OMG. Amina Akhtar‘s debut novel, #fashionvictim, was like totally my Book of the Month pick for September. I like totally can’t write like that anymore. The fact that Amina Akhtar did it for 268 pages is downright impressive.
I CANNOT listen to people who talk like that. It like totally makes me want to rip my own hair out of my own head. I am not in fashion nor do I have any frame of reference for fashion. Amina Akhtar, however, has plenty of real-life fashion experience so I will just assume that this dialogue pattern is appropriate for the environment she’s describing. Still hate it though.
The language barrier did nothing to help me connect with the characters. A majority of them being shallow, mean, and vapid didn’t endear me to them either. Its all fad diets, parties, lip gloss, and shoes. And oh dear God the acronyms. I was nearly omg-ed to death. If I had a dollar for every time I read the word chic I could buy me a pair of Valentino Rockstud pumps.
Anya St. Clair is the central character. And fortunately for me (and probably you), she is bat-ish crazy. #fashionvictim is written entirely from Anya’s perspective. The upside to that is crazy or not Anya does not speak in incessant acronym strings. The downside is Anya also ends up being the only truly developed character. All of the women around her end up feeling like fashion caricatures.
Anya is a self-made New York City fashion editor at La Vie. Her questionable background and mental stability make for a whole world of fashion trouble. A longtime obsession with her co-worker Sarah Taft turns murderous as they battle for the top spot at La Vie. Sarah is a walking talking valley girl stereotype. She’s thin, blond, rich, beautiful, well dressed, well glossed, and is fluent in diet and acronyms. Anya is none of those things. Honestly, if Sarah had been the main character I probably wouldn’t have finished this book.
Anya got me through it with her dark imaginings and her even darker actions. Anya tries her best to fit in the fashion world (despite her obvious disdain for it) and the fashion world does its best at telling her she doesn’t belong. Her coping mechanisms aren’t the healthiest and I’m pretty sure she needs a new shrink.
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I’m a SAHM. I homeschool four kids and we all live on my husband’s salary. It’s a good salary but its safe to assume that I’m not out here buying Manolos.
My idea of getting jazzy are as follows:
1. Wearing a cute dress with some pumps. (Usually to church)
2. Wearing a cute top with skinny jeans and wedges. (Jeans may or may not have rips in them)
3. Mascara and lipstick (Red lipstick is the jazziest)
4. Patterned yoga pants
5. Graphic Tees
A solid 75% of my wardrobe is just different shades of black.
Wardrobe color is about the only thing me and Anya have in common for the record. Well, that and a dark imagination. Anyway, my point is just that outside of an occasional Coach purse and sneakers for my boys I’m not a big brand kind of girl. The few ‘big’ brand name items I own were actually all gifts. The *only* thing I require to be expensive is my perfume. I’ll pay $100 for good perfume but I would never spend that on a purse or shoes.
The world Amina Akhtar presented in #fashionvictim was foreign to me. I spent a ridiculous amount of time googling different shoes and clothing items so that I could fully experience her work. It was very interesting to see some of the things considered high fashion. Let’s just say I won’t be running out to buy Marc Jacob’s backward heels any time soon.
#fashionvictim moves at breakneck speed. By page 23 you have your first dead body and the heads just keep rolling from there. With only 268 pages of actual story, #fashionvictim is a quick read made quicker by the desire to see what in the world Anya is going to do next. The story was predictable but entertaining. If you are into unstable narrators you will enjoy #fashionvictim. If you speak fluent acronym or enjoy the chicer side of life you should just click the link and order your copy now.