Does the DTPA Work for Blurbs: Alterations by Stephanie Scott

If anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they’d think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn’t know that all the plans she’s made for them are just dreams, and that she’s the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family.

When Amelia’s abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can’t imagine leaving Miami–and Ethan–for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. She meets people her own age who can actually carry on a conversation about stitching and design. Her pin boards become less about prom with Ethan and more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan’s awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app.

As Liam and Amelia get closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all . . . even though he has a reality TV star girlfriend he conveniently keeps forgetting about. The “new and improved” Amelia soon finds herself in between two brothers, a whole lot of drama, and choice she never dreamed she’d have to make. 

Source: GoodReads

I was really excited for Alterations mainly because it was pitched as a Sabrina retelling.  Which is one of my favorite movie(s).  I like the old one for Audrey Hepburn, though I can’t stand Bogey and I like the new one for Harrison Ford.  The point is, it’s a movie I’m always watching when I have a bad day and I was excited to see how a YA adaption would be.

This one…calling it a Sabrina retelling was a stretch.  Some people will like it better than me, but I really didn’t care for this one for multiple reasons.

The first and main one dealt with the lead, Amelia.




While Sabrina-the character-was annoying in the beginning of the movie, she quickly finds her own footing.  Yet, Amelia flounders for a good chunk of the book AND even though she grows up at the end it’s more of a half hearted attempt at growing up than it should’ve been.

True, we’re dealing with a YA protagonist but still this girl…

She does so many bone headed moves, that I just want to slap her.  So many freaking times.

Like the whole thing at the fashion camp.  The lies, I just–I just couldn’t.  It was like watching a bad ABC sitcom in the 90’s.  You know the ones with the lessons of the week whose stars careers ended up into doing just Hallmark movie.

And for that matter, way too much time was spent on the fashion camp stuff if this was supposed to be a Sabrina retelling.  Most of the movie(s) explored the relationship between Sabrina and Linus-or here Amelia and Liam.  Yeah, we got that a little bit but the whole set up and wooing surrounding it was completely changed.

Yes, that’s going to happen with with retelling.  Plot elements are going to be change and such, but this was one of those cases where really the only resemblance I saw to Sabrina was that there was a working class girl who fell in love with her parents’ employer’s two sons.  It really didn’t do it for me.

The crux of Sabrina the whole David (or in this instance Ethan) notices Sabrina (Amelia) was completely missing.  The whole Linus has to seduce Sabrina but finds himself falling in love with her was missing.  Again, I was like WTF why are we even calling this a Sabrina retelling. Anyway,  besides the very disappointing blurb comparison-seriously, I feel like there needs to be some sort of DTPA-Deceptive Trade Practices Act-for false blurbs and the annoying YA protagonist who falls for the wrong person, this one is okay.

Yeah, there are some things that really bother me besides the two major cruxes that I pointed out.  Like, the fact that the book seemed to try to make itself sound “hip”  Writing that sounds so weird because it’s trying to ID with it’s intended audience not realizing that hey younger people aren’t so different than older people.  FYI, it’s probably not the smartest thing to have fifty some odd references to Project Runway and Tim Gunn.  Just saying.

So, Alterations, do I recommend it…not really.  It has more than it’s fair share of issues.  But I could see people liking this one and that’s totally okay.  It just has a heinous blurb comparison.

Overall Rating: A C-.  Yeah, not my cuppa BUT if you like contemporary romance and you’re not a die hard Sabrina fan and won’t be annoyed with how this book doesn’t live up to those fabulous movies then go for it.

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