Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review: Tokyo Cover Girls by Jackie Amsden with Giveaway

The Tokyo Cover Girls 

by Jackie Amsden
The Tokyo Cover Girls , #1
YA Mystery
226 pages

New York has Jacobs, Paris has Chanel, Milan has Versace and Tokyo has . . . Hello Kitty toilet plungers? With its cute-obsessed catalogue and magazine market, anyone who is anyone knows that modeling in Japan means being at the bottom of the fashion industry. Blake, Jess, and Hailey are doing their best to survive yet another casting where pigtails and toddler-impressions are a must when they stumble upon the opportunity of a lifetime. The prestigious Satsujin company has selected them to compete for a campaign that will transform the winner from commercial nobody to haute couture superstar faster than you can say Vogue Italia.
Of course, nothing is ever what it seems in the fashion world. Just ask all those dead girls . .


Fashion and modeling gain a whole new bite in this suspenseful story of three teenage models as they go head to head against each other in ways they'd never even dreamed.

The colorful cover mixed with models in Tokyo and mystery is an attention grabber, and the story offers every bit of this. This isn't the modeling of super thin catwalk models, but rather takes more of a dive into the cutesy, cut throat, pigtail culture. The models head to Tokyo for a few months in hopes of landing several gigs before flying back to their home countries. That Tokyo has a subculture, and a dangerous one at that, adds the perfect twist of danger and mystery.

The story is told from three models' point of views with each chapter heading making it clear as to which person is up next. The author does a great job of making the entire story flow together despite this tri-shift. The three girls come from very different backgrounds, are battling different demons and have varying ultimate goals. The personalities are like night and day, giving a great perspective on the different views into the situations, although all three are living together, have the same agency and are competing for the exact same jobs.

Colorful details and descriptions bring the pages to life, and the exotic circumstances are presented as if they are as natural as everyday life. It's no problem to sink into the three girls' world and understand where they're coming from. Of course, one or two are more likable than the others and they all have demons which are true to life. In other words, it's usually easy to sympathize with them.

Although much of the story centers around modeling and fashion, the tension and mystery is kept high enough to maintain a steady pace the entire way through. There are clues and predicaments around every corner. Many of the clues are easy to piece together, making the ending not a complete surprise. There is a reason for this, according to the plot, but it still undermines the main characters' overall intelligence. Toward the end, several of their decisions weren't completely understandable and a few details got lost in the exciting finish.

In general, it's a thrilling read with a wonderful leap into an exotic and greatly unknown world. Especially younger teen girls will enjoy the glimpses into the modeling industry, and the mystery and tension adds the perfect touch to make this a book not easily put down.

And here she is. . .

Jackie Amsden worked as a fashion model in China, Japan, and Taiwan before retiring at the age of eighteen after one too many agent threats, nude photo shoot requests, and self-loathing-induced Pocky binges. If you’d like to learn more about her decent into the darker side of Asia’s candy-coated modeling industry sign up for free installments of her upcoming memoir and get updates about the sequel to The Tokyo Cover Girls at


One (1) ebook copy of The Tokyo Cover Girls. Open internationally.
Simply leave a comment to this post with an email address, where you can be reached.
One winner will randomly be selected from all comments to this post. 
The contest is open until midnight EST, October 2nd 2016. The winner will be announced in the comments to this post and per email on Monday, October 3, 2016. The winner has 48 hours to respond to claim their prize.



Giselle said...

This sounds like a fun read and thought provoking, too! Glad you liked it! :)

Mary Preston said...

Such an interesting glimpse into this world.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Wow, I'm stunned. This is a really thorough and insightful review! Thanks so much for doing such an awesome job--and with four kids to manage on the side. I don't know how you do it (aside from chocolate of course, I know that and the wine are very helpful to me). I look forward to reading your next reviews!

Tamara Narayan said...

This sounds different. I like different.

tamara (dot) narayan (at) gmail (dot) com

Tonja Drecker said...

And the winner is. . .
Mary Preston!!!