* I am reviewing these books which I was gifted for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *
Jana Novak's history sounds like a classic model cliché: tall and gangly, she's uncomfortable with her androgynous looks until she's unexpectedly scouted and catapulted to superstardom.
But the fashion industry is as grimy as it is glamorous. And there are unexpected predators at every turn.
Jana is an ordinary girl from a south London estate, lifted to unimaginable heights. But the further you rise, the more devastating your fall ...
Honest and raw, this is a timely exposé of the dark underbelly of the fashion industry in an era of #TimesUp and #MeToo. It might just be Juno Dawson's most important book yet.
This was quite good.
First, I'm going to say that this has a lot of trigger warnings attached to it including eating disorders, transphobia, sexual assault, sexual harassment, body shaming, coercion and drug use as well as general mental health awareness. Please be careful when reading it as it is, in general, a very heavy book.
I have to admit that even though Juno Dawson is a massive author in the UKYA community, I haven't read a lot of her books so I think that this meant that it took me a while to the story. I couldn't connect to Jana's voice and didn't really like some of the slang that was used in the book. While I did get into Jana's voice, there was just something about the slang that I didn't like.
Also, the book does not shy away from scenes of a sexual nature and while I commend Juno from making sex seem realistic especially with Ferdy, some of the language used made me cringe a little. As an asexual person, I can't say that I love reading about sex scenes in general so this may be more a me thing than something that others have to worry about. Overall, I don't think that my small complaints about this book affected my reading experience because this is a really important read.
I think that Jana's voice does shine through and Juno's characterisation of her is perfect and you do get to connect with her and feel her pain throughout the book. I think that she always stays true to herself and has just a strong voice that you often don't see in YA.
I also loved all the other characters in the book. All of the models from Lien to Carla to Annabella to Wesley were all unique in their way and often used to show how the model industry treats different people and how they are so easily disregarded in a meat market. Her friends were also a great part of the story and also offers so much diversity. Again, the story offers so much more than just stereotypes and honestly, the relationships do make the story. I loved Jana and Ferdy's relationship and just supported in so much. The relationships in this book are tough and they are complex and they go through hardships but honestly that just life.
The book is very honest. It does not shy aware from the truths that happen in the model industry. It shows the harsh realities. The long waiting. The unexpected fame. The drugs. The awful people and sexual harassment. This was handled so well and I think that it was so hard to read about at some points as Juno has built Jana to someone that we really care about and to see her go through it was heartbreaking. I think that it really does take care of the sensitive topics and although at some points of the story I was expecting the worse, it does offer hope and it a story like this, it is always important.
I also read this mostly today and I didn't tell myself that I could turn it off so yes it was really good and really important. I was so close to tears when I finished so that just encapsulate how it made me feel.
Meat Market offers an honest and raw insight into the fashion industry and is such as important read in the post-#MeToo Age.
Have you read Meat Market? If so what did you think of it? If not would you like to?