Taking the Plunge (Electra Brown) by Helen Bailey

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Taking the Plunge (Electra Brown) by Helen Bailey

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Light and engaging, if a bit shallow... a teenage Bridget Jones in the making.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: May 2009
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340989227

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It all starts with a bet. Electra Brown, proud new owner of a designer bag, finds herself making a bet with Claudia Barnes' (referred to by Electra as 'Tits Out') that she won't go out with the first boy who asks her. Her two best friends, Lucy and Sorrel, have already snogged boys, but as yet Electra's kissing experience is limited to practising on her bedroom mirror. Electra begins to formulate a plan by which she gets a date with FB (Freak Boy, who is starting to seem like less of a freak and more of a god) and she also gets to keep the beautiful, impractical bag. However, all this is scuppered when the first boy to ask her on a date actually turns out to be Pinhead, the local hoodlum. Electra staggers from one calamity to another, and as she makes plan after plan in a desperate attempt to make things better, but she succeeds only in making everything worse.

I must say I did start to feel a bit panicky as I read this book. My daughter is only two and a half at the moment but I know she'll be a surly teenager in no time at all, and if she's anything like Electra Brown I'm in for a rough ride! This book is quite fluffy on the whole, and Electra can be very annoying, but I still found it engaging all the same. She isn't malicious, and really just ends up in some sticky situations thanks to her penchant for making plans. She spends most of her time thinking about herself, how she looks, her unevenly shaped boobs, her new, totally impractical designer bag and, of course, boys. So as an adult reader a lot of her thoughts can seem very shallow, but if I think back hard enough I might just admit that actually I probably spent most of my time at this age worrying about my lack of cleavage, what to wear to parties, and of course boys and snogging and dating too.

Although this is the fourth book about Electra I didn't feel at a loss for not having read her earlier episodes. In amongst the funny episodes there are some serious issues touched on such as teenage runaways and teen pregnancies. These aren't dealt with in any particular depth, but then that leaves a teenage reader feeling comfortable and not 'lectured at', and really the book is just a funny romp through various teenage calamities. Electra does come across as being genuine, and the tricky situations she gets herself into make for some good comedy moments. Fortunately she isn't really quite as shallow as she seems for most of the book too! I thought this was an enjoyable, easy read and it made me laugh in the same kind of way that Bridget Jones did. A trip down memory lane for me, and an engaging book for young teen girls.

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

If teenage chick lit appeals then we think that you might also enjoy Stop in the Name of Pants! by Louise Rennison and Planet Janet by Dyan Sheldon.

Buy Taking the Plunge (Electra Brown) by Helen Bailey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Taking the Plunge (Electra Brown) by Helen Bailey at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Taking the Plunge (Electra Brown) by Helen Bailey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Taking the Plunge (Electra Brown) by Helen Bailey at Amazon.com.


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