Rent a Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson

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Rent a Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Z J Cookson
Reviewed by Z J Cookson
Summary: This is Jacqueline Wilson at her very best. Fans of her books should not miss this 5* story.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: May 2016
Publisher: Doubleday Children's
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0857532725

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This story starts with a dress – a beautiful bridesmaid dress the colour of raspberry ice cream. The dress belongs to Tilly's best friend Matty but Matty is a tomboy and, as soon as her aunt's wedding is over, she gives the dress to Tilly. It's Tilly's dream to be a bridesmaid but she doesn't know anyone who's likely to get married. That's why she and Matty dream up the perfect solution: they advertise in case anyone wants to rent-a-bridesmaid. And it works. Tilly is invited to be bridesmaid at three very different weddings. She even ends up being featured on television. This television news report proves to be important as it sparks a chain of events that help Tilly finally deal with the other issues in her life.

I was immediately intrigued by the idea behind Rent a Bridesmaid but wondered whether the reality of the book would live up to this great concept. I was, therefore, thrilled to discover that the book is even better than the idea. Indeed, this is Jacqueline Wilson at her very best and I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the story.

This has all the elements of a Jacqueline Wilson classic. Told in first person from Tilly's perspective, children will immediately identify with Tilly's concerns, particularly whether Matty is still her 'best friend'. Tilly's other worries – such as the nagging pain about why her mum left and her desire for this to remain a secret – will be less universal. They are, however, explained in a way that will enable all readers, whatever their background and personal circumstances, to identify and understand Tilly's situation.

The three different weddings that Tilly attends as a bridesmaid are fun to read and I totally loved the choices Jacqueline Wilson made with these. Not only is this a great story, it also sublimely challenges social prejudices. The first wedding is of an elderly couple while the second is between two men (one who is the headteacher of the local primary school and the other the owner of the bookshop that Tilly regularly visits with her dad). Both unconventional weddings are full of joy, love and celebration.

There is also a deeper narrative running through this book as Tilly slowly comes to terms with the fact her mum left. Indeed, I found a tear in my eye as I read the conclusion in which Tilly finally deals with this experience and begins to move on. The ending is one of hope but, as with Jacqueline Wilson's other books, this isn't the happily ever after ending that Tilly has clung to throughout.

This book is perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson's other books. If you enjoyed this, why not try one of the others: there are over 100 to choose from! If you don't know where to start, The Bookbag loved Opal Plumstead and Katy. Alternatively, if you've already read all Jacqueline Wilson's books, why not try We Are Giants by Amber Lee Dodd.

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Buy Rent a Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rent a Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Rent a Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rent a Bridesmaid by Jacqueline Wilson at


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