Review: The High Moments By Sara-Ellis Ozbek

Yes, the devil really does wear prada..

The High Moments is about a young woman called Scarlett. Her relationship with her mother is tricky. She is bored of the “same scenes” her home town, Topsham, has to offer her but she shares fun moments with her best friend Billie at the bar, mocking students. There is something striking her about starting a life in London as a Fashion Designer. She leaves home without warning without any money or a place to live so ends up crashing on a friends couch, who is sleeping with her ex Tim. She comes to realise that actually they made her feel right at home and were very supportive of her journey, despite the major awkwardness. When scouted on Instagram by a model agency to become an agent, she soon discovers the fashion world is not how she imagined it..

We want to congratulate Ozbek for such a wonderful book. It’s safe to say that Ozbek really did give us some “high” moments of fashion and drama in an epic rock’n’roll manner. The plot had kept us up most of the night eager to find out how Scarlett would overcome this film of self-destruction, lies and addiction but we were completely blind sighted by the way this would all be integrated into the story. It was FABULOUS! We would like to describe it to you as a positively English, daring and modern style of Devil Wears Parda.

As the book is based mostly around fashion, we love how the theme was heavily endorsed throughout. The way Ozbek painted the scene of Scarlett heading into her first club with the agency with things borrowed from the closet, reminded us of Devil Wears Parda, making you realise that this is actually a thing. It was the first point where she gave you the taste of life in the world of fashion which immediately makes you want in anyway. The mention of any brand like McQueen and Channel had made us fully appreciate Ozbek’s intimate knowledge with fashion that made you trust her on the experience. This is the start of Scarlett’s addictive path as the fashion industry has lured her to want more. It’s a good way of symbolizing the amount of drug abuse included in this book. When Scarlett becomes obssessed with being friends with Lilah, she gets introduced to the variety of drugs they take on a regular basis. You’re secretly sitting there like “don’t do it, don’t get pushed by peer pressure” but at the same time you realise the lengths Scarlett is willing to go for some acceptance in that world. The change in hectic schedules and weight loss was noted by Steph and Billie later in the book but you didn’t realise that this was a sign to suggest Scarlett hadn’t had it all undercontrol like we thought. We were, like Scarlett, consumed by the rush of fashion week and the run up to it.

One thing in life we will appreciate going forwards is the amount of organization it takes for one week of back-to-back fashion shows. Little did we realise, there is a tremendous amount of planning (minute by minute to be exact) of models coming in from all over the world to walk a short amount of time but representing a huge brand. This is safe to say that people can stop branding models of having an easy job because the level of standards expected from the rest of the world makes you realise why models can end up being troubled, like Lillah and her friends. We never got to the bottom of why Lillah behaved with lack of awareness for the substances she was taking but you will soon learn the Scarlett never really got that close. We saw it more of the “boyfriend” thing. Scarlett’s devotion to making decisions were really rubbish. It made us see her as weak, uncapable and an easy target. Steph and Billie were the only friends who ever knew her for her true self but Scarlett didn’t respect this when she was too busy chasing the crowd. This made you really doubt her as a character but Ozbek soon won us back onside towards the end. It was a fresh look on a novel as it was almost like a diary. Scarlett would have thoughts to herself then write them in her phone almost to remind herself of the goals she wants to achieve. It was sort of like a diary in this structure which made us understand her that little more personally. If you can’t tell already, we don’t want to give away this book because it honestly was a brilliant way to finish off the summer. It was slightly dark but humorous and striking.

There are many trigger warnings in this book like swearing, fidelity, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, healthy living, lying and SCANDELOUS DRAMA!

Thank you to Random Things Tours and Simon & Schuster for providing us with this ARC! We knew it was a good one when we saw the blurb…

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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