Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Girl, Aloud by Emily Gale

From Amazon: Kass Kennedy is in the spotlight, thanks to her Dad. He plans on selling her soul to the Devil - or at any rate to Simon Cowell when she finds herself pushed into an X-Factor audition. Kass could just say no, but her dad's manic-depressive mood swings are a cnstant worry and he has her in an emotional half-Nelson. Just when things couldn't get worse, Kass falls for a gorgeous older boy, also named Cass. She's amazed when he appears to like her, but it turns out this boy, is her best friend's long-term crush. What's a girl to do?

On the surface, Girl, Aloud looks like a fun, fluffy book about one girl's journey to The X Factor. In reality, it's a well-written, moving story about family, friends, and what it means to stand up for yourself.

It took me a good fifty pages to get into this book, as it's written in such an unusual style. It includes dream conversations, imaginary scenarios and quite a lot of instant messaging. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, but by the end, I absolutely loved Emily Gale's style of writing. It's fresh and new, and makes her stand out from the YA crowd.

Kass's family situation took a while to unfold, and rather than being frustrating, it just made me like the characters that much more. I got to know them as they are, with no drama or medical issues, and that really allowed me to sympathise with the family as all their shortcomings are slowly revealed. Kass is a strong girl who is almost carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, and I admired her strength and determination. She chooses her own path, along with her own friends and relationships, and proves that it's okay to make your own decisions. Kass's brother Raff was by far my favourite character. He's like a thirteen-year-old money-making businessman, and has some of the best lines in the book. His relationship with Kass develops as her story progresses, and I really enjoyed their subtle sibling rivalry.

Although Girl, Aloud looks like it's all about a reality TV show, it really isn't. The X Factor is a secondary plot thread, and t hough important to a certain degree, it doesn't define what this book is about. Don't let your preconceptions put you off -- Girl, Aloud is a witty, poignant debut novel that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for families and everything that they do.

8 comments:

Keren David said...

Sounds wonderful, great review Jenny

Becky said...

This isn't really my type of read but I'm thinking I know some girls that would love it so yet another book for the school library. Thanks Jenny.

Bookalicious said...

Great review! I recently won a copy of this in a competition and I can't wait to read it!

Lauren said...

The more I read about this book, the more I want to read it! I only recently started getting into non-supernatural, non-sci-fi titles so it takes something really unusual to get me interested, but this one sounds great. Your review has given me a much clearer picture of the book, I think, so thank you.

Chicklish said...

I loved this book! Thanks for the great review.

Clover said...

Oh I really want to read this one!

cassandrajade said...

It doesn't sound like my kind of thing but it is good that there are some new styles out there and that some of them are taking on the changing world. Thanks for sharing this.

Kate said...

I have this book at home and am going to read it today. It sounds like a fun read. Great review =D