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Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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Modelland

Modelland - Modelland, a place where every girl’s dream comes true. A place where girls are turned into Intoxibellas, superheroes with powers of seduction, teleportation, empathy…Okay, let’s face it. MODELLAND might possibly be one of the biggest literary train wrecks ever. If Tyra Banks was not some famous supermodel with bigger name recognition than Madeleine Albright, then this book would have hopefully never been published. The fact it was published anyway makes me question lots of things, particularly Tyra, who apparently thought that this was a great idea. The morals behind it – a girl who isn’t conventionally beautiful learning to stand up for herself and love who she is – are there, but the execution… Oh, Lord, THE EXECUTION!Reading MODELLAND is like reading what a five year old might write after watching a marathon of every America’s Next Top Model episode while high on a mixture of LSD and apple juice. Such fun (and whacked out) changes to reality include 1.) a city named Metopia where each quadrant has completely different weather 2.) a fashion emergency department store (aka the Modelland hospital) where doctors have roller skates instead of feet and nurses are called purses 3.) a board of directors that are actually called the BORED – because they look bored like the people on the front rows of fashion shows and 4.) names like Tookie de la Crème and Shiraz Shiraz. I personally wonder if Tyra realized Tookie is also the nickname of a rather infamous gang member named Stanley Williams who murdered people and was executed. But that’s beside the point.I can only imagine that this experience is best when you are high on multiple drugs mixed with a healthy dose of alcohol. Since that is illegal and I don’t drink, I did it while high on cake and tripping on a lack of sleep. Exploring Modelland and the various international locales of this strange world made me wonder if I was going insane. A country entirely located inside a grocery store. Countries named Nordensee and Iceyland, identical quadruplets who share a bed named ILikee, HerLikee, MeLikee, and SheLikee, a ship in the middle of Modelland that teaches runway techniques while swaying back and forth, a class called Mastication where you are labeled a “gut stuffer” (among other titles) and taught to use a wall that pops out whatever food you want.Describing the plot of this book would be pointless and futile. Imagine the most ridiculous plotlines imaginable. MODELLAND is more ridiculous than that. It draws elements from THE HUNGER GAMES, HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, and so many other ideas, but mixes them with acid and insanity. The message of MODELLAND is a good one – every girl is beautiful, not just the conventionally pretty ones – but it’s heavily muddled in lots of completely insane bits and bobs that didn’t fit together.I won’t give MODELLAND one star. I read this thing cover to cover and enjoyed it, if only because it was a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from. It gets two stars for the sheer hilarity this book was. It made little to no sense and was filled with some of the most elementary school-esque writing I’ve ever seen (but I’ve seen worse from even the biggest publishers, to be honest). Tyra Banks is no author, but at least she has a whacked out imagination.VERDICT: MODELLAND is quite possibly one of the most inadvertently hilarious books ever. The writing is horrible, the plot makes no sense, and the world is crazy. But why do you want to read this? To experience it all first hand.