In their online listing for Tyra's first book, Barnes & Noble has graced the Internet with an excerpt from an early chapter. Although it doesn't entirely make sense (psh, details!), we can tell that Modelland is going to be everything we hoped it would be and more. The excerpted scene portrays wannabe models competing in a huge catwalk walk-off for a coveted spot in the Intoxibellas' (that's what supermodels are called in Modelland, you see) training academy. There are no rules! Girls fight, fall into manholes, and Tookie, the main character, burps out of fear. Also, there are secondary characters called Desperada, Myrracle, Zarpressa, and (this being our personal favorite so far) Theophilus Lovelaces.
Here's a little excerpt to whet your palate:
"There was one rule and one rule only: a girl must be walking in order to be chosen.
Other than that, there was no prearranged runway on which the girls could walk, so everyone created invisible ones wherever they were standing. Violence was not encouraged nor was it condemned, and some girls' parents insisted on adding martial arts training to their walking lessons in preparation for the big day. T-DOD Square was an every- man- for- himself or, more precisely, an every- girl- for- herself event.
Scores of girls marched down their own stretches of the square, paused, posed for the cameras (real and imaginary), and then turned around. Trains of walking girls intersected with others. One area behind Tookie was so crammed with street vendors, it bottlenecked into a slow, shuffling line. Some walkers had only enough space to take a few steps before they had to stop and turn. Tookie's heart went out to a young girl in a ruffled pink dress who seemed way below the unofficial thirteen- year-old age requirement. She marched in place as if she were on a drill team.
Riiiip. A girl stepped on the train of a walker a few feet from Tookie and tore the fabric right off the dress. Both girls fell forward into a heap. The walkers behind them stepped over their bodies and continued."
This sort of action makes even the toughest real-life castings seem like a piece of cake (the metaphorical kind, of course). Anyway, this scene is nothing compared to the antics that follow: The full excerpt is a perfect treat for a Friday — as, for that matter, are the reviews — so it's definitely worth heading to the Barnes & Noble page to read it all.