The Time Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile by Bianca Turetsky
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Genre: YA, Sci Fi
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Published Date: December, 2013
Louise Lambert loves her vintage fashion. The fact that it helps her travel through time doesn’t hurt at all either. Even though she’s usually ready for whatever’s going to happen, this time throws her for a loop. Almost literally. Instead of simply traveling back to spend time with Cleopatra, Louise makes a stop along the way. She ends up on the set of the famous film, Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Talk about meeting fashion icons!
However, as usual, Louise’s trip is not all fun and fashion. On the film set, there’s a lot of chaos and (surprise, surprise!) drama, but when she gets back to Cleo’s court, that’s when things really start to go south. There’s peril and intrigue around every corner. Cleopatra’s life is in danger and it’s not unusual for people around her to die. That’s a new experience for Louise and one she hopes not to experience first-hand!
With each book, Louise’s adventures delve into fabulous areas of history but more than that, Turetsky does a fabulous job of creating a backstory that builds as well. When Louise finds clues and hints that people close to her may have also time traveled, she starts some deeper exploration which could prove to be really fun in future outings. I also love the idea that she’s starting to find other friends amongst time travelers. This possibility could also expand the series into some fun and dynamic territory for Louise.
As for this book, once again the dialogue was entertaining and Louise’s adventures were appropriately stressful without being too over the top. She learns a great deal about what life was like for Cleopatra and, even though she’s time traveled before, it still surprises her. The facts are peppered throughout the book and Turetsky does a great job in educating the reader without coming off preachy or teachy. We care about Louise and we want to know what happens to her next. It’s well done. In stories like this one, there’s always the possibility that the adventure overtakes the character and we lose that connection. This hasn’t happened here and I’m glad for that.
Even though Louise is 12, her stories are enjoyable and fast moving enough to continue to entertain well past that age. There isn’t anything in here that made me worry about handing it over to my 14 or 11 year old. The reality is that adventures through history aren’t anything new in Young Adult entertainment, but this series manages to do it in a fun way that works for tweens and teens. No time machine or geekery here – it’s fashion! That’s fabulous.
I loved the first book in this series and I am delighted to see how they’ve continued in the same vein! Well done. I can’t wait to see where she goes next.
Rating PG: This one was good for tweens and pre-teens as well as teens. Just a few tense situations but nothing that should be offensive.