Friday, 16 September 2011
Review: Secrets at St Jude's - Party Girl by Carmen Reid
Publisher: Corgi Children's
Released: August 4th, 2011
Grade rating: B+
The pressure's on this term for the Upper Fifths... There are new boyfriends and new parents on the scene, as well as the dreaded summer exams. But will the girls still find time for fun, and for each other? You can bet on it! A fantastic series full of romance and friendship - and a hefty dose of chick-lit glamour. Boarding school never looked this good!
Party Girl is the sixth (yes, sixth - where has the time gone?!) instalment in Carmen Reid's fantastically fun St Jude's series aimed at teenage girls. I can only compare it to Enid Blyton's St. Clare's and Malory Towers series for a modern audience, which I hope is a compliment of the highest order. The boarding school setting and ensemble cast of brilliant characters make for incredibly easy, compelling reading, and it's the kind of series that I never want to end. Please keep writing, Carmen!
Party Girl deals with a lot of different themes and issues, most notably missing parents, progressing relationships and looming school exams. Reid's characters, Gina, Min, Niffy and Amy, develop more with each book, which I'm grateful for. Too often a series can fizzle out rather than get better with each new book, but that's not the case here. Every time I finish the girls' latest adventure, I think it's the best yet. Then I read the next one and immediately want to change my mind. There's just something about Reid's portrayal of teen life and everything it brings, whether it be boyfriend trouble, exam anxiety or friendship issues. I could read these books forever!
I seem to remember reading that Carmen Reid will be writing a couple more St Jude's books. I'm so, so happy about this as I'm in no way ready to leave Gina and Co. yet. I need to find out what happens with her and Dermot, and whether Min aces her exams. I did miss Niffy's trademark pranks in Party Girl, and I'm hoping they'll be back in full force in the next book. I'm pretty sure I always say this, but if you're a teenage girl and have enjoyed books by the likes of Louise Rennison in the past, you definitely need to read this series. It's consistently entertaining and always a pleasure to read. Long live St Jude's!