Well doing this review here on my blog is an honour… Ink & Smith Publishing gave me the opportunity to read “In Vogue” before the release date and review it. It’s their first published book and what a great story to begin their project with. You can pre-order it here on Amazon, by the way.
(Before starting with my review I just have to say that yes I’m listening to Florence + The Machine to write this! I couldn’t talk about this story and not listen to them since their music is so heavily present in this story. It would feel like cheating on the book…)
So what’s In Vogue? This book was writen by Lucia Laurent and started as a fanfiction in the One Direction fandom but it evolved into so much more. Yes, it started as a fanfiction, but now you can’t even feel a trace of it (well, only if you’re deeply involved in the fandom and know one or two important “phrases”). Here is a little summary to keep you curious:
King of New York fashion and editor-in-chief of the prestigious Couture magazine, Miles Brodeur loves his demanding job and a routine that means he always knows what’s coming next. Deeply involved in the magazine’s content and culture, Miles doesn’t have the time or the desire for a relationship.
Alexander Mackenzie is a former model turned magazine editor who is just learning about the politics that exist at the intersection of high fashion and publishing. He’s always dreamt of turning Miles’ head and one night, at a glamorous party, his fantasy becomes reality. But Miles’ workaholic nature conflicts with Alexander’s belief that “there’s more to life than what’s printed on the pages of a magazine.”
Despite their fundamental differences, Alexander can’t help but follow Miles back to New York, and once there it becomes clear their association could be addicting – and possibly life-changing. Set in a world where the beauty of art and the written world collide, Miles is confronted by a fundamental question: is someone ever worth slowing down for?
As you can see a lot will happen over the course of more than 180 pages. But for those who like the fashion world, this is a book for you! This book made me feel like I entered the world of “Gossip Girl” with all the descriptions of fabulous clothes, shoes, accessories and life-style, while entering a soft version of “The Devil Wears Prada”.
Miles Brodeur seems to be inspired on Miranda Priestly. The same centric and focused in work character,but at the same time a mature character that cares deeply about his friends and is generous to his employees. There isn’t a mean bone inside Miles, although he can be ruthless when his work is on the line. He didn’t got that position by not respecting others or by not following an hierarchy… No, he got there because he deserved it and there wasn’t a better person for the job! But Miles will get through so much more in his personal life and he will learn that the thing he has been running from is right there.
In contrast to Miles, you have the lovely Alexander Mackenzie, Cut’s editor-in-chief. This character is always described through the book as hard-worker, but also has a dreamer… He dreams about all these things he still wants to do. He wants to explore more of the world and fashion, but not only that. He is young and fiercely loyal which makes him respected in his field. Alexander mostly dreams of love and it always seemed to me that he was looking for it and found it exactly where he was supposed to.
Then you have all these secondary characters like: Zia the brilliant creative editor of Couture and Miles’s longstanding best friend; Kane a world-renowned DJ and one of Alexander’s best friend; Dylan the Cut’s sports editor and Alexander’s other best friend; and lastly (I really have to mention this) Miles’s loyal assistent, Sabine.
You’ll laugh with these characters and cry a little bit towards the end because what good book won’t make you cry? It’s a book that gives a good representation of the LGBTQ+ community and we all know that we need more of these. We need more stories where being part of the community isn’t wrong and looked frowned upon. It’s a story where the most influential person in the fashion world is a man and he is gay. It’s a rich book where you can learn about fashion, but also on how to run a magazine and how social media can be used to improve your own work. A good structured story that really discusses real problems like anxiety and depression… On how you can ask for help even if it’s hard! There will always be someone there to hold you and help you through the dark.
The only thing that makes me sad is that we can’t see all these amazing outfits that are being described. I wish it was possible for us to be redirected to the clothes because Lucia made a brilliant job of describing them visually. Another little detail that in my opinion is lacking is more history background of Miles’s and Alexander’s family. I feel like there is a piece missing in that part, but I don’t know if it’s me that is very curious or if the story can “live” without it. Lastly, another little thing I noticed that could be different was the transictions from Miles’s to Alexander’s point of view through the story… Also it isn’t very balanced because you can clearly see that Miles is the priority maybe because he’s a more deep character. I don’t know if I’m being picky but I would also like to see more things through Alexander’s point of view.
So in conclusion I’m gonna use a 1 – 5 scale to basically say that I give this book a solid 4,5. It’s a very good book with some imperfections that are usual. No major things that will make you stop reading it or disliking it. No, it’s a book that can use some of its imperfections to tell you a happy story. A story about struggles that will be overcomed with a little patience.
Basically the question that remains unanswered and it’s for you to figure it out is “Will it be a Couture wedding?” Or will Miles let work get in the way of love?