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Diva without a Cause (Diary of a Chav) Paperback – 1 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy; Reprint edition (1 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316034827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316034821
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,329,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Grace Dent is undeniably one of the hottest names in teen fiction right now. Put simply: no other author nails how young people REALLY speak and behave like Grace Dent. Grace is a comedy writer and broadcaster specialising in all aspects of 'Pop Culture'. She is a presenter on The Culture Show on BBC2 and has recently interviewed Mitchell and Webb and the cast of Gavin and Stacey. She lives in East London with her husband, who works in the music industry. When she's not writing comedy Grace is to be found 'faffing about on the internet' or 'faffing about in the garden or kitchen' or 'just 'faffing about generally. I'm an excellent faffer.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Nov 2008
Format: Hardcover
Originally published in Great Britain as TRAINERS VS. TIARAS, Grace Dent has crossed the Atlantic and now we are able to enjoy the rich adventures of Shiraz Bailey Wood.

Meet Shiraz. Most of the folks in her small town think she is a "chav." And if you're like me, you're wondering what in the world is a "chav" right? Fortunately, Ms. Dent supplies us poor American folk a glossary at the back of the book. A "chav" is a poor working class person in Britain. My first thought was, "OK, so this would be similar to our term trailer trash." I wasn't wrong! For in the definition Ms. Dent provides, she claims that being called a chav is a bit like calling someone trailer trash. So, having that out of the way, you can get the gist of the tone of the story.

Poor Shiraz is faced with the derogatory definition throughout the book. It starts off at Christmas time where she complains that she gets knock off trainers (sneakers for us Americans!) and a diary. She can't believe her grandma would even think of giving HER a diary. Is she nuts? But as the story unfolds, Shiraz comes to write down everything that happens over the course of the next year.

The diary format has been used before, that's nothing new. We've seen it THE PRINCESS DIARIES, BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY, and the Louise Rennison novels. But what makes DIARY OF A CHAV stand out is the unique way Ms. Dent has Shiraz tell her story.

Shiraz is a loudmouth and doesn't want to stand out at school. But when a new English teacher shows up and sees something in Shiraz, Shiraz finally starts to contemplate if there is more to life than just earning money at a job.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
British YA Lit 23 Jun 2009
By Deborah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was a bit wary when I picked up this book to read. The cover didn't really attract me to the story at all. I mean she looks like she's wearing a velour hoodie set. It just screamed trying to hard for me. Normally I would pass over this book, but I do enjoy British culture so I ended up picking it to read. I am so glad that I did. The book is written in a diary format, which I always enjoy. There's something about reading journal format that is very appealing to me, perhaps because it gives a better insight from the character. I also find that diary format books are very addictive to read because with no chapter breaks, you find it hard to stop reading. I grew to like Shiraz and her family. I will admit in the beginning she's very brash and hard to like but as you learn more about her life, she becomes very likable. I liked the teacher who encouraged her and gave her inspiration to do well in school. Also her relationship with her sister is very touching especially during the reality show scenes. My favorite part had me extremely grossed out. It's the scene in the factory. I read that scene and had the same reaction Shiraz did and was totally creeped out and even gagged. It's a great scene though and adds a lot of humor.

I will admit, the British slang takes a while to get used to. I felt like I was reading a foreign language for most of the book. Luckily there's a dictionary in the back that explains all these terms that Shiraz uses so I constantly found myself flipping to it throughout the story. After finishing this book, I felt like talking with a British accent to everyone and start using some of the words I had learned while reading. Overall this was a very enjoyable book to read. It gives a great taste of British culture and also shows how teens are the same all over the world. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Courtesy of Teens Read Too 4 Nov 2008
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Originally published in Great Britain as TRAINERS VS. TIARAS, Grace Dent has crossed the Atlantic and now we are able to enjoy the rich adventures of Shiraz Bailey Wood.

Meet Shiraz. Most of the folks in her small town think she is a "chav." And if you're like me, you're wondering what in the world is a "chav" right? Fortunately, Ms. Dent supplies us poor American folk a glossary at the back of the book. A "chav" is a poor working class person in Britain. My first thought was, "OK, so this would be similar to our term trailer trash." I wasn't wrong! For in the definition Ms. Dent provides, she claims that being called a chav is a bit like calling someone trailer trash. So, having that out of the way, you can get the gist of the tone of the story.

Poor Shiraz is faced with the derogatory definition throughout the book. It starts off at Christmas time where she complains that she gets knock off trainers (sneakers for us Americans!) and a diary. She can't believe her grandma would even think of giving HER a diary. Is she nuts? But as the story unfolds, Shiraz comes to write down everything that happens over the course of the next year.

The diary format has been used before, that's nothing new. We've seen it THE PRINCESS DIARIES, BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY, and the Louise Rennison novels. But what makes DIARY OF A CHAV stand out is the unique way Ms. Dent has Shiraz tell her story.

Shiraz is a loudmouth and doesn't want to stand out at school. But when a new English teacher shows up and sees something in Shiraz, Shiraz finally starts to contemplate if there is more to life than just earning money at a job. Her year at school does a two-week work stint, and while working at a mind-numbingly boring job at a packing plant, Shiraz decides she will try to do the work at school.

While dealing with school, Shiraz also has troubles at home to deal with. Her mom and older sister are at odds and, to solve the problem, Shiraz writes to a Jerry Springer type show for help. Airing their dirty laundry on TV doesn't turn out the way Shiraz expects it to.

And to top all that off, her best friend, Carrie, has ditched her for her exciting new boyfriend, Bezzie. Shiraz doesn't think Bezzie is all that, but Carrie can't see beyond having such a grand guy, and the friendship starts to suffer.

For those expecting a book to flow elegantly and gracefully, DIARY OF A CHAV isn't that book. But if you're looking for a brutally honest look at the life of the teenager in working class England, this is your book. Shiraz is a breath of fresh air. She may irritate you at times with her disregard for authority, but in the end, she does choose the right path and you want to cheer for her when she does!

For more adventures of Shiraz, look for POSH AND PREJUDICE (SLING THE BLING in Great Britain) due out in June 2009. For those of you that absolutely can not wait, you can get your hands on this and more in the series from Great Britain.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
Diary of a Chav 18 Dec 2008
By Kristi D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was laughing my a** off the entire time I read this novel! Shiraz is a very lovable character. I wasn't sure about this book at first. First off I had idea what a Chav was, and the cover scared me a little.... But once I started reading I was sucked into to Shiraz's voice. The novel consists of journal entries. Think Sloppy first, British style.

I may not have understood everything she was saying (thankfully there was an English dictionary for all the American cousins) but the girl is bloody brilliant!

Some of my favorites:

Baps: (n.) boobs. Also boobies, breasts, blouse potatoes.

Fangita-eater: (n.) this is a pretty, erm, rude word for a girl who things other girls are hot and doesn't fancy boys.

Knob: (n.) a boys penis. But it's also an insult too. "Stop being a knob!"

Marmite: (n.) brown yeast extract spread that British people have on toast, which to an American person who isn't used to it will taste like Satan's jockstrap.

Up the duff: (adj.) pregnant, knocked up, in the pudding club.

Despite what you would initially think, Shiraz is very smart. And unfortunately it isn't something that her environment encourages. Her mother seems to think that a rich husband is the way that Shiraz needs to go. Which is very sad. But while reading the novel you'll soon learn that Shiraz is not the type of girl to settle down with a rich husband, she has a mind of her own. She has typical teenage problems. Figuring what to do with your life, working through friendships, problems with boys, it's all in there and humorously done.

While this novel lacks elegance and grace... if your looking for brutally honest, this just might be your ticket. I'm looking forward to hearing more of Shiraz's voice.
I loved Shiraz's voice 6 April 2013
By Sharif - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Shiraz Bailey Wood is sixteen and goes to Super Chav Academy--actually, Mayflower Academy, but the school has a bad reputation for its chav hijinks. Chav, by the way, is a derogatory term for working-class British youth who wear hoodies, sneakers, and bling. Shiraz has numerous problems including a runaway sister, an obese dog, and a mother who doesn't seem understanding. Written in diary format, I loved Shiraz's voice, even though the British slang was confusing at times. There is a glossary in the back, though.
Funny, well written, but too short 12 Jan 2013
By Jack Hamilton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Funny, well written, but too short. I was expecting more.

Best read in combination with "Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class" by Owen Jones, http://www.amazon.com/Chavs-The-Demonization-Working-Class/dp/1844678644 (that book led me to this one).
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