Violet in Private – Melissa Walker

Title: Violet in Private
Author: Melissa Walker
Pages: 224
Release Date: August 5, 2008
Genre: Teen, Chick Lit
Rating: **** 1/2 (out of 5)

From the back cover:

I know I’m supposed to be Violet Greenfield the fresh-faced runway model, a cultured and worldly nineteen-year-old with super high confidence because I’ve done fashion weeks internationally. But the truth is, modeling hasn’t raised my self-esteem all that much. And now that I’m finally headed to college, I’m afraid I’ll turn back into that girl who blended into the walls all throughout high school.

Vassar is just a two-hour train ride from New York City, so technically I could keep working. But I’d rather accept an editorial internship at Teen Fashionista. It’s a chance to be appreciated for something besides my height and weight! My friends in fashion think I’m crazy to stop modeling, but my best friend Roger is all in favor of it. Of course, things have been weird between us ever since we kissed – and now he’s got a new girlfriend. So I guess the question is:

If I’m not “Violet on the Runway” anymore, who exactly am I?

I am a huge fan of the “Violet” series, so when Melissa Walker sent me a review copy of Violet in Private, I literally squealed with excitement, and of course, I dove in immediately.

I’ll admit it – my first thoughts were not the most positive. My main question was “is Violet going to continue to swear off modeling, but then run back every time she has an opportunity? Is that going to be the ongoing theme to these books?” As I read on, I felt guilty for doubting Melissa Walker’s ability to craft a storyline – just as the other two did, Violet in Private really blew me away.

The characters are well written, as always. As the series has progressed, we have seen less and less of Violet’s best friend Julie, but it’s an acceptable loss. New characters, such as Violet’s hilarious friend at Vassar, Kurt, seem to fill in the gaps. Plus we see plenty of our old favorites, Roger, Aunt Rita, and Veronica. The characters are so well penned, in fact, that this is a series that I’m dying to see turned into a movie, just to see what the cast would be like!

I also like that Violet really takes a stand for something in this book. We saw the beginnings of that in Violet by Design, but she really comes out of her shell in Violet in Private. She really begins to grow up and realize that she has influence over a lot of people. She begins to fight for what she believes in, even if it means dire personal consequences. While the Violet series is about every teen girl’s dream coming true, Violet really begins to become a role model to these girls in this book.

I realize this review sounds like gushing, and it is – these books are some of the most enjoyable books I’ve read. They’re light and fun, but still tackle important subjects. The characters are smart and witty and you really begin to care for them. Above all, they actually seem real. A lot of books of the “crazy things happen to a normal person and their dreams come true” genre, while fun, aren’t realistic in any sense of the word (Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series comes to mind). But Violet seems like a real teen. She has all the insecurities and self-doubt, and is straight up about the fact that the amount of makeup she wears in her shoots can make anyone look good. Yes, the events are somewhat fanciful, but at the core of it is a real girl – that’s what makes these books so compelling and so delicious!


  1. I’m not a really huge chick lit fan, but you’ve written such a great review that I think I’m going to have to check this whole series out. I really like reading books that my daughter would like, then we can read them at the same time and have a little mini bookclub.

  2. This was my favorite in the series! They just got better and better. I too would want to see a movie version. If only to see Roger!!!

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