October 30, 2019

#BookReview: A Dress for the Wicked by Autumn Krause @HarperTeen

Synopsis: Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. 

And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.

But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.

As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. 

But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost? 

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About the Author: Autumn Krause was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She attended Biola University for her undergrad and worked as a wedding gown stylist at an upscale bridal salon in Beverly Hills while getting her MFA in creative writing for children and young adults. She lives in Orange County, California, with her husband and daughter. She can be found online at www.autumnkrause.com.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: When I started this one I wasn't sure if it was going to be a historical or contemporary or what I was really getting into.   I grabbed this one as a title to read for Year of Epic Reads Read a Book with a Dress on the Cover.  But, I am so glad that I did!  This was a gorgeous story about a girl that just wanted to design clothing for people to fall in love with.  And it really reminded me of how the world of fashion might have been happening until the world of the runway happened.   

The story opened much like the Selection did and that worked out really well.  This one kind of reminded me of the Selection series just a tad with how things unfolded.  Although it one girl trying to win a spot as an apprentice instead of one girl trying to win a crown.  I really loved how all the elements of this historical contemporary came together.   

Emmy was such a fabulous characters and I loved her so much!! I would love to have a few novellas about the girls back stories leading up to each one being chosen for the Fashion House!  I fell in love with all the characters and would have loved to find out who won the competition as well as where everyone ended up.  

Although this is a stand alone (as far as I know) I think it could become a series pretty easily.  We don't get any kind of wrap up at the end. Which was my only issue with this one.  I would have liked an epilogue where we found out down the road where everyone was at. 

The writing was pretty easy to follow and its a very fast read.  When I started it I just kept reading and then all of a sudden I was past 150 pages in no time.  I would love to learn more about this world Emmy is in.  We don't really get to learn much of the larger world around her.  Such as mermaids are mentioned but we never learn if its a joke or do they really exist in this world.  I would love a follow up title where Emmy and Sophia goes on some kind of world tour with their creations. And maybe they get to design for the mermaid queen if these beings are really alive in this world! 

“Set in an alternate Victorian London–like past, this blends competition and cooperation for compelling drama. A unique debut with plenty of flair.” (Booklist)

“Krause deftly handles the oft-belittled personal and political power of clothing, and fans of couture and fabulous fashion will enjoy the extravagant clothing and glamorous world that Emmy is determined to enter.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“No one expects Emmaline, a girl from the country, will have anything to offer. Forced to adapt to a ruthless environment, Emmaline will surprise them — and surprise herself, too. If you binge Project Runway and gobble down YA dystopias, then A Dress For the Wicked is for you.” (Refinery 29)

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