A Dress for the Wicked

HarperTeen. Aug. 2019. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062857330.
Gr 7 Up–Emmy Watkins grew up in the country town of Shy, Avon-upon-Kent, where she and her mother run a pub. Emmy loves the beauty and quietness of her life in Shy, but yearns for more. She’s a fashion designer, and dreams of joining the prestigious Fashion House in the city. Madame Jolène, Europe’s fashion muse, runs the house and designs for the Crown. Every year the Fashion House invites five worthy contestants to participate in an Interview; they live at the Fashion House and participate in three challenges. Whoever wins may be invited to work at the Fashion House. Emmy never would have been chosen, but the Reformists Party is pressuring Madame Jolène to have a participant from the country, in order to push their agenda. Emmy faces adversity from her arrival a—she does not receive the welcome letter her roommate Sophie got, and Tilda, the maid assigned to Emmy, does not wake her up for her first day. Emmy will not give up—she loves to design, it is where she feels most like herself, her sketches spring from her heart. Readers will root for Emmy to overcome the difficulties put in her way, and help move Avon-upon-Kent to a more inclusive place for blooming fashion designers.
VERDICT A beautiful debut, recommended for school and library collections where Kiera Cass’s Selection series is well liked.

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