This Year's Model

This Year's Model

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by Carol Alt

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Supermodel Carol Alt takes us on a wild ride through the glamorous, cutthroat world of fashion and fame—in a biting, witty, and absolutely authentic novel that rocks the world of high-end modeling!

Tall, beautiful, practical Melody Ann Croft of Morristown, New Jersey, is busting her behind as a waitress and wishing there was an


Supermodel Carol Alt takes us on a wild ride through the glamorous, cutthroat world of fashion and fame—in a biting, witty, and absolutely authentic novel that rocks the world of high-end modeling!

Tall, beautiful, practical Melody Ann Croft of Morristown, New Jersey, is busting her behind as a waitress and wishing there was an easier way to earn money for college. When a customer claiming to be a fashion photographer insists she could become a model, Melody is skeptical—and totally shocked when dropping his name actually opens agency doors. Signed up before her head has even stopped spinning, she's got a new name—Mac—and is off to her first shoot. Could this be that "easier way" at last?

But in modeling, nothing's easy. Mac faces demanding diva photographers with their body-torturing, day-long sessions, and jealous rivals whose flawless beauty hides sharp claws. There are rumors and lies, lecherous model-collecting playboys, rock stars and drugs, and the most perilous pitfall of them all . . .straight male models! Temptation is everywhere, and even a level-headed Jersey girl may have trouble keeping her footing on the long, hard climb up.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Claire Rosser
You may not recognize Alt's name, but you will recognize her face. She has been a successful model and has appeared on the cover of more than 700 magazines. In this, her first novel, she tells about a tall, athletic 18-year-old named Melody Ann Croft, waiting tables in NJ to save money to go to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, whose life changes abruptly when a photographer comes to eat at the restaurant where she works. He encourages her to call some modeling agents in NYC, and within days she is on her way to a successful modeling career. Her name is shortened to Mac, she loses 15 pounds, tells herself she is just working for college money, but gets excited about the competition and the glamour of her new world. She is from a supportive family and has a lot of inner strength to resist the numerous temptations in the high life, but she does see her friends succumbing to drug addiction and to destructive sexual relationships. In telling this story of a naive, decidedly unglamorous young woman becoming a highly successful model, Alt apparently is sharing her own journey, for she too was discovered while waitressing in NJ. In several sections after the novel's end, Alt offers advice to her readers about getting into the career of modeling. It is clear from the novel that it isn't just a pretty face and body that determine success: rather, it's a photogenic face and body. Along with those basic assets, the model must have a strong work ethic, good judgment, and a lot of self-discipline and energy. There is some frank language about unwelcome sexual encounters, and this is not a book for the naive teenager—or perhaps it is! Reviewer: Claire Rosser
Children's Literature - Ann Farina
The average New Jersey Jane, Melody Ann Croft (Mac), gets whisked off into the whirlwind of the modeling world. She is a wholesome, insecure young woman thrown into a den of wolves, photographers, designers, agents, and models. As she delves deeper into the world of models, she puts up with the atmosphere of eating disorders, drugs, alcohol, and sex all to get to her goal: college. Somewhere along the way, Mac loses this goal and decides to stick it out as a model. Through it all, she makes an unlikely friend, Jade. Since Jade is the complete opposite of Mac, she is not a threat for jobs, making friendship possible. This book was mildly entertaining and predictable. Mac seems to be a character that even the author does not understand. She starts out as an intelligent young woman working towards college, aspiring to be a doctor and help people. Modeling becomes an easy way to earn tuition, but even after Mac gets a full scholarship, she decides to keep working in an environment full of things she hates: drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. By the end of the book, I was exhausted and fed up with all the characters and the world that the author had built. I was more than happy to return to my own life. Reviewer: Ann Farina
New York Post
“REQUIRED RUNWAY READING. Supermodel Carol Alt’s new novel brings high fashion’s hautest mannequins to life”

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This Year's Model

By Carol Alt
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008

Carol Alt
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061366246

Chapter One

Morristown, New Jersey
Eight months earlier . . .

"Welcome to the Porter House, sir. I'm Melody Ann, and I'll be your server this evening." Lucky me: middle-aged guy, nicely dressed, dining alone—maybe he'll even order a bottle of wine, really run up the bill. I'm already calculating the tip.

"No . . . ," he says.

"No?" What does he mean? It's not like he gets to pick. If you're seated at table eight on a Wednesday evening, you get me.

"That apron, it's not some fetishistic trompe l'oeil diversion?" My table for one removes his sunglasses and looks at me so strangely, I suddenly feel self-conscious. It's almost as if he's . . . weighing me, wondering what I cost per pound. "Miu Miu isn't reinventing black-and-white polyester this season?"

I don't even understand what he's saying. Maybe I'm not so lucky—maybe I've got a crazy at table eight. Crazies aren't necessarily bad tippers, but they really make you earn it. "Excuse me?"

"Goddamn it, if I didn't know we were in some burb an hour outside of Manhattan, I would swear you were walking a Bryant Park runway right now. In fact, you're pretty graceful for a girl your height. Most models are gawky until they learn how to walk," he says. "So you really are a waitress?"

I smile, still trying to humor him. "Must have been all thoseballet lessons my mother took me to as a kid. I'll send on your compliments. In the meantime, yes, I really am a waitress, though actually we prefer the non-gender-specific 'server.' It's more professional, don't you think? May I bring you a beverage?"

"What I think is your smile is dazzling, simply dazzling. And, sure, I'll have a beer."

"On tap we have Amstel, Beck's—"

"Surprise me—I trust you. And listen, I'm not kidding, you really are a beauty."

"Thank you. I'll be right back with your beer."

I hustle to place his drink order. What do I know about beer? I've tasted it twice, and once was enough. Charlie, the bartender, is cool; he commiserates when I moan about table eight.

"He says I should surprise him."

Charlie laughs, pulls the tap. "Well, I could spit in it if you like. Bet that'd be a surprise."

After I decline Charlie's offer, I start back with the beer, hurrying past the party of five at table six. It's a family—must be a special occasion. Morristown isn't a fancy town; the Porter House is not the best restaurant we've got, but it's affordable for a family. Any cheaper is a drive-thru. Two of the kids are fighting over who has more French fries. As I go by, the dad asks me for steak sauce, and I tell him it's coming right up.

Back at table eight, Mr. Cuckoo says, "So . . . ah . . . Melanie, is it?"

"Actually, it's Melody, Melody Ann. Our specials this evening—"

"You're what's special."

He thinks he's so clever, so what's the word . . . suave. This is going to be a long night.

"I've been watching you, the way you move. Those ballet classes paid off. You've really got presence."

"Well . . . sir . . . I'm not on the menu. But we do have a wonderful New England clam chowder. I highly recommend it—it's yummy," I recite. "As an appetizer we have stuffed mushrooms, and the catch of the day is mahi-mahi, grilled with a citrus glaze."

"How could I not have the clam chowder with your endorsement?" He ogles me, slowly and serenely. " 'Yummy,' you said."

Uck, I think.

"And bring me the filet mignon, medium."

"Will do."

It's a madhouse in the kitchen, a madhouse in hell—flames leaping from the grill, sauces trying to escape sauté pans, cooks sniping at servers, the kitchen manager reading the sous-chef the riot act. I wish for the thousandth time that I'd tied my hair back before I got here but my ponytail thingie was so stretched out, the elastic was shot, and it broke. My hair is my best feature, I think, but it's hell to live with. The only reason I wear it long is so I don't have to do anything to it; girls with shorter hair are always pumping on product and endlessly blow-drying. All I commit to is conditioner. Shampoo is whatever I can find in the shower. Usually soap, as my brothers always use up the good stuff. My hair is so low-maintenance I can't even remember to buy ponytail thingies. Maybe they've got a regular rubber band in the office or at the cash register. . . .

I swing out with table seven's orders; they need extra sour cream, they need more bread, they need soda refills. Yes yes yes. Minimum wage at some store in the mall is looking so good to me right now. Better push that thought from my mind; at least as a server I earn tips, and where I'm going I'm going to need some real money. It's a miracle I got this job, with no experience. But if I didn't have a miracle, I had one thing better: a connection. The restaurant owner remembered when my firefighter dad rescued his family's puppy. There'd been a blaze at his home—luckily, there wasn't much damage, but when Dad found the little dog cowering under the sofa, he became an instant hero . . . and I found myself employed. I shouldn't complain about the work. It's only been two weeks; I'll get the hang of it. I swing back into the inferno to see if the order for table eight is up and it is.

Plate in hand, I make my way over to my least favorite table tonight. "Your steak, sir."

"Stop with the 'sir'—makes me feel old," table eight grumbles. "I'm Jonathan Novak. Ever hear of me?"


Excerpted from This Year's Model by Carol Alt
Copyright © 2008 by Carol Alt. 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.

Meet the Author

Carol Alt is the author of the three raw lifestyle books Eating in the Raw, The Raw 50, and Easy Sexy Raw. As one of the world's first supermodels, Carol has graced the covers of more than seven hundred magazines, including two Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. She has been featured in calendars, posters, and exercise videos, and has appeared on stage and television, and in more than sixty-five movies. Carol is an accomplished spokesperson and actress, a healthy lifestyle expert, and one of the raw food movement's most recognized advocates.

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This Year's Model 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Takes you behind the scenes of the real modeling scene. Friendship, heartbreak, and struggles, this book shows you that modeling isn't always what it's cut out to be. I recommend this book to everyone. (:
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Melody Ann Croft is your average hometown girl - very practical, with her whole life planned out ahead of her. That all changes one day when a customer at the restaurant where she is working tells her she could be a model and gives her his card, along with the numbers of all the top agencies in New York. Melody is a little curious, despite thinking this man is crazy, so she calls one agency and just with the mention of this man (who happens to be a famous photographer), she gets an appointment immediately. That begins her career as MAC, the model, for Delicious Models. Her booker, Francesca, has her going on go-sees at lightning speed and she books her first job in no time. Melody plans to save her money for college so she won't need a scholarship, but making so much money so quickly with modeling is addictive, and Melody starts thinking that maybe she can defer college and model for a few years instead. With the obvious perks of modeling also come the many pitfalls: lecherous men, drugs, and other things Melody is not used to. After a fling with a male model named Duncan and being stabbed in the back by her so-called best friend, Jade, Melody starts to wonder who she can trust, if anyone. But after booking her first cover, only a few months into her career, Melody is hooked on modeling and traveling to exotic locations. The only question is, how much of herself does she have to give up in order to succeed in the modeling business?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Trying to earn some money before going off to the University of Penn tall Melody Ann Craft works as a server at the Porter House in Morristown, New Jersey. On his way back to civilization after visiting family in Cleveland, photographer Jonathan Novak stops on the barbaric side of the Hudson to grab a bite to eat. Melody Ann is his server and he thinks she is a beauty who displays decorum and cool calmness with a nice smile. He says he is not a stalker, leaves her with his business card and tells her to call the Manhattan model agencies using his name as a reference. He leaves her a nice tip before finishing his drive back to what he considers the real world.------------ Although cynical Melody calls and soon finds herself in Manhattan learning what it takes to be a supermodel. She is sent on shoots with photographers who must have been part of the Spanish Inquisition in a previous life and finds her peers detest rivals. However, Mac struggles with the male model hunks and huggable who are temptation. Still she wants to make it in Manhattan, but remain an ethical Jersey girl a seemingly impossible mission.---------------- THIS YEAR¿S MODEL is an exposure of what happens behind the scenes in the world of modeling as seen through an increasingly former innocent turning cynical gilded. Character drive the story line especially the Jersey teen who tries to avoid the drug scene, the hunk scene, and the cat fight scene which leaves her somewhat remaining as an outsider. Although nothing new, Carol Alt provides a deep look ¿beyond the glory¿, glitter and glamour to the ugly underside of super modeling.---------------- Harriet Klausner