I'll admit it, I was curious when I first heard about Tyra's plans for a fantasy novel, but it wasn't high on my must-read list. However, the blogosphere seems to be rife with ridicule and mockery for her this week, so I've decided to send a little love and a big "You go girl!" her way:
Modelland by Tyra Banks: No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation. Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams. But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her. Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical. What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid. Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Or could it? Dark rumors like silken threads swirl around the question of why Tookie and her new friends were selected . . . and the shadows around Modelland hide sinister secrets. Are you ready? Modelland is waiting for you. . . . [September 13, 2011]
Come on, admit it . . . next to discovering you're a secret princess, does this not sound like a perfect teenage girl fantasy? Actually, my teenage years may be well behind me, but I think this sounds like a whole lot of dreamy fun! Is it likely to be the greatest work of English literature to ever grace the shelves? Probably not. Is is likely to usurp Harry Potter as the work by which all young adult sagas will be judged? Again, probably not. Is it likely to draw a few new readers to the fantasy genre, or to spark a love of reading for a few girls? Absolutely!
At the end of the day, Tyra has owned up to her love for reading (not exactly a mark of celebrity coolness), followed through on her dreams of writing a novel, and offered up something that is undeniably different. If you're curious, you can check out a sample chapter here. It could be cheesy, or it could be awesome, but I (for one) applaud her for putting it out there - and for giving me a new favourite word of the day with "Intoxibella."