Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Review and Excerpt: The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile by Bianca Turestsky

The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile
(The Time-Traveling Fashionista # 3)
By: Bianca Turestsky
Pub. Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 256
Source: Netgalley & Lucinda Literary-Blog Tour

Walk, talk, and dress like an Egyptian.

When Louise Lambert tries on a lavender Grecian gown during a visit to the mysterious Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale, she feels a familiar tug and falls back in time, arriving at the dusty base of an enormous pyramid. She has landed in ancient Egypt...or has she?

It turns out that Louise is on the legendary Old Hollywood film set of Cleopatra, but her time there is short-lived. Rummaging through the wardrobe tent, Louise gets her hands on a pearl necklace that dates back to 51 BC, and she suddenly finds herself whisked away once more, this time to the ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt. Gold and jewels shimmer in the Egyptian sunlight, but poisonous snakes and dangerous enemies also roam the palace halls. Louise quickly learns that life as a handmaiden to Queen Cleopatra is much more treacherous--and fashionable--than she ever could have imagined.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Lucinda Literary.

A few years ago, I read Bianca Turestsky first Time-Traveling Fashionista book, On Board the Titanic and instantly fell in love with this story. It is about a 12 year old girl named Louise who can travel to different places in history through fashion. She has already been on the Titanic and Marie Antoinette's Palace. In this installment, Louise finds herself being a servant to the famous Cleopatra in Ancient Egypt.

Louise not only gets to meet Cleopatra, she also meets Cleopatra's 10 year old brother and husband, the King of Egypt, as well as her sister. We get to see what life was like for these people thousands of years ago. Egypt was such a rich and beautiful time (especially in terms of clothing and architecture) and I felt like I got to experience Ancient Egypt first hand right along with Louise. Louise, being a huge fan of vintage clothing loves all of the items that Cleopatra gets to wear. Everything was described so perfectly! What is so great about these books is that beautiful illustrations are also included. I was so disappointed they weren't in the eARC, but I can't wait to get my hands on a finished copy so I can see them!

What I love about these stories is that they make history fun! As a World History teacher, I eat these kinds of stories right up. There are fun, quick and very easy to understand, making it a perfect book for someone who loves history as much as I do, or for someone who might find history boring. The series is geared towards middle graders, but I feel people of all ages can enjoy them! One of the last chapters in the book has Louise researching things about Cleopatra, and I loved that these facts were incorporated into the story.

There is just one minor thing that I have to mention, and it probably only bothered me because I am a history teacher. When Louise gets to experience the town of Alexandria, she mentions that she sees a huge statue of Poseidon, God of the Sea and realizes that she is seeing one of the Natural Wonders of the Ancient World. While there might have been a Poseidon statue there since it was the time of Ptolemy, and they were Greek, it is not a Natural Wonder. Maybe this was just a mistake in the ARC, and has since been fixed in the finished copy.

I absolutely loved this story and I highly recommend it. I am so excited to see where Louise's next adventure will take her!

Hi, I’m Louise Lambert and I’m a Traveling Fashionista. If people actually told the truth about themselves, it could be a really scary game. My name is Louise and I’m on the swim team and I like vintage fashion, she rehearsed in her head. That was easier; that made sense. Even if at Fairview Junior High, vintage clothing was still considered a little weird, particularly to Billy, whose fashion sense didn't extend beyond the same baggy jeans and dirt brown or navy pullover sweater he wore practically every day.

“Why don’t we start in the back of the class,” Miss Jones said, putting back on her oversize glasses, which made her look like a giant bug.

“I’m Billy Robertson. I love history and I was Miss Morris’s favorite student.” Everyone giggled. Judging by the amount of time he spent in the principal’s office, Billy wasn't any teacher’s favorite student.

When it finally came around to her turn, Louise lost her nerve. “My name is Louise Lambert and I’m on the swim team,” she said quickly, her cheeks burning hot. It was true she was a good swimmer, but that wasn't really the defining thing about her. Louise looked down at a pencil sketch of a Grecian-style dress she had absentmindedly drawn on a blank page in her notebook. Why was she unable to admit that she liked vintage clothing? She couldn't be the only one who was afraid of being a little different, afraid of Billy making one of his trademark mean comments from the back of the room. But it felt that way. Moments like that made her realize her self-confidence was hanging on by a thread. (pgs 21-22) 

Bianca Turetsky is the author of the stylish Time-Traveling Fashionista series, which has been translated into nine languages. After graduating from Tufts University, Bianca began working for artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel. She managed his studio for the past 11 years and was his assistant on the Academy Award-nominated film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. She lives in a cozy studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York, that houses her very extensive and much-loved vintage collection. The third book in the series, The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile will be released December 3, 2013.

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