Paw Print Press
Book Review: Smile for the Camera by Kelle JamesWednesday, March 07, 2012 By Sydney Centrone
Smile for the Camera is a memoir written by Kelle James. In 1978, 16 year-old Kelle leaves her abusive father and farm life in Maryland for the Big Apple. She takes a bus to New York City, leaving her old life behind. She goes to the city with one hundred dollars and a naïve mind. In a city full of people trying to take advantage of her, Kelle learns how hard it is to find a modeling job and an apartment. As she settles in, Buddy, one of the only people she trusts in the city, is being accused of murder. I found this memoir very interesting. It is not your average teenage read. Kelle tells of her struggles in the city, and the many modeling jobs from which she is rejected. The reader gets to hear all of the things she doesn’t say, but wants to. We get to understand her opinions and thoughts of all of the people around her. This book makes you feel like you’re actually there. In my opinion, visiting the city at least once a month, I believe that Kelle describes New York City perfectly. Also, the time period of this book is the late 70s to early 80s, and I thought it was interesting to read something that happened in a time different from our own. One of the most enjoyable parts of the book was the epilogue. In it, Kelle tells us about her life and the people she encountered, and where they all are now. She explains how she is married, and how the people who tried to take advantage of her taught her life lessons. The epilogue shows how everything came together for Kelle, and I really enjoyed that part of the book. Smile for the Camera was an amazing book that you should definitely read as soon as you get the chance! Smile for the Camera is recommended for audiences 14-17 years old.