Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf by Lara Fox

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Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf by Lara Fox

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Buy Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf by Lara Fox at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: There's something deliciously addictive about these books. More biting humour in this sequel to My Year in Agony.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: April 2010
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340988831

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Anya Buxton is back. It's the summer holidays and her mum is keen for her to find a summer job rather than waste her days lounging around at home. After the brief, worrying possibility that she might just end up as a newspaper delivery girl she lands a dream position gaining work experience with a London publishing house. She finds herself simultaneously editing a dishy, though slightly disturbed teen author, struggling with a long distance relationship with Al, wondering if 'The Boy' really has turned over a new leaf and being wooed by the boss's son. And, of course, she's blogging it all for her dedicated followers.

I was pleasantly surprised last summer when I read the previous Miss Understanding book, My Year in Agony, so I picked up this new sequel eagerly. It wasn't a disappointment! I read it very quickly over two evenings, utterly caught up once again in Anya's life. Although she is no longer writing as an agony aunt she continues to blog generally about her life and her summer work experience job. Thrown in once again amongst the blog posts are emails, both to and from Anya, so that we get to see things both through Anya's voice and also through some of the other characters. I temporarily set aside my disbelief at a teenager a. landing a placement like this and then b. being given an author to manage whilst she's there and just allowed the story to carry me along.

Anya is as bitingly witty as ever, yet still vulnerable enough too that you like her. All of the office antics she experiences are really well described. I laughed out loud over some of them and they reminded me of my own experiences at work (including the fact that, shamefully, I did once label my stapler to stop it from being nicked like the tyrannical office manager in the story!) It's interesting to see her find her feet at work, her experiences of London, and her developing new friendships. Certain situations get tricky, as is only to be expected, but there is nothing horrible in this book and everything is light-hearted and played for laughs. There's still a little swearing for those who like to be aware, but it's not constant.

I knocked off half a star due to some of the slightly (in my eyes) unrealistic aspects to the storyline, but otherwise this was a great, fun read. You could probably find your way without reading the previous story, but I'd recommend starting at the beginning to get full enjoyment!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: You can read Anya's previous outing here or slightly younger teens might prefer the excellent books by Louise Rennison.

Buy Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf by Lara Fox at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf by Lara Fox at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf by Lara Fox at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf by Lara Fox at Amazon.com.

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