Too Cool for School (Diary of a Chav) by Grace Dent

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Too Cool for School (Diary of a Chav) by Grace Dent

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: The girls are moving to London! In her latest diary, Shiraz takes us with her, on her new life in the big city, boy dramas, job hassles, ‘n all.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: January 2008
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340932193

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Shiraz Bailey Wood is back. Fed up with dull old life in Goodmayes, Essex, she’s decided to throw in the A-Level towel, and move to London with bezzie mate Carrie. Two 17 year old Essex girls, living it up in the city? It’s gonna be mint.

But maybe, quite possibly in fact, Shiraz hasn’t given this whole making-a-living thing all that much thought. It seems getting a swishy job in the media isn’t all that easy for an underage girl with few qualifications and no experience, something that seemed to have slipped her mind before the move. Now she’s there, and she’s gonna have to make the best of it, even if that means getting fired from job after job as she struggles to find her feet. With family dramas to contend with (sis Cava-Sue is expecting, bro Murphy is getting it on with an older lady from overseas) life is not going to be the breeze it used to be.

This is book 3 in the series, of which I’ve also read book 2. That one, I didn’t really rate that highly, but this one was rather marvellous, I am somewhat ashamed to admit. Yes, the language still grates and brings out the teacher in me, as I want to go through it with a red pen, correcting the youth vernacular into something resembling proper English. But, at the same time, I really liked the story of this one, and the Little Britain meets Ali G humour gave it a real twist. I was cackling from the first job application where Shiraz lists her skills: Computer:I have 748 friends on Bebo…I am well good on the Nintendo wii. Office Experience: I have experience of sitting in the headmaster’s office on many occasions.

You get the picture.

This one also had much more of a story development that the last one. It seemed realistic (or as realistic as two teens living on their own in a London apartment could be), or, as Shiraz would say, it was keeping it real. The characters, now that we’re in the cosmopolitan big smoke, were far more than the inhabitants of a small Essex town as in previous stories – now we have Polish elves, a delicious yet uninterested northern boy, posh journos, an IT girl who is rapidly becoming less IT and more **it and potentially the real Santa Claus popping in to liven things up.

This is never going to be the sort of book you hope against hope your children will choose to read. It is not literature, classic or contemporary, but it doesn’t pretend to be, and I suppose it’s no worse than any of those ghost-written series of books on cheerleaders or babysitters or ballet dancers that were all the rage when I was a teen.

Thank you to the publishers for supplying this book.

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Buy Too Cool for School (Diary of a Chav) by Grace Dent at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Too Cool for School (Diary of a Chav) by Grace Dent at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Too Cool for School (Diary of a Chav) by Grace Dent at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Too Cool for School (Diary of a Chav) by Grace Dent at Amazon.com.

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