Verity Fibbs by Cathy Brett

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Verity Fibbs by Cathy Brett

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A thriller with real teen girl appeal. Good for the reluctant reader, but don't think of it as dumbed down in any way. A good read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: October 2011
Publisher: Headline
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0755379477

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Verity Fibbs is the daughter of fashion designer Saffron Fibbs. Saffron's brought her up on her own and made a pretty good job of it without a lot of input from Verity's 'bio-dad'. Verity's used to the celebrity lifestyle although Saffron does her best to keep her feet firmly on the ground, with or without coffee suede boots. The latest buzz is that Saff and Eden Greenfield are dating – it's even trending on Twitter – and Verity is getting texts asking if the fashion magnate is going to be her new Dad. When Vee wants to retreat from all this she plays an online game called Demon Streets, although she's obviously not addicted. Before long she's going to find that she's playing the game against a real, live villain.

I loved Ember Fury and I did wonder if this was going to be a rerun with different names and professions. There's the heroine's name which neatly reflects one of her problems – Verity and the truth are not always best friends – and the celebrity lifestyle which really isn't all that it's cracked up to be. There are Cathy Brett's trademark illustrations – but that's where the similarity ends. This is a thriller which will have you on the edge of your seat. Neatly threaded through the main story is the ongoing game of Demon Streets – and there are fireworks when the RPG and the real world collide.

It's going to appeal most to early teen girls (Verity is fourteen) although there is a reasonably strong male lead. I'm not going to tell you his name – you'll have to find that out the way that Verity did – but don't take as gospel the fact that she describes him as a waste of lipstick at one point. She's a sassy protagonist and you'll really want her to succeed.

It's a good book and there's the advantage that it will appeal to the reluctant reader, without ever feeling as though it's been dumbed down. The chapters are short, with regular switches between the main story and the RPG – and the illustrations are relevant and attention-grabbing. I would murder for those boots. Good stuff.

If you're looking for something similar then do try Ember Fury. We can also recommend Life, Death and Gold Leather Trousers by Fiona Foden and Heist Society by Ally Carter. We also appreciated Cathy Brett's Everything is Fine (and Other Lies I Tell Myself).

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