Wednesday, February 25, 2015

a book in review-emily craven

Brief Summary:

Madeline Cain knows that after six chaotic months, the rest of her time in New York City will be smooth sailing with Kevin -- her new squeeze -- by her side. That is, until Madeline's idols drop a bombshell - she needs to pick a specialisation before the year is out or risk losing the career of her dreams. The problem? She's about as sure of her photographic passion as a hiker is of outrunning a bear. 

Thus Madeline begins her search for her one true path with student-arranged assignments featuring certifiably insane children, lip-synching rockers, a dog whisperer, and… zombies? But it’s not until Madeline secures a 'life-debt' by saving a potential mobster from a gun-wielding cross-dresser that she sets her sights on an amazing internship opportunity. 

Is her new patron really part of the mob? Can she nail this internship when all her experiments are going to hell? And how does she deal with Kevin's obsession over her escapades? 

Written as though you’re reading Madeline's Facebook page, Adventures in Fashion will leave you giggling on the floor as Maddie posts about the second half of her Big Apple adventure.


The women milled around me as I stood open mouthed. Sorella? Another of my idols, second only to Jason, encourager at the Ball to pick a specialisation and go hard, was giving some lucky person the opportunity to learn one on one, every day, for three hundred and sixty five days.
Imagine, it would be like the Devil Wears Prada except without the crazed Merrill Streep. The clothes, the models, the connections, the glamour. Visions of me sporting sunglasses as big as my face and shoes so pointy I could stab muggers, danced around my imagination. Just as I was letting my daydreams get the better of me, a little voice in my head coughed.
You want to become a fashion star when most mornings you put your shirt on backwards and inside out. You wouldn’t know style if it came swanning in on a unicorn and turned Duncan into a daisy. Oh, and your visa runs out in December. Are you going to become an illegal immigrant for this? Couple that with the FBI sleep over in April and suddenly you’ve been banned not from a pub, or a club, or a hotel, but from an entire COUNTRY!
“I hope you heard that last part Madeline.” Ted’s monotone came from right beside me. I jumped. Crafty bugger moves like the Flash. “You’re one of our brightest and Sorella is most particular about talent, even if that talent regularly disrobes dignitaries.”
You know you’ve achieved infamy when even Ted starts cracking the jokes. “It comes with a green card for Australia bound photographers,” he says, almost as an afterthought.
How can Ted be the most boring, yet most amazing person I know? I wanted to both kiss him and take a nap. Fearing that a combination of those might end up with me licking his cheek, I used the rest of my energy reserves to mumble, “You’ve made my day.” And grinned like a Botox injected celebrity.
“Fashion photography is a competitive game, only go for it if you’re committed to both photography and style.”
“Won’t the fashion minions do the styling?”
The look he gave was almost identifiable as pity. “You’re the master of the frame, you should know better than anyone what will look good in it. Trust no one,” he hissed, quite suddenly, then trudged off.
Okay then… Unfortunately, the little devil of negativity came back with a vengeance. Enough was enough. The constant thought storm was getting me nowhere except nauseous.
So I asked myself: what would Mum do?
The answer?  A pros and cons list.
PRO: Sorella is awesome-sauce on wonder-bread. If you could crack her brain, gold would surely fall out. You’d be rich. In knowledge that is, not golden brains.
PRO: Lots of money and prestige.
CON: Ted just told a room full of women who have nothing else to do with their time, about an opportunity that allows them to get high-end fashion for free. Competition is going to be like a cage fight with a chimera.
CON: How are you going to build a portfolio of fashion snaps when your wardrobe consists of broken high heels and jackets worn by waiters at a pizza store? You’ve got five planned gigs, but can’t guarantee all your subjects aren’t going to be colour blind, let alone wearing underwear. To turn this to a PRO, you need clothes that make people look good, rather than look like an 80’s boy band.
PRO: You’re not done with NYC, not even close. Leaving the city after a year is like licking the outside of a chocolate ice cream and never taking a bite. This job gets you a green card so you can go past licking and crack open that chocolate casing to suck on that sweet, sweet creamy centre.
PRO: Your boyfriend is hot, he’s not camera shy, and is one model that will get a kick out of you fussing over him for hours. Perfect for underwear modelling. Use this gift wisely.
CON: Not really committed to fashion. Doesn’t mean it won’t become an obsession that sees me horde hundreds of Jimmy Choos, but just that I was never that girl who cut out outfits from my Mum’s magazines and made them for my Barbies. I had mud pies that needed making and smooshing in my brother’s face. To turn this into a PRO I need to learn how to make people look cool. You can learn fashion from watching America’s Next Top Model right?
CON: Having to listen to Tara Banks on America’s Next Top Model.
PRO: Clothes. Lots of them.
CON: Models. Lots of them. Could end up in a situation where I give into the urge to bludgeon them with a camera.
PRO: You would have a real photography job, one that supported a healthy diet and regular bowel movements. One that makes use of everything you’ve learnt this year, making you an expert, a player, a person of interest but for the right reasons, not because you were followed by a man with a fake moustache. It would give you some direction, a clear path, a strong mentor, a specialisation rather than playing ‘hobbies’ like you use to play ‘dress ups’.
CON: You could cock it all up.


I received this book in exchange for an honest review. When I saw this book synopsis, I knew I had to read it! I love fashion and New York City, so this book was right up my alley. The format of it being written like her Facebook is so clever and fun, it made it seem like Madeline was my friend and like everyone else, I just wanted to keep up with her new life. I love Emily's writing style and can't wait to read more from her.I recommend this 5 star book to anyone who loves a fun, fashionable read with ups and downs along the way that will make you laugh out loud, xo!

Author Bio:
Emily Craven was first inspired to placed pen to paper when she was 12, after she learnt her favourite author, Isobelle Carmody, began her first novel at 14. Emily finished two manuscripts while completing a Bachelor of Science (Space Science and Astrophysics and Geophysics) at the University of Adelaide. So technically, she can claim to be an astrophysicist (stars), geophysicist (rocks) and writer (crazy). She writes YA fiction, Fantasy and non-fiction. Emily lives in Australia and yes, back when she was a teenager her high school had its own herd of Kangaroos. She's been to almost every continent (Africa being her weakness in continent-domination) and has the pretty photographs to prove it (though probably less professional than Madeline Cain...).

Unusual talents and hobbies include: Getting excited at the thought of sky diving (though if you try to attach her to the end of a bungee cord she will take you down with her). She loves belly dancing, singing, is a self-confessed Trekkie, and will never pass up a good bar of chocolate. If you put her anywhere in the vicinity of snow, she turns into a five year old.

Emily has a website and two blogs, one on writing ( and one on independent publishing and digital storytelling ( You can find her on Twitter @TheMadelineCain or on Facebook at


February 23 - Chick Lit Plus – Review

February 25 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt

February 25 - Polished and Bubbly – Review & Excerpt

February 26 - Reeca’s Pieces – Review

February 27 - The East Village - Review

February 27 - Living Life With Joy – Q&A & Excerpt

March 2- A Blue Million Books – Q&A & Excerpt

March 2 - Ali’s Bookshelf – Review