Emmaline Watkins has always dreamed of leaving the small town of Shy where she grew up and pursuing her dream of being a dress designer in the city. When the head of the most famous design firm opens up her designer competition to small town applicants Emmy dares to believe that dream may come true. Picked as the only “country” applicant, Emmy leaves for the city but soon comes to realize that pursuing her dream may be more political than realistic.
As I first started reading A Dress for the Wicked I was easily caught up in the search and early competition between all of the girls picked. The story was engaging and ruthless, reminding me of a mix of The Hunger Games and The Selection, but with a fashion twist. I liked the mix of personalities and getting to know our heroine Emmy. As the story moved forward and the more political aspects of the novel were revealed I felt the story become more technical than emotional and the glitz of creating fashion felt more dreary. My feelings did parallel Emmy’s and what was happening to her character at the time, but the reasons why I liked it so much previously just disappeared. The Hunger Games was a very political novel yet it held my interest through competitions. A Dress for the Wicked didn’t figure out how to keep it’s tension taut. Instead it ebbed, which disappointed me because of how strong the story started.
There was a light romance included in this story, but I felt it drew attention away from the more interesting aspects of the novel. I did like Tristan, an aspiring journalist looking for a big story, but felt the romance detracted from the main storyline and the exciting fashion that gave life to the first half of the novel.
I hate when a novel doesn’t live up to it’s great start. There was so much potential with A Dress for the Wicked, but the last third of the novel felt forced and lacked the conviction in the beginning of the novel. At least it did for me. ❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“while I loved the fashion aspects (the book really shines when Emmy designs something or creates), I was less than enthused by the main character, the shoehorned love interest, the underdeveloped secondary characters and the haphazard worldbuilding (seriously, the worldbuilding deserved to be fleshed out so much more).” The Suspected Bibliophile
“A Dress for the Wicked has an interesting premise, but the execution is subpar. I loved the competition aspects, but everything else including the main character and the overall plot are not memorable or all that original. I’m not sure if I would recommend this one as I wasn’t wowed by much.” The Candid Cover
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