The It Girl by Katy Birchall
|The It Girl by Katy Birchall|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Really fun teen contemporary with a fresh writing style and great dialogue.|
|Buy? YES||Borrow? YES|
|Pages: 352||Date: May 2015|
Anna is an awkward 14-year-old who is trying to fit in with people at her new school – and convince them that she wasn’t actually trying to set her popular classmate’s hair on fire, it just happened. Her dad is a well-known journalist who’s just written a book, and they get on well - until he falls for a famous actress. With the paparazzi buzzing over the news of the engagement, Anna becomes a new target for them – but can this shy, nerdy girl cope with the sudden attention?
Debut author Katy Birchall has a fresh, easy to read, writing style, making this a really funny book along the lines of Holly Smale’s extremely popular Geek Girl series – if you liked that, you’ll be right at home here. I particularly loved the way she captures the voices of teen girls – especially Anna and best friend Jess – so well, both in the dialogue and in the e-mails that appear in the book. Anna is an easy character to warm to; a loyal (if rather needy) friend, who’s thrown into a situation which makes her hugely uncomfortable but who tries to navigate it as well as she can. I really liked the development of her relationships with her new stepmother-to-be, Helena, and Helena’s celebrity daughter Marianne, as well. Additionally, it was great to see a positive portrayal of a friendship between Helena and Anna’s mum, who were both really entertaining but also very warm, loving characters.
It’s the characters and the strength of the voice that make this stand out from a relatively crowded pack of contemporaries aimed at this age group – the younger end of YA readership, and tweens just progressing from MG. The plot, though, is good and the message behind the story is a strong one, focusing on friendship, being yourself, and staying true and loyal to the people who you care for. Overall this is a very strong debut; I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from Katy Birchall in the future – and the news that there’s a sequel (and I think a third book?) following Anna is very welcome!
As mentioned above, I think fans of Geek Girl by Holly Smale will really enjoy this. Another similar series with lots of heart and humour is Katy Cannon’s, which starts with Love, Lies and Lemon Pies.
You can read more book reviews or buy The It Girl by Katy Birchall at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The It Girl by Katy Birchall at Amazon.com.
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