Premiere (On the Runway Series #1)

Premiere (On the Runway Series #1)

3.7 39
by Melody Carlson
     
 

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Book one in the new dynamic fashion-themed On the Runway teen novel series by favorite young adult fiction author Melody Carlson. When Paige and Erin Forrester are offered their own TV show, sisterly bonds are tested as the girls learn that it takes two to keep their once-in-a-lifetime project afloat.See more details below

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Overview

Book one in the new dynamic fashion-themed On the Runway teen novel series by favorite young adult fiction author Melody Carlson. When Paige and Erin Forrester are offered their own TV show, sisterly bonds are tested as the girls learn that it takes two to keep their once-in-a-lifetime project afloat.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Carlson's (the Diary of a Teenage Girl series) latest, which launches the On the Runway series, 18-year old narrator Erin, who loves being behind the camera, and her 19-year old sister, Paige, who shines in front of one, land a contract to star in a fashion-focused TV show. Erin both admires her stunning, smooth-talking, fashion-expert sister, and cringes at Paige's manipulations and thoughtlessness, which Paige has ample opportunity to exhibit when the show's producers plug them into a popular teen reality show. While trying to maintain a critical distance from the glamour, staged intrigue, and cattiness of this new world, Erin seeks a moral compass as she wrestles with her ex-boyfriend's reappearance, and wonders how to reconcile her Christian values with her work and how to be a good sister. Fast-paced action, driven by the social media of cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter, highlights both the thrills and stressors of modern teenage life, where the private becomes instantly public, and the line between reality and acting is hard to find. Available simultaneously: Catwalk. Ages 13-16. (June)
Shauna Yusko
“Teen girls who enjoy fashion, reality television, and are looking for something less edgy than the Gossip Girl series will be rewarded with this title, which looks to be the first in a series.”
VOYA - Christina Fairman
This new series follows the fortunes of Paige and Erin Forrester, sisters who have an affinity for the entertainment industry; Paige is a self-taught fashion expert, and Erin is training to go into film production. At the opening of the book, readers learn that their mother is a television producer who has inexplicably allowed her daughters to cover a local event for the evening news. The report is a disaster, but it catches the attention of another producer, who offers the girls a chance at their own fashion-oriented program. Paige is thrilled (Erin not so much) when their first assignment is to interview cast members of a popular teen reality series. The seemingly cushy job, however, drops them into a den of spoiled divas, orchestrated catfights, and drunken cast parties that test their social and ethical boundaries. This innocuous book will appeal to teens who seek realistic fiction without the graphic story lines that often define this genre. The reality show setting, though contrived and simplistic, may appeal to reluctant readers. The breezy dialogue is peppered with contemporary references from the entertainment world. Published by Zondervan, the book contains sporadic evangelical Christian references. Early on, for example, Erin decides that she must not give her impulsive sister a hard time because "that's not how Jesus would treat her." Twelve discussion questions follow the main text. This book is most suitable where there is a particular demand for Christian youth fiction. Reviewer: Christina Fairman
VOYA - Emily Petite
Here is a novel full of plain characters and even plainer first-person prose. Paragraphs could have been cut or polished to achieve crisper, more powerful narration. When a new character is introduced, we receive few details to bring him or her to life. All in all, Carlson has given us a cheesy, lazy book not worth any young reader's time. Reviewer: Emily Petite, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Christian values seem to be the antithesis of high-fashion consumerism and reality-show combativeness, but Premiere mixes these worlds with believability and appeal. Paige turns a report about a theme park that her mom is producing into a style critique. A reality-show producer sees the teen and her sister and asks that they work together on a project called "On the Runway." She promises Erin that she can work with the camera crew but Erin suspects she's really there to keep her sister from getting into trouble. When Paige falls for Benjamin, the lead's boyfriend, sparks fly. Erin has her own conundrum. She's just getting over breaking up with Blake, but now he wants to get back together. Meanwhile, Paige nearly loses her job when she sneaks off with Benjamin. Her impulsiveness contrasts nicely with the slow rebuilding of her sister and Blake's relationship, which is steeped in their religious beliefs. Those beliefs can seem heavy-handed but it's also nice to see Erin live them rather than having them tacked on. This book is worth adding whether you have a demand for Christian novels or not. The fashion and reality-show fireworks are enough to keep even reluctant readers coming back for more.—Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews
In this not-so-frothy Christian chick-lit novel, two sisters, one a fashion-savvy clotheshorse who is beautiful, self-possessed and glib, the other a pretty, smart, sensible and low-key person, are hired to co-host a TV show about the world of fashion. The story is told in the first person from the point of view of Erin, the younger and more religious sister, who, in an understandable brew of sisterly feelings, loves, envies, admires and is annoyed by the more outgoing and (slightly) wilder Paige. In a public-relations ploy, the girls are invited to be guests on a reality-TV show, similar to MTV's Real World, where they encounter a universe of moral and emotional ambiguity, a place where it's hard to tell who is having real feelings and who is acting like it for the cameras. This is the most engaging part of this rather bland tale, as it gives the girls, and thus readers, a chance to see how reality TV goes about the business of manipulating its so-called actors for mass entertainment. Serviceable, but not much more. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310426677
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
06/22/2010
Series:
On the Runway Series , #1
Sold by:
Zondervan Publishing
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
18,408
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
13 - 16 Years

Read an Excerpt

Premiere

On the Runway
By Melody Carlson

Zondervan

Copyright © 2010 Melody Carlson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-71786-7


Chapter One

Here we are at wonderful Wonderland." Paige doesn't even blink as she flashes a bright smile at the camera crew before launching into a clever monologue about the local theme park and its recent improvements. I'm sure I'm one of the few present who knows her real opinion on this mediocre park. "This is so last century," she told our mom earlier today. But now she is all sunshine as she espouses the park's many "wonders."

Meanwhile, a small crowd gathers around her, looking on with interest like she's a celebrity. They're chatting amongst themselves and nodding toward her like they're trying to figure out just who she is. But the problem is she's not anybody. Well, she's my sister. And, in her own eyes, she's a soon-to-be-discovered star. But then who isn't down here in La la land, CA, where it seems half the girls I know have a bad case of celebrity-itis? They either want to be famous themselves or connected to someone who already is famous.

I would never admit this to Paige, but she's got the look of a star. Not to mention the attitude. Plus, she knows how to dress. And it doesn't hurt that she's got peaches and cream skin, straight white teeth, clear blue eyes, and nearly natural blonde hair that despite being long always looks perfect. Not unlike her old Barbie doll. Some people have compared Paige's looks to Cameron Diaz, but in all fairness, Paige might even be prettier. Not that you'll hear those words coming from my mouth anytime soon. And certainly not while Paige is within hearing distance. I love my sister, but that girl's head is big enough already.

Anyway, as usual, I am hiding behind my video camera, acting as if I'm a member the Channel Five camera crew, although I'm fully aware that this is live coverage and my shots will not be used. Still, it's good practice as well as my best excuse to remain behind the scenes-or in other words, in my comfort zone. Not only that, but my camera helps to cover the conspicuous pimple that's threatening to erupt on my forehead today. Okay, so I am a little self-conscious and a bit insecure when it comes to my looks. But who wouldn't be with someone like Paige for a sister?

As I zoom in on Paige's picture-perfect face, I notice that the wind has blown a silky strand of hair across her highly glossed lips, and it sticks there like a fly on flypaper. She casually peels the strand off and continues to rattle on about the park's new and improved amenities, like it's no big deal.

"It's the twenty-fifth anniversary here at Wonderland." She addresses the camera. "And crowds have gathered here today to celebrate the reopening of the recently renovated theme park. More than two million dollars were spent bringing the park back to its former glory and, as you can see, everything looks clean and new and idyllic."

I try not to be overly wowed with my sister's natural gift for gab, but sometimes the girl totally floors me. How does she do it? still, I never let on that I'm impressed. By the same token, I never let on that I'm intimidated. Not even by her looks. It's not that I'm a dog. My friends all assure me that I'm relatively attractive. But, hey, they're my friends. What else are they going to say?

The cameras continue to roll and Paige rambles on, and she's starting to get this look in her eye, almost like she's become bored with her subject matter. Not that I blame her. I mean, there's only so much you can say about a second-rate theme park, no matter how much money they throw at it.

Fortunately for Paige, my mom is signaling for her to wrap it up by slashing her hand across her throat and mouthing "cut." And Paige, used to this routine, makes her graceful exit. "And now back to the anchor desk at Channel Five news."

"That was good," Mom tells her, but her eyes are on the monitor and I can tell by her expression that she's listening to her headset, probably taking direction from someone back at the station. She nods and says, "Okay. Sure, no problem, we can do that." Then she turns back to the camera crew. "They want us to get a few more minutes of airtime-they decided to cut the trucker story. So we'll be back on in fifteen. Everybody hang tight."

"What more can I say about Wonderland?" Paige demands, letting out a sigh that sounds like she just ran a five-minute mile. Sometimes my sister can be a real prima donna.

"I don't know," Mom says absently. She's still listening to her headset as if there's another big story she should be going after. "Just ad lib, okay?"

"How about if we go shoot near the entrance," suggests Sam Holliday. Sam's the head cameraman and a very nice guy, as well as the first person to let me handle a real camera.

Mom nods. "Good idea. Maybe we can get some of the park's guests to say a few words and give Paige a break." Now mom points to me. "Or perhaps Erin can take a turn being on camera."

This is all it takes to make my sister stand up and take notice. And I know her well enough to see that she is not ready to share the limelight with anyone-especially me. And this, I must admit, is a relief.

"I'll interview some guests." Paige takes the second mike and we head over to the entrance area. We're barely set up when mom gives Paige the signal to start. Then mom heads off to use her cell phone.

"Here we are again for the big reopening of Wonderland," Paige says with another brilliant smile. "As you can see the people are pouring into the theme park this afternoon." An overstatement since there are about six people trickling in at the moment. "And here's a fresh idea-since the Golden Globes are next month, let's pretend like this is the red carpet and we are on fashion watch."

Then with mike in hand, Paige approaches a couple of unsuspecting teenage girls. They look a bit wary as to whether they want to be on TV or not, but my sister quickly disarms them by smiling and saying, "Welcome to Wonderland, girls. Is this your first time here?"

One girl nods without speaking, but the other girl is a little braver. "Yeah. We decided to come since it was half price today."

"And did you get those Capri pants for half price as well?" asks Paige. Well, I almost drop my camera, except that I'm curious to record the girl's reaction and I have to admit the baggy, white cropped pants were a bad choice. Not only do they make her butt look big, but there's a spill stain on one knee.

The girl looks shocked, but her friend just nudges her with an elbow, then giggles. "Yeah," the friend tells Paige, "she did get them on sale. How'd you know that?"

Paige smiles slyly. "Oh, it's a gift. So how would you describe your fashion style today?" she asks the half-price girl who seems to be speechless. "Campy casual or theme park comfort or thrift shop chic?"

"Uh, I guess it's theme park comfort," the girl mutters.

"Well, comfort is important," says Paige, turning to the other girl. "And how about you?" she asks. The girl frowns down at her black T-shirt. It's well worn with a faded white skull on the front. "Sort of revisited Goth perhaps?"

I wince inwardly but keep my camera focused and running. In a twisted way this is actually kind of good.

The girl shrugs. "Yeah ... it's an old shirt."

"And it's just adorable on you," says Paige, "and it reminds me of the good old days." She's smiling back at the camera now and totally ignoring our mom, who is off the phone now, but freaking out as she sends all kinds of throat slashing "cut-cut-cut" signals Paige's direction, although no one is paying attention. I actually think the camera crew is enjoying Paige's little spectacle-or else they're too shocked to shut it down.

"And I'll be the first one to admit that fashion is subjective," Paige continues. "After all, this is only a theme park. But on the other hand, you just never know who you might bump into." She laughs then turns back to the camera. "As you can all see everyone is having a fabulous time at Wonderland today. They've put on their very best togs and are parading about for the world to enjoy."

Then Paige continues to describe outfits, turning what was supposed to be theme park coverage into a great big What Not to Wear spot. And by the time the camera crew finally does shut down after five long minutes of Paige's merciless attacks, Mom's face is getting those weird red blotches-not a good sign.

"Paige Forrester!" mom seethes. "What on earth do you think you were doing?"

"Ad libbing," Paige says lightly.

Sam chuckles as he pats mom on the back. "Don't worry, Brynn," he tells her, "who really watches the five o'clock news anyway?"

Mom turns and actually glares at him now. "Well, have no doubts that this piece will be cut out of the six o-" But she cuts herself off to listen to her headset again. Now she's grimacing as if someone back at the station is speaking way too loudly. Make that yelling, because I can hear him fairly well and it sounds a lot like her boss, Max. And the words he's using would not be acceptable on the air.

"You probably got mom fired," I whisper to Paige.

Her brows crease slightly. "No, you don't really think-"

"I didn't put her up to anything," Mom says loudly. "Listen, max, I-" But she's interrupted again and we can all hear him shouting.

I fold my camera closed and shake my head at Paige. "See what you did?"

Paige nods without speaking and her eyes look worried. For some reason this makes me feel a tiny bit better about my sister's sensibility, or rather lack of it. Still, I'm wondering what we would really do if Mom lost her job. It's only been three years since Dad died and our world was turned upside down. Since that time, Mom has worked long and hard to gain respect at the station-enough respect to land her this producing job about six months ago. And despite her hard work, there are still some Channel Five employees who think she got her promotion out of pity ... simply because her husband (our dad), Dan Forrester, the beloved anchor on the Channel Five news for more than a decade, had been tragically killed in a plane wreck. To think that Paige could've messed this all up in just a few minutes is seriously disturbing.

Chapter Two

Do you have any idea what kind of a position you've placed me in?" Mom asks Paige as we're leaving the theme park.

"I was just joking around, Mom." Paige is using her "little girl" voice now-it used to work on our dad, but mom's a lot savvier.

"You do not joke around with the news."

"But I remember Dad used to joke-"

"Your father earned the right to make a few well-timed and lighthearted comments." Mom's voice is growing sharper. "Not that he would have abused that right by treating people the way you did just now, Paige Marie."

We've reached our vehicles and the guys are quietly loading their equipment into the news van, probably trying to lay low as Mom and Paige continue their public family squabble. Good thing the cameras aren't rolling now.

"I trusted you to act professionally, Paige." mom's voice remains angry. "And you let me down. You have actually placed my job in jeopardy. Do you understand that?"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Premiere by Melody Carlson Copyright © 2010 by Melody Carlson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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From the Publisher
In Carlson's (the Diary of a Teenage Girl series) latest, which launches the On the Runway series, 18-year old narrator Erin, who loves being behind the camera, and her 19-year old sister, Paige, who shines in front of one, land a contract to star in a fashion-focused TV show. Erin both admires her stunning, smooth-talking, fashion-expert sister, and cringes at Paige's manipulations and thoughtlessness, which Paige has ample opportunity to exhibit when the show's producers plug them into a popular teen reality show. While trying to maintain a critical distance from the glamour, staged intrigue, and cattiness of this new world, Erin seeks a moral compass as she wrestles with her ex-boyfriend's reappearance, and wonders how to reconcile her Christian values with her work and how to be a good sister. Fast-paced action, driven by the social media of cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter, highlights both the thrills and stressors of modern teenage life, where the private becomes instantly public, and the line between reality and acting is hard to find. Available simultaneously: Catwalk. Ages 13–16. (June) -- Publisher’s Weekly

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