When Louise Lambert receives a mysterious invitation to a traveling vintage fashion sale in the mail, her normal life in suburban Connecticut is magically transformed into a time traveling adventure.
After a brief encounter with two witchy salesladies and donning an evening gown that once belonged to a beautiful silent film star, Louise suddenly finds herself onboard a luxurious cruise ship in 1912. As Alice Baxter, the silent film star, Louise enjoys her access to an extensive closet of gorgeous vintage gowns and begins to get a feel for the challenges and the glamour of life during this decadent era. Until she realizes that she's not just on any ship-- she's on the Titanic!
Will Louise be able to save herself and change the course of history, or are she and her film star alter ego, destined to go down with a sinking ship in the most infamous sea disaster of the 20th century?
The Time Traveling Fashionista was a spunky and original start to what I am certain will be a very popular series among the middle grade crowd. I finished it over a couple of hours and was left wanting more. While time travel may be a highly overdone topic, Bianca Turetsky presented it in a new and interesting way. And of course the destination was one that was both exciting and heartbreaking to read about. The Titanic.
When twelve year old fashion loving Louise Lambert gets invited to an exclusive fashion show, she never expects to be transported back in time- literally. After trying on a dress belonging to a young woman who had been on board the ship all those years ago, Louise wakes up in the body of Alice Baxter, a well known teenaged silent film star. Louise reacted quite well for one as young as she was and soon took up the role of Miss Baxter with ease (and only a few mistakes!). But soon Louise realizes that the glamorous ship she was thrilled to be getting the chance to visit is not the exciting adventure she originally thought. Why? Because she is on board the Titanic, the ship Louise knows is doomed to hit an iceberg and sink; killing so many innocent passengers.
Louise was a fun loving and adventuresome twelve year old and while sometimes I can get frustrated when the narrator is that much younger than me, I ended up really liking Louise. Her love for vintage fashion was apparent right away and reading about all the fabulous clothes she had found at local thrift stores left me eager to try and snag some of my own vintage clothes. While her parents and friends didn’t have a huge role in the story, I did like the glimpse of them I did get.
I liked how the story tied together in the end and how it left things open for Louise’s next adventure. I ended up googling several of the characters mentioned in the book and so many proved to be actual survivors or victims of the Titanic tragedy. It was obvious Ms. Turetsky did her homework and put her heart into this story. While this may not appeal to older readers, it is perfect for the middle grade crowd and introduces them to an important part of our country’s history. A magical dress next takes our protagonist on a whirlwind trip to the time of Marie Antoinette and I couldn’t be more excited.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
April 5, 2011/Poppy/272 Pages/Middle Grade & Young Adult Appeal/Book One
Source: Publisher (ARC)