whatlike, prompting one fine fellow to holler ‘If I had her, I’d have a different girl every night!…I could stop cheating!’ *pummels face with fists* And ok, Chameeleoné is a harmless (if shallow) power. But the other girls’ powers are along the lines of being able to make anyone want to sexxxor you, or never ageing past 30 (when she hits 29 she re-ups to 17 and starts over). These are super-valuable powers for humanity.
Ok, so here’s something Tyra doesn’t understand about alternate universes: you can’t just be like, This is different than the regular universe in this way. If Intoxibellas are the only famous people who exist in the world, you have to find some other way of conveying this new, myopic view of fame than just being like, The Intoxibellas! The ONLY FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO EXIST IN THE WORLD.
So now Tookie is in Modelland, and must survive THE CHALLENGES. Such as Thigh-High Boot Camp, where they endure make-over torture and learn such valuable lessons as Don’t share your make-up (you will get face-diseases) and Don’t buy knock-offs (you will make designers cry, and also your accessories will try to murder you) before being allowed into the eatery, where they are given a lazy nod towards the Perils of Not Eating (because Tyra has a social conscience).
Yet more evidence that Tookie = Tyra. A range of obelisks her mother thinks is ‘ugly-ass’ Tookie finds ‘architecturally interesting. Unique. A mystery.’ I can HEAR you talking about your appreciation for uncommon beauty, Tyra.
So, in Modelland, the bad models go to Catwalk Corridor, which pops up randomly, sort of like the Room of Requirement only instead of being full of awesome things it’s full of bitchy cats. OBVIOUSLY.
I don’t have world enough or time to get into Tookie’s weird, relentlessly self-deprecating relationship with Bravo (a Bestostero [what?] from the male model camp), except that their meet-cute and subsequent flirting was written by a nine-year-old, and that at one point when he’s brushing splinters off her face his thumb ends up in her mouth and STAYS THERE and they are both sort of like, How did this happen? And then I am like No really, HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Because that doesn’t happen.
While in Modelland Tookie makes friends with the other misfits, enemies with the pretty girl, allies of the staff, and I’m sure if there had been talking mice or dwarves or some other Disney shit she would have won them over with her constant talk about how ugly and forgettable she is. Even though boys check her out all the time oh and also she is in Modelland where only pretty girls go. She almost out-Bella-Swans Bella Swan.
She makes it to the final round of…something, and they’re watching the other competitors go at it (they have to charge at each other across a plank and then…touch hands? And not fall off? I don’t totally understand) except the girl currently competing cheats, and when she ‘was five feet in front of the boy, she grabbed Alexander and gave him a big, wet, sloppy kiss on the lips and pushed him off the plank.’ THAT GIRL HAS FIVE-FOOT-LONG ARMS AND ALSO LIPS. Now THAT is unconventional beauty, and probably she should get that checked out.
There are, besides the Intoxibella competition, like thirty plot lines I can’t be bothered to get into, since half of them are dropped anyways, but one of them is Tookie’s mother, who hates her and treats her like shit and then is accidentally STABBED at the end (!) and as she’s dying, ‘all the negativity [Tookie]’d felt about her mother was instantly replaced by a fervent, protective love.’ FERVENT! PROTECTIVE! And then her mother says something dismissive with her dying breath because that makes a point about something. I am confused by this novel.
In sum, it is awful. But exuberant! But legitimately bad, and kind of long. I imagine this is what watching Jersey Shore is like, where you just have to shut your brain off to the things that don’t make sense or that make you want to END YOURSELF, and just ride out the crazy.