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.