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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Theres a bit of bitch in everyone, 8 Jan 2006
This review is from: Lady: My Life as a Bitch (Puffin Teenage Books) (Paperback)
Melvin Burgess has a fantastic style - he doesnt beat around the bush, he tells it like it is. It is extremely refreshing. He isn't moralistic in the way many other teenage books are - he seems to understand the teenage brain much better than I'm sure many teenagers do themselves.
This book is addressing such a strange concept that when i first picked it up i put it down again - i didnt think it was the sort of book I'd enjoy. But it is really entertaining, easy to read and captivating. It doesn't turn out as you would particularly expect - but that is part of Burgess's charm.
If you read this book, which i suggest you do, you will never look at a stray dog in the same way again...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you gotta be a dog, be a bitch, 2 Nov 2009
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Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lady: My Life as a Bitch (Puffin Teenage Books) (Paperback)
Along with William Sutcliffe, Anne Fine, Louis Sachar , Kevin Brooks and Meg Rosoff, Melvin Burgess is one of a very few people writing for teenagers whose books are guaranteed to hit the right spot when it comes to delineating what life is like for the 13 to 19 year-olds who are his subjects. Of all the genres this is the most difficult to get right when it comes to the realities of life for the average teenager. Writing that tackles difficult questions based on some of the basic dilemmas of modern life is always going to be full of pitfalls - don't assume you know everything, don't talk down, don't patronise, don't moralise. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Burgess is extremely skilled at what he does.

This book, about a girl who is running wild, who gets turned into a dog, by a magical tramp is funny, sometimes hilarious, but it is also completely honest and comes with a parental advisory sticker because it tackles sex. Yes, readers, dogs have sex in this book. And they like it. Probably, best given to over-14s only, I would suggest. It is an allegory that needs a certain maturity to understand the contrast between a heady lack of responsibility and a need for family and the safety of a settled routine, even if that restricts one's freedom.

Sandra is seventeen when it happens, all the pressures, to be good, to be fancied by boys, to work hard at school, to re-sit the exams she has failed, fall away. The scents and smells of her new senses are heady and exciting, the option to run wild and free in a world entirely newly made is exhilarating and for a while she gives in to the call and runs with the pack, but something keeps calling her back.

The ending to this marvellous book made me laugh out loud.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good teen author, 22 Sep 2008
This review is from: Lady: My Life as a Bitch (Puffin Teenage Books) (Paperback)
I loved junk (the book) as a teenager, and read it many times, but it is only as an adult that I have started to explore some of the authors over works.
Although I do not think this book is as good as junk, it is still pretty well written, and I think that teens will like the refreshingly honest and open approach.
Unlike some other teen authors, Burgess does not shy away from speaking openly about matters such as sex, and he does not preach either - you do nto get the feeling that he is trying to tell you how to behave, something I have seen in some teenage books.
As such, the characters come across as flawed, believable and real.
I would recommend this book to teens, but I still think that junk is a far better novel
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Lady: My Life as a Bitch (Puffin Teenage Books)
Lady: My Life as a Bitch (Puffin Teenage Books) by Melvin Burgess (Paperback - 6 Feb 2003)
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