Chapter 6: Stunning, Statuesque, Strobotronic Stars with Stupefying Stratospheric Struts
Yes, that is the actual chapter title.
7Seven is an acronym/abbreviation. It stands for "Stunning, Statuesque, Strobotronic Stars with Stupefying Stratospheric Struts." It's amazing how this manages to perfectly illustrate the type of prose that is in this book. It has the lousy acronyms, the alliteration, and the unnecessary, repetitive, omnipresent adjectives.
Chapter 6 is the longest chapter so far. Or at least, it certainly feels
the longest. (The Kindle version doesn't have page numbers, so it's hard to tell.)
We finally get some explanations about the differences between Intoxibellas, 7Sevens and Triple7s. We even get introduced to the newest 7Sevens. We also get our first glimpse at what kind of powers the models have.
I do appreciate that we finally get some exposition - even if its clumsily done - since I've been feeling extremely lost. In fact, I'm not sure I remember why this chapter was so hard to get through. Sure, the prose is still bad, but there was something else. Something . . .
*WHAM* *WHAM* *WHAM*
Oh, my. It seems poor Lady Momus has started banging her head against a wall. She must have realized how horrid her decision to wear brown socks with black shoes was. I'll take over until she's feeling better.
"Now it's time to dish about LaDorno, dahlings."
"Pleasant seventy-eight-degree temperatures at all times — except on the beaches, where it's a wonderful eighty-five . . . And when you breathe in, you inhale only fresh, crisp, unpolluted air."
"You want to live in this place, right? You and the rest of the world, dahling." But getting in isn't that easy. Own a knockoff handbag? Your application will be rejected. Have a Pekinese with a pedigree that isn't perfect? Rejected.
There is only one group of people so dazzling, so amazing, that they don't have to go through the grueling application process. "The names of these sacred souls begin with
I and end with
"We're about to sneak a peek at a few of them. 7Seven of them, to be exact."
Is the narrator gone now? Good.
On to the clothes shopping! Ugh. If there's anything more boring than clothes shopping, it's reading about other people going clothes shopping. Tookie, Myrracle and Creamy go to the Sapphire Esplanade, the "premier" mall in LaDorno.
Tookie angsts about her appearance a bit.
It was as if, when her parents' DNA replicated at conception, all the subpar, defective strands had fused together to make Tookie.
Apparently, everyone in Metopia is a procrastinator because the mall is packed with a huge mass of mothers and daughters preparing for T-DOD. (Remember, if you have a "Y" chromosome, you can't be special in this universe.)
Mrs. De La Crème drags her daughters to the "Jurk flagship store." The owner of the store is Jeremy Jurk, "the most lauded clothing artiste in the world. He refused to design any apparel but dresses."
The Modelland universe must be desperate for clothes designers, if their most celebrated designer can't figure out how to make a pair of pants. And isn't it a law that anyone who calls themselves an "artiste" while speaking English is an arrogant snob?
We get a huge list of different types of dresses, because long lists are the only descriptions Tyra Banks seem to like. Then we get more angsting.
Normal mothers helping their normal, single-color-eyed daughters. Tookie thirsted for a drink of it.
Tookie tries to be helpful by asking what her mother is looking for. Her mother's response is vague and unhelpful.
"I'll know it when I see it. Myrracle must wear an original and it must not clash with the SMIZE."
Tookie suggests pants, but pants are "not majestic", so her idea is immediately dismissed.
Then Mrs. De La Crème's gaze clapped on something across the store. "There," she said, moving towards a nude-colored strapless gown with tons of tulle.
It is a Vintage Jurk. Sort of like Mrs. De La Crème.
Tookie knew Mrs. De La Crème would drop it immediately — a vintage dress was as bad as a ripe banana, an object way past its expiration date — but instead she pressed the dress to Myrracle's body. "Yes, Myrracle, this is it. I can feel it in my gut."
They pay for the dress and prepare to go home. They pass a WHERE THE HELL IS CI~L? booth on the sidewalk. And we get to hear more about Ci~L.
Ci~L was the only Intoxibella in history to grace the cover of Modelland magazine twelve times in a row, every month for an entire year.
Thank you for clarifying that 12 months = 1 year. Never would have figured that one out on my own.
There were six top cosmetics brands in the world, and Ci~L had had contracts with all of them — simultaneously.
I'm surprised none of them had one of those "agree not to work for a competitor for X amount of time" agreements.
One season, all of the designers during LaDorno fashion week had decided to have Ci~L be their only model. Ci~L starred — solo — on eighty-two runways that season.
Tyra Banks found a way to make fashion shows more
boring. I'm impressed. I wonder how many people were put out of work thanks to Ci~L's monopoly on fashion shows and sponsors.
Tookie notices a man who she'd seen before on the way home from school. He's muttering to himself and carrying a wingtip shoe slung over his shoulder. Tookie has creatively named him "Wingtip".
"Ugh, what riffraff they allow in LaDorno," Mrs. De La Crème scoffed, sneering at Wingtip. She pinched Tookie's arm. "What have I told you about making eye contact with the demented? Turn away! He's dangerous!"
Tookie doubts that he is dangerous, although she's concerned about him talking to himself.
All at once, huge waves of the mountain's golden fog began to vanish, and beams of gold light that transformed to golden shadows cascaded down the ridge and swept over the street.
Hovering above the mountain was an illuminated eye with its SMIZE flourishes made up of millions of birds from a myriad of species.
A hand forms from smoke spells out "MODELLAND." Everyone stops what they're doing to stare, no doubt resulting in numerous car crashes.
We meet the BellaDonna, "the grand dame of the Land on the mountain and the final decision-maker about all candidates."
So not only do the SMIZEs make the contest pretty much a joke with their "91% chance of winning", but we have one person who has the power to choose or veto any candidates she wants. This contest is horribly rigged.
We learn about this year's "newly minted 7Sevens."
"As you all know, 7 girls graduate from Modelland each year and become Intoxibellas."
"I present the Stunning, Statuesque, Strobotronic Stars with Stupefying Struts! The 7Seven! Please worship them as the Intoxibellas they have now become!"
So Intoxibella and 7Seven mean the exact same thing? What possible purpose could have both terms for the same people serve, aside from confusing readers?
And "worship them?" Real subtle.
The 7Sevens are shown as holograms/illusions/projections. The 7Sevens all wear Senturas, belts made of golden fabric that are supposedly their way of unlocking their inherent powers. The 7Sevens powers' and the crowd's commentary makes it seems like some of the powers were chosen from a list of fetishes.
Here are the 7Sevens:
1) Evanjalinda. Her power is Chameeleoné, aka shape shifting.
"If I had her, I'd have a different girl every night! . . . I could stop cheating!
2) Simone. Her power is Multiplicity, splitting herself into multiple copies. (She splits herself into three as a demonstration. Triplicate Girl should sue.)
3) Bev Jo. Her power is ThirtyNever, meaning that once she hits age 30, she'll look like she did when she was 17 and age up to age 29, and repeat the cycle until she dies.
Aside from allowing the woman to be legal jailbait every 13 years, it also means that we might have women running around that appear to be young but are really decades old. I wouldn't be surprised if this potentially interesting story element is never used. (It does make me wonder about Lizzie, though . . .)
4) Leemora. Her power is Excite-To-Buy, the ability to Sell. She demonstrates this by making everyone in the crowd suddenly need
to buy something.
5) Sinndees. Her power is Seduksheeon. This makes all the men in the crowd want her that instant. (Apparently, everyone in this universe is straight.)
"I'm ready to sin with Sinndees, right here, right now!"
6) Katoocha. Her power is SixxSensa, which allows her to see the future of fashion. She also has enhanced senses to make up for her utterly lame power.
7) Exodus. Her power is Teleportaling, aka teleporting.
Tookie wonders if her name is some sort of sign. I wonder if it's a plot contrivance. Exodus disappears from the mountain.
"Creamy, she banished before our eyes!"
Exodus reappears in front of Tookie, rising from the Earth. She asks what Tookie's name is. Myrracle assumes Exodus is talking to her and says her name.
Sadly, Modelland has not produced a Triple7 this year. A Triple7 is a girl with all seven of the powers of the 7Sevens combined.
"Every. Girl. In. The. World. Has. The. Power. Within. Her. To. Become. A. 7. Seven. Is. It. You?"
Tookie then spots Lizzie and goes to talk to her.
She spoke in a drone Tookie had never heard from her, as if she was a medium at a séance. "They took her last night. By her feet. The burning continued throughout the night. They cut open her blisters and poured liquid metal into her veins."
Lizzie shows her feet which look like they "had been dipped in battery acid, with open sours that oozed pus. The area near her arches had a hundred little cuts ranged in straight lines, as if they were soldiers ready for battle."
Lizzie she wants to run away with Tookie tomorrow for Exodus. Lizzie then disappears, fueling my new WMG that Lizzie may be one of the Intoxibellas (possibly Exodus herself). It's sad that Lizzie is relegated to a background character when what's happening to her is far more interesting than the tale of Tookie and the SMIZE.
Wingtip then comes over to talk to Tookie. He asks why she's sad, calling her "little lady." They exchange some banter about how talking to yourself is good company (rather than a sign of mental illness). Tookie says that everything hurts, and Wingtip suddenly transforms into a motivational speaker.
"You've got more important things to do than hurt, little lady. You've got a beautiful light that only a few people can see, shining brightly inside of you."
"Go for your destiny, girl. Dream big."
Tookie says dreaming just sets yourself up for disappointment. Wingtip then tells her that he'll be seeing her. How very stalker-ish.
Mrs. De La Crème finds Tookie and is annoyed that Tookie dropped Myrracle's dress. Tookie lies and says she got caught up in what was happening with the 7Seven announcement.
"What does all this matter to a girl like you, Tookie?"
Tookie remembers the words of the random homeless guy, and it's incredibly motivational . . . for some reason.
Everyone's entitled to dream, you know. Even you.
"You'd be surprised," Tookie said, emboldened. And then she turned away.
The story began on a Thursday, and The Day of Discovery is on Saturday. That makes the current day Friday. When was there time for Lizzie to be captured, tortured, and to escape?
How is there a famous fashion designer if the Intoxibellas are the only famous people on the planet? Maybe they're the only ones with worldwide fame.
My WMGs so far (from most likely to least likely)
- Tookie is a lovechild.
- Ci~L will become Tookie's mentor.
- Lizzie is an Intoxibella.
- Lizzie is much older than she appears.
- Lizzie is Exodus.
"Teleportal" was a word invented by Squirrelking - author of "Quarter Life: Halfway to destruction". It's a good thing she didn't use the words "exscream" or "plasmaed," or she'd have a class-action lawsuit on her hands.
Correction: Squirrelking wrote "Half Life: Full life consequences," and the following trilogy, which included the word "teleportal". I really hope he doesn't sue me for this.
Cliche: It's from the book. One of the men in the crowd shouts it. It's one of the few intentionally funny moments so far.