Eighteen-year-old shy, suburban aspiring model Catherine Watson longed for adventure, for a life less…ordinary and moves away to pursue her modeling dream in New York City. When she is “discovered” by the hottest fashion designer in the pages of Vogue magazine, “Cat” thinks she has it all as the New York fashion world’s new “It” girl. Her life is thrust into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolve around her like constellations and she tries to play the part. Her former self, “Catherine,” was now a shadow of who she was, and what she was becoming.
“At that moment, it hit me. I was a mere mortal in a room full of demigods: actors, actresses, bygone legends of the stage and screen; men and women who had traipsed down red carpets all of their lives, whom the rest of the country, no, the world, had pined for, had paid to know the secrets of. Here I was standing among them, cavorting with twenty-first century royals.”
Leaving her good-girl image behind, Cat quickly learns things aren’t always what they seem on the catwalk, and she’s faced with a decision that will change her life forever.
Drawing on her own experiences as a model in the fast-paced fashion industry, author Nicole Gabor masterfully weaves a timeless story of self-discovery, coming of age, and the perils of first loves.
The glitz and glamor was fun to read about. It was easy to get swept up in the elite world Catherine is experiencing. It also came with an edge of danger, and I worried for her as she went to clubs and parties and drank too much or gave too much attention to the wrong guy. We get to follow her as she makes her mistakes and figures out her way. There was a valuable lesson here for young girls about who to trust and what boundaries you need to set for yourself to stay safe.
There were several tense parts of the story where I was biting my nails, wondering how much trouble she was going to get into and how she would get out of it. There were a lot of gritty moments that stood in stark contrast to the beauty of the world Catherine found herself in. It was beautiful to see how the author wove those periods of darkness in with all the finery and luxury. There were some downright scary sections of this book that had me almost sick to my stomach. But that was the point. It was the reality of the industry Catherine was in. The best part of this book is the end and what Catherine does about what she’s learned about the industry. I won’t spoil it, but I will say, read through the dark moments because it gets so much better.
What left me wanting more:
It was painful to watch Catherine make bad decisions in this book. Like rejecting the good guy for the sleazeball liar with a secret drug habit. I’m not sure this book should be classified as a YA book since it took place past high school and addressed a lot of heavy, adult topics. I would recommend it for older teens because there’s definitely some R rated content parents will want to be aware of. That being said, there is a powerful lesson in this story. The grittiness is shown for what it is and is cast in a negative light.
The Final Verdict:
CATWALK is a powerful story of a girl discovering who she is and standing up for what she believes in. She takes a potent journey and learns from her mistakes. It’s a story that’s hard to forget.