April 23, 2011

Behind the Scenes • Secrets of the Model Dorm

Secrets of the Model Dorm book cover
Secrets of the Model Dorm by Amanda Kerlin (and Phil Oh)
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: January 2, 2007
Source/Format: Borrowed (Thanks Jaymee!) || Hardcover

Eighteen-year-old Heather Johnston knows she has been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when she is signed by a premiere New York modeling agency. She leaves her small Virginia hometown dreaming of Vogue spreads and a luxurious loft with a glorious view. Arriving in Manhattan, she is instead given the key to a one-bedroom apartment furnished with bunk beds and IKEA floor samples. While this world is fast-paced and fun, Heather questions whether modeling is the fairy-tale she imagined it to be. When she gets a part-time job at a prestigious gallery and discovers a passion for art, she starts to reconsider her future. Is she ready to say good-bye to her dreams of wealth and celebrity and follow a different path?

There are days when I enjoy getting absorbed entirely into the wonderful worlds created in fantasy or sci-fi novels; and then there are the days when I look forward to something that's a little more girly and easy to read. I had one of those days when I read Secrets of the Model Dorm so it suited my needs at that moment in time.

The book is written by a former model, Amanda Kerlin, so you can be assured that there is some semblance of reality in the interesting portrait she paints for us throughout the story. I duly applaud the time and effort she took to write this book, which is basically just her story with occasional bits of fabrication here and there, I'm sure.

What I liked about it was that it was rife with the glamorous parts of being a model (getting to shoot important campaigns, rubbing elbows with famous people, easy entrances into a lot of places), as well as being populated with an interesting variety of characters. It's also a major plus for me that the whole story was set in New York City, where I currently work and play.

It's also nice how Amanda takes the rose-colored glasses off when it comes to the world of modeling and shows us a seemingly real, grimmer portrait of the real life of a model. I say "seemingly" because although the situations in the book may be true, I can't honestly say what goes on in a model dorm in the real world. This seems to be a pretty accurate account though, so it was also interesting for me to see that.

I finished this the same day I started it because it was just such an easy read. Though enjoyable and demonstrating an interesting, decisive perspective into the world of modeling, I found that Secrets of the Model Dorm was just average for me.


  1. OMG!!!!Firstly this is such a wonderful blog. Secondly I love this review so much that I'm going to cut right through all the books in my TBR pile and read this next.Thanks so much for stopping by earlier and following me.New follower.Love the fact that I'm one of your first 5 followers.

    1. Hi Mia! Thanks for the follow. I'm so glad that my review convinced you to pick this book up. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, as it gave a pretty interesting insight into the modeling world.


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