Straight off the heels of her week in Paris, Model Undercover: Stolen With Style follows sixteen year-old Axelle to the Big Apple where she has been asked to find a big black diamond that was stolen from a photo shoot. Although she has the connections—her aunt Venetia is the editor of a well-known fashion magazine based in Paris—and opportunities—requests and calls keep rolling in during her week in New York—Axelle is not interested in becoming a model. To her mother’s despair, she is intent on becoming a detective. And so it seems that a career in being an undercover model just might be the right balance between the wishes of the mother and those of her daughter.
Well-written and engaging just like its predecessor, Model Undercover: New York, written in the first person, gives readers the opportunity to “get to know” Axelle Anderson. The ease with which the world of fashion—with its renowned designers, big egos, and big names—is weaved into the story make it seem as familiar a setting as your average corner store, making it easy to follow the story. Axelle’s week in Paris has had a positive influence on her; she sounds more mature than the whiney teenager she came off as in the beginning of Model Undercover: A Crime of Fashion. While she still has the same concerns now that she had in Paris—concerns shared by many teenagers around the world, such as wanting to pursue a career that her mom doesn’t approve of, wondering about her relationship with a new boyfriend—Axelle comes off as a down to earth responsible sixteen year old… Except perhaps for the fact that she shares a lot of information about her secret case with her friends and family, mostly over the phone while people in the fashion world are milling around.
In the first volume of the series, author Axelsson briefly touched upon the concepts of perception and dichotomies. In this volume, she too briefly touched upon the concept of perception as well, this time when her model friend urges Axelle to not judge but keep an open mind when faced with the confusing and unexpected actions of her new boyfriend. While the concept was discussed only superficially, it will hopefully generate a deeper reflection in Axelsson’s readers.
Light-hearted, fast paced, and clean page-turners, both books in the series would make a good summer read. And while this one is the second book in the Model: Undercover series, enough background information was weaved into the story by the author, making it easy for new readers to keep up Axelle’s adventures. More information about the author and the series is available on her website.