Smile for the Camera by Kelle James

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Smile for the Camera is a chilling, brave, and adventurous memoir of a young and determined dreamer, Kelle, suffering the effects of abuse. This daring book takes place in the city that never sleeps, New York, New York during the 1980‘s. She’s all alone in the city besides her best friend who’s more like a sister. Though she won’t let that stop her. When she realizes her life is on the line at home, she packs her bags and heads out to “The Big City” with hopes of becoming a model. On her way to the top, Kelle meets a supportive, loving, and free-spirited girl, Rayna. Rayna has similar dreams, and they become inseparable through all their trials and tribulations. Some including actual trials when their misunderstood neighbor is accused of a crime. Throughout Kelle’s other milestones, she meets men, employees, and other modeling girls, that teach her lessons, good and bad. People that teach her ways to live, and what to watch out for.

Opportunities and struggles fill this book with no time to catch your breath. This story captured my heart in all ways possible. It’s the first time I’ve cried while reading. James embraces emotion with every sentence making the theme of love, friendship, and dreams do come true shine through. Turning the pages wasn’t a struggle due to how realistic the basis of the story was and how interesting the characters were. James proved that it’s possible to get through hard times even when you feel as if there’s no hope at all. This is a book great for all young teenage girls, no one should miss out on this incredible life story.





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