Book Review: Growing Up Beautiful

Star, Joanne and Casey are three girls who have absolutely nothing in common except for their desire to make it big as models in Milan in the one month they have there with an agency.

Star, who is foul-mouthed, occasionally obnoxious but probably has a kind heart deep down inside, has an additional agenda: to find her prince charming: a loaded rich man who can take care of her and her mother, and take them out from the slum life they were living back in the US. Too bad her attitude keeps her from getting jobs and the man she thinks is her financial savior has one too many secrets to hide.

Casey, naive and gullible, is so overwhelmed by everything, she can’t tell the difference between right and wrong, even when right (as in Mr. Right) is standing right in front of her.

Joanne, who has a Ivy League education waiting for her back home, is quickly the favorite at the agency and gets all the jobs everyone wants – and the photographer they all lust over too. Now that she’s in love with him as much as he’s loved her since the first time he saw her behind his lens, she can’t decide: should she stay in Milan and change the entire course of her life, or go back and lead the path her parents set out for her?

Growing Up Beautiful showcases the story behind the glitz and glamour of the world of modeling. This debut novel by Lori Jones features the raw, hard truth of what happens off the runway and off the pages of the glossy magazines, like only a true insider could tell. It’s certainly a page-turner, although some scenes were quite short and tended to jump to the next scene rather quickly. All in all, an enjoyable read for those who have always wondered about the world of modeling.

Lori Jones had a sixteen year modeling career from 1981 through 1997. Her career began after graduating from the Barbizon School of Modeling and signing on with the Wilhelmina Agency in Los Angeles. Bookings included runway, print for magazines, catalogs, TV commercials, and an album cover for Kool and the Gang's Ladies Night. Lori moved to Milan in 1982 and modeled in Milan, Germany and Spain over the next five years. Always interested in writing, she kept journals of her work experiences, which included her extensive travels throughout Europe and Africa, and the people she met along the way. Growing Up Beautiful is a fictional account of how three young models grow up in the foreign world of fashion in the 1980’s.