A while ago, I sent former supermodel of the world Paulina Porizkova a Tweet acknowledging her beauty inside and out. I had just seen her on TV in the now-defunct Jeff Probst Show talking about inner beauty where she was all real and fun, and I felt the urge to connect. Ever since laying eyes on her in the wonderful 1987 film ANNA I have been following her career on and off. I was aware of her modeling days but it was this film that made a greater impact on me. Of course, seeing how she was no dummy during post-movie interviews probably helped as well. But anyway, I’m happy to say that she Tweeted back. She thanked me and added that she was hard at work on a second novel. Oh, I forgot to mention that I also brought up in my Tweet her first work, A MODEL SUMMER which is an impressive piece of contemporary fiction.
The plot revolves around a 15 year old who, after being discovered by a model scout, embarks on a wild journey of sex, sin, first love, and ultimately self-discovery. The semi-autobiographical novel takes you into the gritty world of the fashion industry where everything is far from being all glamorous and chic. But that’s only half the fun in reading A MODEL SUMMER. The other half is finding out how strong the narrative actually is. In a 300-odd pages span Paulina successfully manages not only to flesh-out her main heroine, but to put a new spin to the whole girl-in-jeopardy storyline. Finally a character who is flawed, who makes as many mistakes as any real person would, and who in the end manages to somehow flourish despite the odds. The melodrama is kept to a minimum, focusing instead on the true-to-life route, which for Sleaze Factor is quite unusual considering its over-the-top prerequisites. But the rewards, just like the novel, are exceptional, if not grand.
The author kept away from ghostwriters to write A MODEL SUMMER, choosing instead schooling and hard work as means to deliver a full-fledged manuscript. To me, that’s freaking amazing. In a Hollywood world of phonies, opportunists and quick fixes what a breath of fresh air it is to actually focus on someone who’s the real deal. Someone who could easily be my new BFF if she cares to ask. So here’s to you, sweet Paulina. Hope I get to read more of your work in the years to come. And if you feel like acknowledging me in your next novel or the next after that, go right ahead. I won’t hold it against you. But it will go to my head, that I promise you.