Book Review: Alterations by Stephanie Scott

“The internship was all kids my age who were here to sharpen their talents. They wanted to create the next wave of fashion. And I’d lied to them. I was lying to all of them.” – 23%

Alterations (2016) is a YA novel by debut author Stephanie Scott, and I’m going to jump right in and gush that I LOVED EVERY PAGE OF THIS BOOK! Dare I say it was even better than Anna and the French Kiss? The NYC parts of it reminded me of New York Dolls too, but for a younger audience.

The story is about a sixteen-year-old Miami girl named Amelia Blanco (my grandmother’s maiden name! I know, not relevant; I just thought it was cool). Mila is bright, spunky, witty, and an insanely talented seamstress and fashionista. She has tons of followers on her fashion Instagram account, and one of her dearest hobbies is creating secret Pinterest boards pertaining to fashion fantasies revolving around her crush.

Mila’s crush? None other than the charming and super-popular Ethan Laurenti, of the wealthy Laurenti family, for whom Mila and her mother and Abuelita work – and also on whose estate they live. Mila, her mother, and her grandmother are essentially “the help.” When Mila realizes she got accepted to the most prestigious fashion internship in the country, she doesn’t want to leave her dreams about getting together with Ethan behind…but this is New York City, baby! In New York, Mila makes fantastic new friends, realizes the cost of her fantasies over a boy she hardly knows, and ultimately finds herself and her dreams for the future. The story could’ve easily ended there, but when she returns to Miami a woman anew, it was nowhere over – it ONLY GOT BETTER!

Cue a special new relationship with Ethan Laurenti’s a-dork-able, geeky twin brother, Liam; a reality TV show being filmed at the Laurentis’ estate; and a new project designing a fashion app with the computer-genius but fashion-challenged Liam, and the story evolves into one of the sweetest and most heartfelt, clean teen romances I’ve read in a while! Parts of this book had me laughing out loud, actually tearing up, and especially shouting, “AWWWW!” to my Kindle at the preciousness. I loved Mila’s enthusiasm, inspiration and ambition for fashion, loved her Latina heritage, and I especially loved her ability to ‘get real’ with herself and her friends. She is a protagonist worth rooting for every step of the way, as is this sparkling novel! This is a book I’ll be recommending for a long time to YA enthusiasts and readers of chick lit everywhere!

Memorable Quotes

“’If you set a goal for yourself, then you’ll push harder. It’s not about winning against somebody else. It’s about pushing yourself to do what you thought you couldn’t.’” – 19%

Beyond the deck, gridded streets with hundreds and thousands of buildings towering at different heights, each filled with people with their own dreams.” – 39%

“…maybe I’d fallen for someone who didn’t exist.” – 39%

The lies ripped like fabric, only the fabric was me. I no longer wanted to be this scared little girl, afraid to step out, afraid someone might not like me. Afraid I might fail. Hiding behind daydreams and fantasy Pinboards. The fantasy was just that and nothing else. Des was right. I needed to get real.” – 40%

‘I’m not sure I can trust someone who doesn’t know which Hogwarts House they’re sorted into.’” – 59%

“’Don’t forget yourself in helping all these other people. You have dreams, too.‘” – 86%

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