Tuesday, 5 May 2015
Review: The It Girl by Katy Birchall
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: May 7th, 2015
Everybody wants to be a famous It Girl. Don't they? Anna Huntley's aims in life: 1) Must keep my two lovely new (and only) school friends by not doing anything in usual manner of socially inept dork and outcast. 2) Train Dog (my labrador) to high-five. This is probably the most ambitious life goal on this list. 3) Do not set the school's Deputy Queen Bee mean girl's hair on fire (again). 4) Work out whether 2) and 3) constitute being socially inept or outcastish. 5) Go to Africa and give out rice. 6) To hide in a cupboard FOR LIFE with Dog now Dad is engaged to one of the most famous actresses EVER, the paparazzi want to spash my face all over the papers and everyone in school (and The World) is soon to discover the level of my social ineptitude. 7) Is rice a bit done now? Maybe I can give out chocolate in Africa too. I do like chocolate. Must work out how to do it from the cupboard...
The It Girl is all about Anna Huntley and her somewhat embarrassing teenage years. She's funny, realistic and usually without shame, which leads to some very cringeworthy moments indeed. But it's all part of her charm!
Katy Birchall's debut YA novel is a great mix of humour and heart, which is usually my favourite kind of British fiction. Anna made me laugh throughout the book, whether it be because of the situations she gets herself into or the daft thoughts running through her head, and she's a worthy, lighthearted teen heroine for the John Green generation. She's flighty and occasionally frustrating, but she means well and her heart is in the right place, even if some of her decisions are completely and utterly wrong.
The It Girl addresses lots of relevant themes and issues, from friendship, boys, and bullying to acceptance and the price of fame. Anna makes some truly terrible mistakes in this book, mostly involving her group of very good friends, and she has to learn how to fix things by herself. She grows up in a way, learning that life isn't always easy and the right thing to do isn't always what you want to do. She also learns that good friends and family are there forever, no matter what, and that they should be cherished accordingly.
I enjoyed this book and read it quickly, relishing Anna's upbeat personality and her unusual family situation. I particularly liked Katy Birchall's sense of humour throughout - think Louise Rennison with a touch of Laura Dockrill - and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next for her crazy cast of characters. I've formed a bit of an attachment to Anna so I hope all is well in the next book... I guess we'll have to wait and see what's on the cards!