Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Pride by Lauren Hammond

Title: Pride: 
Author: Lauren Hammond 
Genre: Young Adult 
Publisher:  S.B. Addison Books
Number of Pages: E-Book 
Source: Sent to me by the author

Pride is one of those books that just sneaks up on you with how great it really is. I had this read in one sitting, and couldn't believe how into the story I got. It's a captivating & gripping story that made the pages just fly by.

The first half of Pride begins with Angela being your typical teenager. She feels out of place at her high school because it's a private school and she and her sister are  the only ones there who isn't super rich. She only has one really good friend, but other then that hates school and resents the fact that her parents have to work 2 jobs to send her and her sister there. Angela feels embarrassed by her family and hates that she feels that way.  Things change for her and her family when she and her mom are out shopping one day and are stopped by Olivia Lennox, a modeling agent who thinks Angela could be a great model.

Angela and her mom are stunned, and the family debates on if they should let Angela go for it or not. Eventually they decide to let Angela become a client of the modeling agent. In the beginning things aren't too different-sure she goes on photo shoots, but her home life is the same and she still has school work to do. However, out of the blue Angela becomes the next big thing. Before she knows it, everyone is catering to her every need. She spends hours looking in the mirror at herself. Angela just can't believe how famous and rich she is. She loves every minute of being famous. 

One of the best parts of the book for me were the changes that Angela goes through from becoming a normal high schooler to a model. She becomes a cringe-worthy heroine-and I loved that about this book. Angela doesn't understand why everyone suddenly is acting weird toward her-she puts it down to jealously, not her behavior. She's awful to everyone-former classmates, her younger sister, parents, agent-no one is safe from her.  When a rival is mean to her at a runway show, Angela decides to get even with her and humiliates her in front of everyone at the show. What happens next changes Angela's life forever, because the model gets back at Angela and she has serious scars on her face from the incident.

The second part of the book deals with Angela trying to accept that she'll never be a model and how her life will never be the same again because of the horrible scars she now has.  I loved the path of self discovery that she goes through. She makes a group of friends who help her see that the scars on her face aren't everything and that she's lucky to have such a supporting family.  The process of self realization is a painful one for Angela, and I loved how she eventually becomes a better person inside. There is a little romance thrown into the story, and I liked how it doesn't happen until after the accident.  Angela has trouble accepting the fact that someone could still love her with how she looks like now...she is also shocked at how people she trusted in her modeling life could just turn on her so fast. This story just pulled at my heartstrings and I found myself torn between wanting to slap Angela senseless and wanting to give her a big bear hug.

If you are looking for a different Young Adult book to read, then I highly recommend Pride. It's a compelling story that will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished reading it. (at least that's what happened for me.) Lauren Hammond is an author to watch out for. I can't wait to read her next young adult book, Famished.