That’s how I feel about Meat Market. I shouldn’t really be surprised; I loved Clean as well and this book is quite similar. Rather than teenage addiction, however, Meat Market focuses on the dark side of modelling.
Thrust into this glamorous but seedy world is Jana Novik, who has just finished her GCSEs and is scouted by a top model agency while on a school trip. Jana doesn’t care about fashion and certainly never thought – or hoped – that she could be a model. However, she is intrigued by the money offered. It seems like an easy way to make some money for university and to help her family out with the bills. What nobody expects is that Jana’s new career gains traction quickly and before she knows it, she is being jetted around the world and working with some of the biggest names in the business.
Jana was a wonderful protagonist and I loved how feisty she was. Though she didn’t always get things right, she was protective of the people she cared about, mostly did what she sees as right and maintains some pretty bad-ass core values in a world that wants to change them.
The truth is that the modelling world isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Meat Market does a fantastic job of lifting up the curtain and letting us see the truth behind the facade. Juno Dawson has a fantastic ability to comment on the way our society functions in a non-preachy but incredibly potent way and she does this brilliant in regards to the objectification of bodies – particularly women’s and the way the modelling world can exacerbate that. Some exceptionally important topics are woven into Jana’s story, opening up a platform for these discussions in such a wonderful way. They don’t detract from the story in any way – in fact, they are just part of Jana’s journey.
In short, this feels like an important book, that is wonderfully written and is downright hilarious in places. That’s pretty close to perfect for me.