Book Review: Tales from the Back Row

Monday, February 15, 2016


If one were to mix a sassy college student with a professional writer with a fashion twist you would get Amy Odell’s Tales from the Back Row. Odell’s Tales from the Back Row is a non-fiction piece on her first hand experiences of being a journalist in the online fashion blogging world. The book takes you on a journey of Odell and her learning the ins and outs of the fashion business. From interviewing with Anna Wintour for a position at Vogue to getting invited to a Victoria Secret Fashion Show Odell describes a wide range of topics that would be interesting to any fashion lover. The title of the book reveals the underlying theme that Odell is an underdog in the industry. She isn’t wearing $3,000 Chanel suits or sitting in the front row of a fashion show sipping champagne.

While each chapter progresses, Odell becomes more informed and more experienced in the fashion world. I think one of the main purposes of this book is to illustrate her journey through the business in a different and unique way. Although this book mimics the style of an autobiography Odell creates a more casual and fun dialect in the book. I couldn’t help but feel like I was reading a book written by my best friend. Her witty humor was intertwined with facts and stories that made it a fun and easy read.  This book would appeal to anyone interested in the fashion business of course, but I think it is also just a fun read on what it is actually like to work in fashion.

Since I am a fashion industry junkie my opinion may be biased, but I do think this was an awesome read. Although I found the sections well organized I did feel the book was choppy at times. Sometimes I wish it were broken up chronologically so that we could see more of a journey through her career. Despite the very strict chapter structure I thought the book was a quick and enjoyable read. Odell is a captivating writer and conveyed her message well. I think Odell wrote this book to expose what working in fashion journalism is like. To some people’s disbelief fashion journalism isn’t exactly like the famous movie The Devil Wears Prada. Just because Anna Wintour walks around wearing outfits more then my tuition bill doesn’t mean that everyone in the fashion industry lives a lavish lifestyle.  I think her message and overall tone will resonate well with readers. Even if someone isn’t a fashion professional or even interested in fashion I think Odell has create a book that is fun and entertaining for readers.

Although I wasn’t completely naïve to the realistic life of working in fashion journalism, the book had some amazing incites into the industry.  I found Odell to be very relatable, charismatic, and down right hilarious in this book. This book made me excited to be apart of an industry that has it flaws but is very interesting and creative. This book is a must read to feed the fashion lover in all of us.

Have you read Tales from the Back Row? Let me know in the comments! 
XOXO 
Miranda 

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