Review: Alterations by Stephanie Scott

Review: Alterations by Stephanie Scott Alterations by Stephanie Scott
Published by Bloomsbury Spark on December 6th 2016
Pages: 237

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.


There are a few things you need to know before we start. First, I almost didn’t finish this, and I am super glad that I ended up giving it a chance, because it is quite adorable and exactly what I needed in my life at the time. Second, the problems I had with it are 100% Shannon problems, and probably won’t be problems for people who are not me. I can admit when I am the problem. Usually. 😉

So anyway. What did I like about this book that made me super glad I read it? Let’s discuss!

  • First off, I loved that Amelia is close to her Abuelita. I really love grandparents in books. Can we have more of this? Great. She is also close to her mom, but they have some strain in their relationship. This feels pretty natural though, as the mother-daughter dynamics shift through the teen years. So I liked that it was realistic, but still, Amelia and Abuelita made me smile so much.
  • I loved Amelia’s drive and hard work ethic. It is super refreshing to see a young woman who has goals and like, really works for what she wants. Amelia didn’t have it all figured out, of course, she is still a teen after all, but she was exploring, and reaching outside her comfort zone (even if Abuelita did give her a little push). I think it sends a great message.
  • Females helping and bringing up other females was such a win. Not to say there were never hard feelings or altercations, or even a few nastier characters, but these girls had each other’s backs for the most part. They looked out for each other, and I thought that was fabulous. Again, another great message for young women to be hearing.
  • I really enjoyed the romantic aspect. I mean, who among us hasn’t pined away for someone for whom we weren’t even a blip on their radar? Yeah. I think we can all relate to Amelia’s struggles. Not that we’d all be making Pinterest boards, but still. And her coming to the realization that maybe she was romanticizing him, and finding out who he is beyond her daydreams is so important. And then throw Liam into the mix and… well, it’s just cute and I liked it.

So, what were my Shannon-centered problems, you ask? Okay, here we go:

  • I realized that fashion bores me. Like, I did not care at all. I was happy she had goals, and was doing awesome, but I did skim a bit through some of the fashion-heavy portions. This is something I should note for the future, hmm?
  • It reads a little bit on the younger side. Which is fine, again, this is absolutely a me problem and not a book problem. But worth knowing, I think, hence its spot in my review.

And then just some things that maybe are not just Shannon problems:

  • It did start off slow. Hence the whole “I almost didn’t finish this” thing. I wasn’t getting a good feel on Amelia at the start, and I couldn’t really connect to her. But like I said, it really did pick up, especially after about 30-40%, and I was really into it. Still, something to be aware of.

Bottom Line: It is absolutely a cute, feel-good contemporary book. Perfect if you need a pick-me-up, Amelia is a likeable character that you want to root for. The slow start gets made up for by a strong second half and a satisfying conclusion.

What are some go-to books that you recommend when you need something nice and comforting to read? Do share! 

Posted December 3, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 23 Comments

23 responses to “Review: Alterations by Stephanie Scott

  1. I have never heard of this book before, but it sounds interesting. Sometimes I need lighthearted books, I can’t always read sad books that tear me apart. And I am finding it harder and harder to find contemporary books that are on the light side. This feels like it heads that way. Think I need to add it to my book. Thanks for the review

  2. Ahhh this book sounds really interesting. I loved the first half of the synopsis… but the second half kind of became a bit much for me. I’m a bit over the love triangle but I also love that Amelia is very career-focused. I might give this a go if I ever come across it! Great review, Shannon!

  3. If I am looking for a comfort read I’ll usually pick up a Regency, preferably by Julia Quinn. I know I typically read YA paranormal but there’s just something about Julia’s writing that makes me fall in love with her books every time! Great review Shannon! :0)

  4. This is sooo Sabrina (the movie), which I loved! And the clothes and the fashion and Paris, was also <3! This sounds just as delightful and wonderfully updated!

  5. This sounds like the perfect comfort read! Unfortunately, despite the awesome female friendships and family dynamics, a couple things put me off. Fashion seems pretty boring (I totally get what you were feeling haha). And the fact that it’s a love triangle between two brothers? I don’t have time for those silly struggles haha. Great review Shannon!

  6. I’m interested to see a review of this. It only popped up on my radar today and I love the fact it’s a Sabrina retelling (love the Audrey Hepburn film) so I’m glad it’s enjoyable. I think it sounds interesting, even if it was slow to start off. And I think I can overlook the whole fashion heavy thing. I think I can anyway. It just sounds like a plain old fun read.

  7. While I totally love the cover and it seems like a great book, I don’t know if I’ll read it. If it’s slow and picks up after the 30%-40%, I’ll be already bored out of my mind and won’t want to continue the book. I do like that there’s a strong relationship between Amelia and her grandma. There aren’t much of those relationships in YA books and they totally should be. Great review!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  8. I mean, if fashion is something which just isn’t for you… then it isn’t for you. So it seems like the qualms you had with this book, other than it starting pretty slow are more on the personal side… so maybe this book isn’t all bad. I’ve been thinking about it, so I might give it a shot 😛

  9. Great points made here! I’m not very interested in fashion either, so I don’t know how this one will go over for me, but I really like how the romance and family and friend relationships sound. Overall, I’m still looking forward to it! It’s pretty high up on my TBR because I have an ARC of it (T-T), so we can compare notes then 😀 Great review!

    – Eli @ The Silver Words

  10. Ola

    I love your review! I’ve read a few good fashion-based books so I might actually give this one a try? You honestly may have sold it to me. I always reach for the lower end of the YA scale when looking for a quick read so I might pick this up next time I’m in a slump that I can’t get out of.
    Great post!

  11. emma

    The Graveyard Book, definitely! You’re in for a treat with Skottie Young’s work; I was introduced to his stuff through the variant Marvel comics covers and am glad to see him branching out to illustrations in books and his own comic book serie

  12. I still come back to it and read it again. It’s completely underrated 🙁 I love the character development and the ways that Cricket had to try to change. JUST…. THIS BOOK. There are so many great things about it, from the writing to the humor, and it’s one of my favorites. Great review!

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  14. Hello
    I mean, if fashion is something which just isn’t for you… then it isn’t for you. So it seems like the qualms you had with this book, other than it starting pretty slow are more on the personal side

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  16. I love the opening scene and how it came to be. Thanks for sharing, Kerri. And I’m happy you’re participating in the read along, Zeee. I hope to see more of your thoughts as you continue the story.

  17. I think I would enjoy this book. I love books that make me laugh and swoon. I am curious about how the author portrayed the councilors and campers.

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