Violet in Private by Melissa Walker

Violet on the Runway, Violet by Design, and Violet in Private by Melissa Walker

A wallflower in the spotlight can do one of two things: wilt or blossom. Shy and insecure, Violet Greenfield's life changes forever when a lady in giant Chanel shades tells her she could be IT, the next Kate Moss. Tall, skinny Violet, who's been P-L-A-I-N practically forever, ends up walking runways in New York City, Brazil, and Paris. Juggling her best friends, her agent's shrill demands, and the pressure of the fashion world to stay thin at any cost takes its toll on Violet. When she finally does choose college over modeling, will she be able to stick to her decision? After all, if she's not Violet on the Runway anymore, who is she?

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"It's a hard sell, asking readers to muster sympathy for the congenitally gorgeous whose job it is to wear designer clothes and walk. In Violet on the Runway, Melissa Walker pulls it off." - The New York Times
"Think America's Next Top Model in book form -- only better." - NPR, All Things Considered
"A sensitive portrait of adolescence - simultaneously funny and painful." - Nylon Magazine
"A story for any girl who ever wondered what it would be like to have her wildest dreams come true." - Sarah Dessen
"You'll love the real voice of Violet." - Seventeen Magazine
An NYPL 2008 Book for the Teen Age
Melissa Walker

Things to Know
Melissa Walker

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On the nightstand: Chapstick, eye cream, four bangle bracelets and my book choice of the week

Favorite drink while you write: Iced coffee with cream and sugar (I ask my coffee place to "make it taste like ice cream")

Favorite library: Vassar's library, so pretty you could get married in it (quietly)

Pet: Sadly, none! But there are two really nice alley cats in my backyard sometimes.

Place to write: An overstuffed pink flowered chair in the bay window of my apartment

Inspiration: Every single reader email I get

Favorite outfit: Black strapless dress from the Luella Bartley for Target designer collection, plus vintage Oscar de la Renta high heels.

Stilettos or Uggs? Despite my favorite outfit, I'm often found in T-shirts and yoga pants . . . with flip-flops or soft slippers.

Next up: Lovestruck Summer (summer 2009)

Author idols: Sarah Dessen, a fellow graduate of Chapel Hill High School

Other writings: ELLEgirl: Love Your Body, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Family Circle

Interviews: Little Willow, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Teen Book Review, YA New York, YA Fresh




rgz LIVE!

Discuss the book with the author herself! Melissa Walker will be chatting live at the readergirlz forum on Thursday, August 28th at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST.

The chat will last for about an hour.



Love Your Body Day

Love Your Body Foundation

Hey rgz! Love Your Body Day 2008 is coming up this fall. Start planning now to support this important day of action to speak out against advertisements and images of women that are harmful, offensive, disrespectful, and demeaning. Ideas include:

a. Inviting your closest pals over and encouraging everyone to wear their most comfy clothes, like sweat suits, flip flops, and pajamas.
b. Staging a "Real Women" beauty pageant that celebrates the beauty of female bodies by presenting true versions of the ways teens and women look.
c. Mentoring groups of younger girls in your community, such as your local Girl Scout troop, talking about body image and working together to deconstruct ads and articles in magazines.

For more information and ideas, visit the Love Your Body Foundation.

These tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book.

Thirty-Three - Smashing Pumpkins
Change is Hard - She & Him
No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
Our Song - Taylor Swift
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths
Time Won't Let Me Go - The Bravery
Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
Tattoo - Jordin Sparks
Africa - Toto
Hey There, Delilah - Plain White T's
London Rain - Heather Nova
Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie




Discuss the Violet books with us at the readergirlz forum. Here are some things to consider:

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a model or working in the fashion world?

Violet often has to choose between what she knows is right and what the people around her are pressuring her to do. Have you ever had to make those kinds of choices? What kinds of mistakes have you made? And when have you made the right decisions?

Throughout the Violet series, Violet and her best friend Roger have major chemistry. Have you ever fallen for a guy friend? What happened?

Body image is a huge issue for Violet as she navigates the modeling world. Do you think the fashion industry promotes unrealistic images of what women's bodies look like? If so, how can we help change that?

In pursuing her dreams of being a successful model, Violet deals with people who stereotype her as just a pretty face. Have you ever entered a new world where people had certain assumptions about you that you wanted to prove wrong? How did you handle it?

Looking through magazines, how does browsing the fashion pages make you feel? Do you like the clothes? Are you inspired by the shoots? What do you think about the models they use?



Invite: Fashion Show invites are insanely creative, anything from 3D cutouts to silver key necklaces. But the coolest ones have an original sketch on them, so have a pencil-skilled friend create a unique design, or download a Project Runway sketch to use here.

Food: You could go with model food and serve carrots and celery . . . but don't forget strawberries dipped in chocolate and sparkling fruit juice for a treat.

Décor: Roll out a ream of paper on the floor and spread out fashion magazines (Vogue, ELLE, Nylon) along the "runway." Gather around it to chat about the Violet series. Don't forget to sprinkle glitter on the catwalk and let the event photographer sit at the end of the runway in the "photographer's pit." Create gift bags for each attendant with candy, stickers and makeup samples, which you can get in the pages of lots of magazines.

Movies: Zoolander, The Devil Wears Prada, Grey Gardens (for the insane, quirky, iconic style of Little Edie Beale)

Crafts: Bring digital cameras and pose with friends, making your most excellent model faces - cheerful, upset, angry, thoughtful. No do-overs! Download the shots on a computer and have an impartial judge crown a "Best Face" winner in each category. Bonus: If someone has a Polaroid, use that instead - it is the go-to camera for the fashion industry.


On Pointe by Lorie Ann Grover  Looks by Madeleine George  Uglies by Scott Westerfeld  True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet by Lola Douglas  Sweethearts by Sara Zarr  Body Drama by Nancy Amanda Redd

Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council

On Pointe by Lorie Ann Grover
Looks by Madeleine George
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet by Lola Douglas
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Body Drama by Nancy Amanda Redd


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