By Author / Illustrator
Fairy Tales & Folk Tales
Paperback / softback
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the FIERCEST of them all? Freya's quiet life is turned upside down by Bella, the glamorous former supermodel who's about to marry Freya's dad. But how does Bella look so impossibly perfect, and could she be using Freya's family for her own sinister purposes? Freya goes undercover into the intimidating world of high fashion, determined to stop Bella's ruthless plans...
Debut author Jan Dunning is an exciting new writing talent - and a former high-end fashion model herself, revealing the inner workings of the fashion world! Perfect for fans of Geek Girl, books by Kalynn Bayron and Marissa Meyer, and Netflix's Emily in Paris. Praise for Mirror Me: 'An original and layered fairy-tale thriller that explores the dark side of the fashion world - slick and entertaining.' Ravena Guron, author of This Book Kills. 'Fast-paced and accessible.' Irish Times
Freya loves being behind the camera, capturing images, a passion she shares with her father. However, since former supermodel, Bella Wilde, appeared in their lives, Freya's life seems to be changing quickly. Impossibly flawless, Bella seems to mesmerise those around her, but she makes Freya uncomfortable. When Freya discovers Bella and her father are getting married and she (Freya) is to be shipped off to boarding school, she knows she must take action and discover the truth.
Drawing on Snow White with touches of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mirror Me is a clever, thought-provoking, enjoyable read. I have no interest in the fashion world, but found the story both compelling and engaging. The chapters are relatively short which, combined with the use of the present tense, keeps the plot fast-paced. Interspersed throughout the chapters are pages of italicised text, adding to the story in an anonymous voice, hinting at what is to come and what has been.
Freya is an excellent character, very believable and easy to relate to. Her insecurities and worries initially hold her back, making her question herself, her mistrust of Bella and her choices, but as the story progresses, her growing self-belief, devotion to her father and determination to thwart Bella's schemes are convincing and have the reader cheering her on. Her friendship with Sam is also a real strength of the story!
At the heart of the book is the importance of being yourself and throwing off the demands and expectations imposed by the fashion industry and social media, embracing difference and individuality. Jan Dunning's background in modelling adds a voice of authenticity to the fashion led scenes, with much to initiate discussion and provoke much needed conversations. An immersive, satisfying read!
416 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 11+