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CRIMSON CODEX BOOK REVIEW

Review book size zero

Review book size zero

Someone kidnaps former top model Ava Germaine and drapes her in a “skin coat”—made from the skin of a human corpse—for a Fashion Week runway. St. Joseph’s Abbey later receives a bloody package addressed to Cecil LeClaire, the name one of its monks formerly used. Inside is a hand and a bracelet Cecil identifies as having belonged to Annabelle Leigh, his girlfriend who vanished a decade ago when they were both 14.

Popular media theories include that Margaux was somehow involved in Annabelle’s abduction or that Cecil, heir to his mother Margaux’s LeClaire Model Management, killed Annabelle. Believing the “skin coat” was made from Annabelle’s skin, which a doctor eventually verifies, Cecil returns to New York to bury his past before taking his solemn vows.

It’s quickly apparent that the teen models living in LeClaire Mansion are not living well, perpetually hungry, and not allowed to leave without supervision.

But Cecil soon suspects that a mysterious, fashion-affiliated person called VD is Annabelle’s killer and that Margaux may somehow be involved. He teams up with Ava to infiltrate VD-associated Quirk Model Management and discovers a world of sordidness, where maltreated women are mere products. Mangin’s relentlessly grim story takes a dim view of the modeling industry, noting a “model’s job was to play dead,” with 24-year-old Ava designating herself as “a really old hag.”

Numerous characters are either unpleasant or flawed; Cecil mostly abides by his vows but has an obvious romantic interest in celebrated fashion designer Tazia Perdonna, who happens to be his godmother. Ava’s eccentricity, however, is a bright spot: She cares for a pet rat and tries to pass off movie plots as her personal history. Mangin writes in a confident, razor-edged style in a book with genuinely engaging elements, from VD to the perils of young female models.

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Pub Date: July 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73455-341-3

Page Count: 412

Publisher: Visage Media LLC

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2020

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12 Comments

  • Francisca Pinto Posted January 11, 2018 12:00 am

    I recieved this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I am very happy with this book because I did not expect much, and I was quite surprised.The book begins when they tell us about the disappearance of Anabelle, Cecil’s best friend. The only thing they know is that she disappeared in Cecil’s house and for the same reason, everyone assumes that it was he who abducted and killed her, but Cecil knows that it is not so and decides to look for her.It is the only thing I will say because I think it is best to read this book with the least amount of information possible so that you can be surprised with everything you read in this book.This book also touches on many very strong themes that women have to live with today such as (a small spoiler): the skinnier the more beautiful we are. THAT IS VERY BAD. There is also sex trafficking and such strong phrases, that many times I was shocked, but I really don’t want to say more because I really want you to read this book.What I liked is that no character is good and bad, they are all gray and have different layers that as the book progresses, one realizes how they really are or you are surprised because you realize that you have been deceived during the whole plot.All the characters have serious problems, the truth is that I would send all of them to a psychologist. And I say this because when you already find out everything that has happened and more than anything how each character decides to act in each situation you are like: woooow they really are out of their minds.Maybe what I didn’t like is that it has parts to spare, I think it could perfectly be shorter.Do I recommend this book? Of course yes.

  • Gabriella Melnick Posted October 27, 2018 12:00 am

    This story is really unique. I strongly recommend to all my friends! The subject matter is dark & serious, but weirdly balanced with humor and absurdity. It feels in a lot of ways like a movie, a combination Eyes Wide Shut and Silence of the Lambs, but funnier.The writing style is so easy to read and vivid and the story moves really quickly. There are huge twists, I thought I was smart because I suspected one of them but was blown away by the other. The characters and their relationships to each other both scary real and simply absurd – it reminds me of people I know and I love it.Even though it’s set in an almost fantasy / satirical version of New York City’s elite high-fashion world, I believe a lot of the crazy things described and the horrors that take place there are real.Thank you to the publisher for an advanced reader copy.

  • Justine Posted October 29, 2018 12:00 am

    Book Review!!Size Zero by Abigail Mangin⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5Every now and then, you will find yourself lucky enough to stumble across a title like Size Zero. It may take years, but you find that one book that is everything you could’ve dreamed of having, all wrapped up in a perfect little paperback. I cannot stress to you enough how perfect of a work of art this is.Not only is the story line, characters, the writing, legitimately everything amazing, this pushes boundaries. Boundaries that people don’t even want to touch with a ten foot pole. I would find myself saying, “Oh my god. She went there.” I can’t tell you how many times those words left my mouth. But I loved every delicious second of it. I was kept on my toes, I had no idea what to even expect.. This is a work of art. The descriptions made me feel like I was right there in this crazy world of modeling. I never would have been able to dream something like this up, but now that I’ve read it? I can most definitely see it happening.This is the nitty gritty; some things aren’t pretty. (TW: ra*e, se* t*afficking, prostitution, etc.) But those aspects of this novel are what truly made it earth shatteringly amazing. On the flip side, we have models being posed in windows for purchase, a model wearing a coat made from the skin of a dead body.. Come on. That’s badass. I loved that Mangin wasn’t afraid to delve into these deep, dark aspects of the human psyche. Not only do you have to be brave, you have to be able to make it out on the other side with your sanity intact.This is for sure a novel that will stay with me, that I will recommend to everyone, a five star read. Those are hard to come by, and I appreciate every single one.

  • Kelli Posted December 12, 2018 12:00 am

    I’ve struggled greatly about how to properly phrase my review. For this was, in my opinion, a disaster. This is a new debut author. I always love reading new authors and I want them to succeed. Unfortunately, I can’t say anything significant in support of this new effort. I was very close to a DNF. I did start skipping several sections and was able to make it to the end. I think there were multiple problems. The biggest being the author tried much too hard. It was evident in the writing, in the overly dramatic descriptions that overtook the entire book, in the overdone characters that still lacked any substance and the pushed jokes that never seemed to catch a laugh. I have read a few other reviews that have praised this novel. I could be entirely wrong in my opinion. I simply struggled to just want to turn the page after a while. It was not pleasant. I wish the author the best and I hope they improve. This was in my honest opinion just not a good reader experience.*Thank you to Visage Media via NetGalley for the digital review copy.

  • Monika Posted January 1, 2019 12:00 am

    “A gas mask, a condom dress, and even an animatronic T.rex had debuted at prior Fashion Weeks. But never before had a dead body.”Cecil LeClaire now a monk, was once a hot topic in the fashion streets of NewYork City. He was once accused of murdering his own girlfriend, Annabelle Leigh at the age of 14. Now he’s accused of stripping a human skin and making it into a jacket studded with exotic stones for his mother, Margaeux who owns Visage, a modelling agency and a fashion brand. But this time, Cecil is not going to be shunned with people calling him a murderer, so he decides to get to the bottom of what had happened to his girlfriend Annabelle. He befriends a model, Ava Germaine who also is a spy for Perdonna, Cecil’s god mother who wants her to keep an eye on Margaeux!!“It’s all a facade. The only thing superficial about the fashion industry is the ability to make everything seem superficial.”Together Cecil and Ava discover hard truths about the fashion industry, models and the deeply running elite prostitution of the models. There are some dark graphic scenes portrayed in this novel, which is hard to even imagine. I always kind of knew that behind that shiny facade, there was drug, addiction and abuse in the fashion industry. But this novel, took those facts to another level. The parts on fashion cruelties were well researched.Now for the murder mystery. Two things that kept me interesting were the dysfunctional characters, their motives and the suspense behind VD (not venereal disease), who is suspected to be behind the kidnapping and killing of Annabelle. The journey that reveals this VD, could’ve been a smooth drive, if not for the unwanted bumps and plot jerks.If you’re interested in knowing the dark truths and nuances of the exotic fashion industry and model agencies with a dash of murder mystery, this is the book for you!!3.75/5 ⭐️Thank you Netgalley, Visage media, Abigail Mangin for the ARC. This is my own review and not influenced in anyway!

  • Rylanne Burdette Posted January 13, 2019 12:00 am

    When Ava Germaine stumbles out onto the runway in a coat made of human skin, people freak out and assume it’s the body of Annabelle Leigh, a girl who went missing years before at the age of fourteen. Fingers automatically point to Cecil LeClaire, son of the owner of the infamous LeClaire Modeling Management company, who was suspected of kidnapping and murdering Annabelle from the start. Cecil leaves the monastery that he has made his home and comes back to New York City, determined to find out who is behind this madness taking place in the fashion world.This book is a thoroughly dark read, and I think that’s part of why I enjoyed it so much. It was full of insight about the fashion world, and every page was intense. The flaws that made up each character were so interesting to read about, and I loved watching every piece of the story fit together between the plot and the characters.This is most definitely a heavy and dark book, but I really enjoyed it and would love to see more!

  • Jessica Ross Posted May 24, 2019 12:00 am

    This book was just, wow. It was so intense. It was so funny. It was so descriptive. I felt myself remembering my days reading The Clique books and how ABSURD they were in terms of how rich the people were. The descriptions of the mansions, the runways, the fashion, the window displays, the girls, even the smells (at one point the author says that a room smells like fruit loops and nail polish remover) were done so well.This story also had a lot of fun characters. Cecil was so genuine. Margaux was INSANE and I loved it. And Ava, I could read an entire series about her. She is such a relatable character and I really felt like I connected with her a lot.This book isn’t just one thing, and those are my favorite kinds of books. Part mystery, part luxury, part NYC fantasy, part romance, part comedy. This one has it all. Bravo, Abigail Mangin.

  • Abdulia Posted May 27, 2019 12:00 am

    I received this ARC book from Netgalley for honest Review.What a great thrill and suspense it was to read. What a great psychological thrill! This novel had everything in it. The thrill, the suspense, the psychological, and the twist is crazy. This novel will keep you thinking and guessing. When you think you right, well let me just say that you might be wrong. This had me all over the place. My heart beating so fast! I couldn’t believe what I was reading. If had me in shock. Every page, every chapter was a page turner. I couldn’t believe my eyes what I was reading. I highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. It will surprise you in every way.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐The storyline was very good!The theme and setting was well put together. The characters was well put together in the story.This story will have in a rollercoaster with all the spooky and secrets. Was so well put in the story.Everything all in one book.It was just perfect!I highly recommend everybody get this and read it.What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. What a Rollercoaster! The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel would have you guess and thinking all the way to the end. What a great thrill and suspense. I love a great suspense that would have me think and guessing. This novel did just that to me. To the point that am wrong. When the ending comes am on shock. I wouldn’t of never believe or guess. Like OMG!Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good!#netgallery #sizezero

  • Kayla Posted June 1, 2019 12:00 am

    First word…WOW! This book is mind blowing. Fantastic writting. This book has murder, love, sexuality, and a whole lot of crazy!It’s simply mind blowing. I seriously felt so many emotions in this book. It is a lengthy book but every sentence is needed and worth it. Everything comes together. And all the shock factor. I can’t say enough about this book. Definitely a must read.

  • Katey Posted June 23, 2019 12:00 am

    Once, when I was younger, I got a couple calls from a modeling agency in my hometown called PMS. I didn’t take them up on it, I thought it was a little strange. Came out of nowhere. Still, even though I had declined the offer it felt nice to have some place that supposedly recruited beautiful girls to tell me, a 13-year-old with pretty heavy self-esteem issues, that I was worthy of being considered for such a job. But, to be honest, I always kind of feared it would be like the modeling world of Abigail Mangin’s Size Zero.Size Zero is horrifically comic satire at its best. I knew from page one that I was reading something intended to put the reader on edge. Parents desperate for money sell their children to men. Pack them a bag and send them off, never to return. The girls are sold dreams of fashion modeling and travel beyond their wildest dreams. Then, they’re promptly thrust into the high stakes world of high fashion. When the childhood friend of a prominent designer’s son goes missing and turns up as a skin suit on the runway years later, he decides to reenter the world he’d abandoned for monastic life and track down her murderer.Abigail Mangin is a craftsman of pitch black humor. I found myself laughing at almost every page, even as I was disgusted by her vivid imagery of the modeling world’s underbelly. She knows how to skewer and twist those parts of society we’d rather not think about and turn them to the light. A not-so-distant future of high-tech high fashion and all the things about the elite world we don’t want to believe are happening, the world of Size Zero is sharply crafted and unforgiving. There is no mercy here, even as you laugh your way down. Its dark, sensual, vicious prose slides across the page like oil and bites.I didn’t originally realize it was first in a series. It twists back on itself so effectively I wasn’t sure where it had left to go. Nevertheless, I’d follow Abigail Mangin into the depths of Hades if she guided. I can’t wait to see where this elite, morally complex, privileged beasts of humanity go next.I would like to thank NetGalley, Visage Media, and Abigail Mangin for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. (less)

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