I like my books like my coffee : Hot and Dark.

My reviews might contain heavy spoilers! Read at your very own risk.


The Tokyo Cover Girls
Jackie Amsden
(The Tokyo Cover Girls , #1)
Publication date: April 28th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
New York has Jacobs, Paris has Chanel, Milan has Versace and Tokyo has . . . Hello Kitty toilet plungers? With its cute-obsessed catalogue and magazine market, anyone who is anyone knows that modeling in Japan means being at the bottom of the fashion industry. Blake, Jess, and Hailey are doing their best to survive yet another casting where pigtails and toddler-impressions are a must when they stumble upon the opportunity of a lifetime. The prestigious Satsujin company has selected them to compete for a campaign that will transform the winner from commercial nobody to haute couture superstar faster than you can say Vogue Italia.
Of course, nothing is ever what it seems in the fashion world. Just ask all those dead girls . .

  • Hailey stared at the small screen mounted above the elevator’s sliding doors as Blake
    and Jess performed last-minute hair and face touch-ups. A Japanese woman dressed
    entirely in maroon leather stood next to them in the small space, typing something into
    her iPhone.
    18. 19. 20.
    “How much does this one pay, anyway?” Blake stared into a leopard-print compact, a
    tube of MAC Lipglass pressed to her mouth.
    “The client will explain,” said Yuki. Their booker had broad shoulders and features
    that looked like hastily scrawled handwriting—small eyes, a sharp nose and a mouth that
    turned into an upside-down W when she frowned. Hailey sometimes wondered what
    shape it made when she smiled. She lifted her gaze back to the screen.
    90. 91. 92.
    They had only been to one casting so far that had taken place in a high-rise and even
    then it had only been on the 17
    “There is an actual guarantee though, right?’” said Jess.
    156, 157, 158.
    Wow. They were officially higher than the CN Tower. Where were they going?
    “Trust me, this is casting is a very good opportunity.” Yuki pointed her index figure
    at them as she talked and Hailey couldn’t help but notice that it was covered in callouses
    and her nail was scratched and scuffed. She frowned. Those were pretty rough hands for
    a modeling agent, weren’t they?
    The elevator pinged and Hailey looked up to see that the numbers had been replaced
    by a single word: Penthouse. The doors slid open.
    “But how good?” said Blake.
    “No more questions! Just be on your best behavior. Now hurry. We don’t want to
    keep the client waiting!” said Yuki.
    Jess and Blake headed out. Hailey was about to follow them when she felt a hand grip
    her wrist.
    “Hailey, that goes especially for you,” said Yuki.
    “Pardon?” said Hailey.
  • “A client told me that you didn’t want to put on your bathing suit for the casting
    “Oh, uh…” said Hailey. How did Yuki know that? After the girls had knocked over
    the wall and ripped the sample dress, Hiro had insisted that they leave the casting right
    away and so they had missed their turn altogether.
    “But how did you—”
    “And what are you wearing?” Yuki gestured toward Hailey’s dress. “It looks like an
    old tablecloth.”
    “But I—”
    “Never mind. Just wear something more professional next time. What I am most
    concerned about is your weight. Your waist looks very bloated.”
    “Bloated?” said Hailey.
    “Yes. And your thighs.”
    “My thighs?” said Hailey.
    “You are not taking care of yourself and you have a bad attitude. No wonder you
    aren’t getting any work. I had expected more of you, Hailey. I am afraid that if your
    performance does not improve immediately, I will have to break your contract. You will
    be sent home and your career as a Tokyo fashion model will be over forever.”
    “But I was just starting to—”
    “No excuses. Do you understand or not?” said Yuki.
    Hailey nodded.
    “Good,” said Yuki. With sharp, military-like precision, her booker strode out of the
    Hailey had been expecting a layout similar to the high-rise they had visited the week
    before: long corridors with generic doors lined up along them. Instead, she found herself
    staring at a gleaming oak stage surrounded by row upon row of crimson velvet
    upholstered seats. A dozen or so delicate crystal lanterns perched on the walls, bathing
    the space in warm light. It looked like a London theater circa 1920s—only it was
    hovering 190 stories above Tokyo. At the far end of the room, her booker and roommates
    were already climbing the stairs toward the stage.Hailey paused for a moment, resisting the urge to snap a photo like some stupid
  • tourist, and hurried towards them. Her arms erupted in goose bumps as she made her way
    through the cool, dim space, her shoes clicking against the wooden floor. Three chairs sat
    in the middle of the otherwise empty platform. Yuki waited until the girls had each taken
    one of them before speaking.
    “Client should arrive any moment. Good luck. I will meet you downstairs after.”
    “You’re not staying?” said Jess. “Who is going to…translate?”
    “That will not be necessary,” said Yuki.
    Hailey crossed her arms and gazed out across the wide, empty space. If this was such
    a great opportunity, where were all the other models?

Author Bio:
Jackie Amsden worked as a fashion model in China, Japan, and Taiwan before retiring at the age of eighteen after one too many agent threats, nude photo shoot requests, and self-loathing-induced Pocky binges. If you’d like to learn more about her decent into the darker side of Asia’s candy-coated modeling industry sign up for free installments of her upcoming memoir and get updates about the sequel to The Tokyo Cover Girls at www.jackieamsden.com.

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