In case you weren't already aware, Tyra Banks, the model known for bringing the crazy on a daytime television show and a pseudo-reality show based on modeling, has decided she needs more mediums to corrupt and now styled herself a fantasy writer. I wish I was kidding. Her book, Modelland, due to hit stores this September, is described as follows:
No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation. Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams.If that wasn't enough to kill your appetite, read the following excerpt...
But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her.
Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical. What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid.
Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Or could it? Dark rumors like silken threads swirl around the question of why Tookie and her new friends were selected . . . and the shadows around Modelland hide sinister secrets.
Are you ready? Modelland is waiting for you. . . .
Thousands of girls stampeded to the square all at once. Heels clacked. Dresses swished. Hairdos wobbled. The T-DOD theme song boomed a pulsating beat.
There was one rule and one rule only: a girl must be walking in order to be chosen.
Other than that, there was no prearranged runway on which the girls could walk, so everyone created invisible ones wherever they were standing. Violence was not encouraged nor was it condemned, and some girls' parents insisted on adding martial arts training to their walking lessons in preparation for the big day. T-DOD Square was an every- man- for- himself or, more precisely, an every- girl- for- herself event.
Scores of girls marched down their own stretches of the square, paused, posed for the cameras (real and imaginary), and then turned around. Trains of walking girls intersected with others. One area behind Tookie was so crammed with street vendors, it bottlenecked into a slow, shuffling line. Some walkers had only enough space to take a few steps before they had to stop and turn. Tookie's heart went out to a young girl in a ruffled pink dress who seemed way below the unofficial thirteen- year-old age requirement. She marched in place as if she were on a drill team.
Riiiip. A girl stepped on the train of a walker a few feet from Tookie and tore the fabric right off the dress. Both girls fell forward into a heap. The walkers behind them stepped over their bodies and continued.
Crash. The De La Crème white and cream blow-up tent went down as two brawling girls entered it. Oof. A girl who looked as if she had never walked in heels before stumbled, breaking the tips of both stilettos. Two girls got into a fight at the end of their makeshift catwalk, rolling to the ground. "Kenya, use the Gyaku Zuki move!" her mother screamed. "Reverse- punch the hairy hag! But watch your hair, sweetie!"
Tookie wheeled around. The hairy hag was Abigail Goode, sideburns in full glory, faint mustache above her upper lip, unshaven leg hair coating her calves, underarm hair swaying in the wind, and a DOWN WITH RAZORS! picket sign still in her hands. The girl she was fighting with tried out a karate move on her, but Abigail expertly evaded her blow.
Tookie's jealousy meter skyrocketed. Even Abigail was competing? She looked around some more. Actually, not only were eligible girls walking, but lots of other people were too. An elderly man on a power scooter shot a gap- toothed smile to the crowd as he steered his vehicle with his hands on his hips. Two down- ontheir-luck women dressed in trash- bag dresses and beat-up sweat suits walked while pushing everything they owned in shopping carts, heckling every girl who passed. "Honey, you wish you had it like I do." "Get back, spring chickens age before beauty, ladies!" Tookie chuckled when she noticed that even some of the protesters ditched their RUN AWAY, DON'T WALK signs and sashayed energetically while chanting, "Women, let's walk! Smile for the cams! T-DOD, it rocks. Crank the music, let's jam!"
A few drunken boys from outside the gates got into the action, strutting next to the girls in exaggerated, long- legged lopes. One guy snaked an arm around a girl's waist, but she swatted him away. The photographers and cameramen scrambled to catch every moment, projecting various images onto the screens next to the stage.
Thump, thump, thump. The music beat on. The largest screen showed the remaining time left for walking. Twelve minutes, twenty seconds.
"Go, Myrracle, go!" Mrs. De La Crème shouted. Myrracle had staggered a few feet away from the fallen tent and was standing there staring at the melee, eyes bugged, frozen in place. "Don't freeze up! Wake up, baby. You have to do this!"
"Yeah, Myrracle. You can do this. Come on!" Tookie urged, holding her sister by her arms and staring into her eyes, trying to spark a connection. "Dance in your spirit, but not with your body," she repeated over and over. Then she turned Myrracle around, placed Myrracle's hands on her hips, and whispered in her ear: "Left, then right, then left, then right . . ."
Myrracle suddenly broke out of her trance and began to follow Tookie's instructions. Tookie jumped out of the way to watch her sister. Halfway down her imaginary runway, Myrracle began to wiggle her hips and shake her shoulders to the infectious music that swelled over the sounds of the crowd.
"Don't dance!" Mrs. De La Crème bellowed, giving Myrracle a pinch. "If you sway one more time, you'll get way worse than a little pinch! If I have to beat the last pas de bourrée out of you, I will! Now walk, walk, walk like an Intoxibella!" Myrracle snapped back to focus. Her arms swung gently. She thrust her hips forward, as she'd learned to do in hours upon hours of walking class. She reached the end of her catwalk and came face to face with Abigail Goode. Both girls vied for the same spot to pose. Myrracle stuck out her pointy elbows, bumped her hip, and shoved Abigail hard out of the space. Abigail teetered over in her high shoes, hit her head on the footrest of the old man's motorized scooter, and passed out cold.
Almost immediately a siren sounded and Tookie heard someone yell, "Girl down! Girl down!"
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