All About The Hype by Paige Toon
|All About The Hype by Paige Toon
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris
|Summary: A teen high school drama with a difference, this sees Jessie moving to LA and all that that entails. Funny and touching, this is a great read.
|Date: July 2016
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
|External links: Author's website
Shortlisted: The Young Adult Romantic Novel 2017
Jessie Jefferson, daughter of rockstar Johnny Jefferson whom I first got to know in the excellent Johnny be Good has left the UK behind to move to the City of Angels and be with her long-lost, recently-rediscovered father. As the third book in the Jessie offshoot, there's a bit of back story to be had but long story short, she grew up not knowing about him, but then her mother died in horrible circumstances and one thing led to another and it all came out in the wash. Now, a year later, Jessie is living with Johnny, her step mum Meg and her two half-brothers.
You'd think having a rockstar dad would make you stand out and it does in lots of ways, but as Jessie goes to school in Hollywood, she's less one in a million and more one OF a million…a million famous kids, that is. With real life actresses, singers and models in her high school, simply having a famous father doesn't really bring her much up the food chain. She's not too fussed, though. Trying to stay grounded is hard enough, and while she may think she's got a handle on it, her old friends from home can see her slipping away.
The Hype from the title is a reference to the group she's in, because it turns out Little Miss Jefferson is actually not a bad singer herself. But between juggling boys, school, driving lessons and coming to terms with LA life, maybe band practice will be the thing that pushes her over the edge.
I don't live abroad at the moment. I'm not limited by my access to English language books. I don't need to read teen novels when there are so many great adult ones available. But the thing is…Paige Toon can't write a bad book. She just can't. So even though it's aimed at the YA market, I knew better than to turn this one down. It helps that Jessie seems quite old, definitely older than 16. I regularly forgot she was still so young because of the things she gets up to, the scenarios she finds herself in. Her relationship with Jack is probably the thing that brought it all back down to earth for me, but even there she could still have passed for 18 at least.
I enjoyed the story, even with a heroine young enough to be my daughter. It has a great mix of LA life (parties, restaurants, Disney), mundane teenage existence (high school, homework, arguments with parents over boundaries) and a touch of Britishness, either imported or back on home turf. The writing is chatty without being over familiar, and the whole Jefferson clan come out as extremely likeable and as normal as possible given the circumstances. I didn't feel the need to read back through any of the earlier books in this series (because I got up to speed quite quickly) but I'd definitely look out for any future titles. However if you're new to the series, The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson would be a good place to start.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review. Very enjoyable, it's a clear recommendation for chick lit for young adult readers, and a safer bet for parents who want something slightly less risqué for their impressionable young offspring. It's not totally tame but is, as a certain Douglas Adams might say, mostly harmless…
You can read more book reviews or buy All About The Hype by Paige Toon at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy All About The Hype by Paige Toon at Amazon.com.
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