by Melanie Schuster, contemporary (2008)
Kimani, $5.99, ISBN 978-0-373-86061-6
Melanie Schuster's Model Perfect Passion introduces Wilhelmina "Billie" Phillips and Jason Wainwright. She's a very beautiful supermodel who is hoping to start a new career of remodeling old houses and reselling them while he is easily one of Chicago's richest, most handsome, and most successful real estate agents.
The first thing any reader will notice while reading this story is that the main characters are dripping with superlatives. Billie isn't just beautiful, she is stunning and gorgeous and dripping with luscious mojo all the way to the next galaxy. Jason isn't just hot and rich, he dates and ditches hot models, actresses, and such on a regular basis (a woman's expiry date is one month from the date of scoring where he is concerned). But not only that, even the secondary characters are amazing. Those characters aren't just fabulously gorgeous, they are also the best expert in whatever they are doing for a living.
I find these people utterly boring. I mean, they are perfect. There is no need for character development - and there is none here - because they have no need to change or learn. There is no conflict here. The story is as long as it is because the author accounts for the day-to-day activities and social interactions of her main characters as if this book is a literary adaptation of the daily lives of the rich and famous, only without the sleaze, drug habits, and other fun stuff that make such stories worth reading.
And then there is the author's bizarre messages about beauty. It seems as if Billie being a supermodel is something... bad, I suppose, because here, Ms Schuster has Jason constantly thinking about how wonderful Billie is despite her being a model. Billie eats like a horse (only more delicately, of course) - that's a good thing, wow. Billie isn't shallow at all, wow. Billie isn't vain and doesn't do all that make-up thing, amazing. Billie doesn't go for all that sissy vegan and organic food crap, good for her. Also, Billie wants to be called that instead of Wilhelmina because Billie is "real" while her model persona is not. Isn't she "deep", people?
You know, I find all these perplexing overcompensation pretty ridiculous. Realistically speaking, there is no way Billie can remain rail-thin to qualify as a supermodel when she eats like that, unless she practices that finger-down-her-throat post-meal routine thing or she has a coke habit to burn away the calories. Likewise, there is no way she can look that good without taking time to groom and pamper herself. If Ms Schuster is worried that readers may hate Billie because she is beautiful, then why make Billie beautiful? Ms Schuster can't have the cake and eat it too, not with how she is treating the matter of Billie's beauty in this story.
Still, I should be grateful that Ms Schuster's overcompensation for Billie's "terrible" burden of beauty is present to amuse me now and then, or else Model Perfect Passion would have perfectly fit the definition of "boring".
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