Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review of 'Madeline Cain: Adventures in Fashion' by Emily Craven

Madeline Cain: Adventures In Fashion

by Emily Craven



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.

Read an excerpt:
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.

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.

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.

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: 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 stuff it all up.

Buy links

**My thoughts**

I picked up this book on a whim after reading a shorter blurb. I did not realize that it was the second book in a series. That being said, I did feel that this book was able to stand on its own. I was able to sort out who was whom and the gist of the storyline without having read it.

I also didn't realize that the book was going to be told in Facebook format. When I started the book, I was using the text-to-speech function on my Kindle as I was on a road trip. That made it very difficult to handle, at first. So, I took a break until I could actually read it normally. That helped tremendously, though it did remind me a bit of reading a screenplay. I hate reading screenplays. I did finally get used to it, though, thanks in part to several "notes" written by Madeline that helped to explain larger plot points and events. Once I got into the groove, I could enjoy the story, and my reading picked up pace.

It really was like reading my Facebook feed, somewhat putting me deeper into the story than I would have otherwise been. The advantage of this was you really get to know the personalities of all of the characters. All of them are quirky and hilarious. I did literally LOL at many quips and was sometimes jealous that my own Facebook feed isn't always so entertaining. I may or may not have taken note of a few good one-liners to use in the future. 

Madeline's misadventures did remind me of quirkier British characters, such as Bridget Jones, Andi in Devil Wears Prada, and the Shopaholic series. (Yes, I know Madeline is actually Australian, though.) The characters are a bit younger, and will appeal to both adult and YA audiences. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Emily Craven was first inspired to placed pen to paper when she was 13, after she learnt her favourite author, Isobelle Carmody, began her first novel at 14. Emily finished three books 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 and teaches teenagers storytelling.


Web: www.madelinecain.com

Twitter: @TheMadelineCain

Facebook: www.facebook.com/GrandAdventuresofMadelineCain

Blog: http://theoriginalfantasy.blogspot.com

Madeline Cain will be awarding a set of red umbrella earrings (this is an international giveaway) and a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow along for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Really great review. Sounds like a fun story.

    1. Thanks so much! I think so but I'm am exceptionally biased author, so hopefully it translates! I wrote it after I got fed up with writing 'serious' fantasy and wanted to try my hand at something a little more lighthearted.

  2. Thanks so much for having me on the tour Andrea! It's super appreciated :) when you said you tried text to speech with the book I almost shuddered! I'm working with a voice over artist to try and turn it into a podcast that uses a more audio friendly format. Hopefully we figure it out soon!

    I forgot to mention that I'm happy to give anyone who purchases a copy of 'Madeline Cain: Adventures in Fashion' before the end of the tour on the 28th April a free copy of the first book in the series 'The Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain'. Just email me the reciept of your purchase to: emily (at) madelinecain (dot) com.

    I'm here if you had any questions about writing, books, chicklit, the meaning of life... I'm not fussy in the question department ;)

    1. I don't often do the text-to-speech, but knew I had my review coming up and was doing a lot of driving! Sometimes you can't get a good radio station out there. I bet a podcast would be great. I quickly turned it off and tried something else!

    2. Haha! Fingers crossed I can get it off the ground. I had no idea kindle did text to speech. I wonder if the one on my phone does?

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks so much Rita! Sometimes it's hard to figure out what will work out if context so I'm glad it hit the mark. Do you do pros and cons lists?

  4. The outstanding cover is what I like most from the post.

    1. Thanks Mai! We worked on that for a while so glad it catches your eye!!

  5. Thanks for the giveaway! I like the cover and excerpt. :)

    1. No problem Cali, thanks for entering. The umbrella earrings are supposed to represent one of my favourite characters in the book, an abusive umbrella that yells at people when it rains. Madeline's brother Mike rigs it up as a joke. Glad you like the look of the book, its hard to know if you get the presentation right :)

  6. I love the cover--very eye catching!

    1. Thanks Ree! Wish I could say I did it myself but I'm not anywhere near that talented ;)

  7. Enjoyed reading your review and the excerpt.

    1. Thanks Karen! Fingers crossed if you grab a copy of the book you'll like that too!

  8. Nice review and very striking cover. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck with the tour!