Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos is heralded as Divergent meets Project Runway, and for good reason.
Marla Klein is a 16-year-old girl at the top of the world. She’s a member of the Superior Court at one of the top five fashion houses, and she has the power to set the latest fashion trends with just a nod of her head. But when her choices start going against the grain, she ends up at the bottom of the food chain with no hope to regain her former position.
Ivy Wilde, on the other hand, lives a glamorous life as the biggest female pop star of her time. She sets trends by wearing a style just once and never has to worry about price tags. But behind the scenes, her life is dictated by everyone but herself. The gimmicks she has to endure to keep her name in the spotlight are beginning to rub her the wrong way.
When Marla and Ivy’s paths cross, something wonderful happens. Suddenly, they’re leading their own lives and making serious changes in society. But will society accept those changes? And will the people in charge of their lives allow them to continue their independent streak?
‘Material Girls’ book review
At first glance, Material Girls may seem like nothing more than what is on the surface — a book about fashion and pop culture. However, these two elements simply provide an avenue for the author to talk about larger topics, such as environmental conservation and the ethical treatment of workers.
We find characters all across the spectrum in Material Girls. Some of them are desperate to fit in, regardless of their working conditions. Staying fashionable is the most important thing in their life, and they will do anything to maintain their look. On the other hand, there are extremists who would like nothing more than seeing the industry meet its permanent end. In the middle, there are people like Marla who recognize the frailty of fashion trends, but don’t know what to do about it.
This book is certainly for fashion lovers. It explores the many different stages a garment goes through in order to make it from a drafter’s table and into your closet. While non-fashion lovers can still enjoy the story, they may get lost in some of the details.
The other side of the story shows an extreme view of a pop star’s life. With a whole image created for the sole purpose of attaining stardom, and a personality developed to match, we get a glimpse into the life of someone who has everything and yet nothing at all.
As with any dystopian story, this tale takes place in world not our own, but in one that may not be as far-fetched as we’d like to believe.