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  • August 2011
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Teen review: Smile For the Camera by Kelle James

My name is Jenna. I go to a high school where I’m part of the marching band and the cheerleading squad. I’m pretty busy, but I always find time to read. I’m also very creative and I like doing little crafts out of random things I find.

Smile For the Camera by Kelle James

This book was a memoir of Kelle James. She starts out as her being at the tender age of sixteen, already making huge life decisions.

Kelle was not an average sixteen year old. At this age, she decided to break away from her abusive father and her country lifestyle to travel to New York City to pursue a modeling career. All on her own.

When she gets to the Big Apple, she is overwhelmed to say the least. She’s not used to the perverted remarks and the rudeness of people. She is left with nowhere to live and struggling to find cash.

As soon as Kelle meets Rayna, they become friends instantly. Living in at least five different places together, they experienced the scariness of New York City. They met an owner of a modeling agency named Buddy, and became fast friends with him. Kelle confided in Rayna about her disgusting “boyfriend” Lloyd, who took advantage of her. Kelle stayed with Lloyd because she thought that as long as she wasn’t getting beaten, like from her father, that it was okay for Lloyd to treat her however he wanted.

Pretty soon, Kelle and Rayna got separate apartments and each got steady jobs. Rayna, as a furniture salesperson, and Kelle booking modeling jobs left and right.

As if Kelle and Rayna didn’t have enough of their plates, they both got wrapped into a murder mystery. Their good friend Buddy has been accused of murder. Now, Kelle is constantly being followed by reporters and everyone in the city knows her name.

This memoir is very surprising. Kelle is very inspiring to me, because she was able to get out of an abusive home life and able to move away and only sixteen years old. All of the horrible things that happened to Kelle make me wonder how she was able to stay strong. This is a good story about finding strength when you feel like nothing is going right in your life.

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