The Valentines: Happy Girl Lucky Paperback – 7 Feb 2019
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PRAISE FOR GEEK GIRL:
“Harriet's comical and cringeworthy misadventures in the world of fashion are guaranteed to get you laughing.” The Week Junior
“You can't fail to like Harriet.” Parents in Touch
"A smart, sassy and very funny debut." The Bookseller
"Loved GEEK GIRL. Wise, funny and true, with a proper nerd heroine you're laughing with as much as at. Almost." James Henry, writer of Smack the Pony and Green Wing
"A feel-good satisfying gem that will have teens smiling from cover to cover, and walking a little taller after reading" Books for Keeps
“I would highly recommend Geek Girl to anyone who likes a good laugh and enjoys a one-of-a-kind story.” Mia, Guardian Children’s Books website
Hilarious new romantic-comedy books for the Instagram generationSee all Product description
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I was very quickly drawn into Hope's world in Happy Girl Lucky and found her to be an adorable main character. She's not perfect; she's ditzy and has her head in the clouds, but that's what makes her such an interesting narrator! The story moved at a good pace which is what kept me reading on and on, and it touches upon some heavier topics that many teenagers deal with relating to dysfunctional families and first love. That said, Hope's love interest was...interesting!
Going into this book, I did expect to like it, but I didn't expect it to necessarily be a five star read, but I was so pleasantly surprised and couldn't put it down! It's the perfect read for younger teens right the way through to adults, so I'd definitely recommend it.
I’m a huge fan of Holly’s writing and have been a champion of her Geek Girl series, whose protagonist Harriet was the geekiest of adorable geeks and you couldn’t help but love her.
The Valentines Sisters therefore had big boots to fill and it’s a good thing they can afford the best boots out there.
We start with the story of the youngest sister, Hope.
Fifteen year old Hope has grown up in a famous family - her parents met on the set of a film - but out of the limelight. The Valentines have a family rule that have seen her coddled and protected from the media until she turns sixteen and Hope can’t wait.
She lives out her days fighting with her sisters, stealing their clothes, being tutored at home and daydreaming that she is part of an epic love movie. Hope’s daydreams appears in the novel as mini scripts complete with wistful actions and declarative dialogue. Hope lives up to her name - she falls in “love” freely and frequently. It’s just a shame the boys don’t always follow the script.
Hope is hopelessly naive at times, she is a horoscope devotee and I have to admit, as well as wanting to give her a big hug I also wanted to shake her a few times - you know gently and just so she doesn’t get hurt. Hope herself says it’s a doggy-dog world but she doesn’t seem to quite grasp what that means (Geek Girl’s Harriet’s eye would be twitching at some of the phrases Hope comes out with).
As much as this book is about romantic love it is also about familial love and the relationships with her siblings, parents and grandmother is vitally important to her. Her mum is in rehab, dad is in the US filming and her siblings each have their own public persona to cultivate.
Leaving Hope lonely, and she is reaching out for love wherever it comes from and she has the resources to go all out to get it. And boy does she take things to extremes - including a trip to the Hollywood Sign.
Holly Smale has developed another excellent cast of characters, I’m actually desperate to find out more about Mercy. In Hope she utilises her skill at writing teen girls as they can be, unreliable narrators of their own lives. With a different take on humour than in her first series there are less laugh out loud moments and some serious issues tackled in Happy Girl Lucky including gaslighting (although it’s not explicitly labelled). This was a fast paced and hugely enjoyable read and yes, you will do as the series tagline suggests and fall in love with the Valentines.
Sisters Faith and Mercy will each have their own story, and I’m not going lie, I already know I’d love to have a story of some sort from brother Max’s perspective (maybe a novella if not a full length escapade).
Thank you to HarperCollins for the Advanced Review Copy I was gifted for the purposes of giving an honest review.
Don’t be fooled by the gorgeous and vibrant cover; there are some important messages in this book, particularly around the signs of a toxic relationship such as love-bombing and gaslighting. Even though these are serious topics, it’s truly applaudable to see them addressed in YA, and I hope Happy Girl Lucky will highlight these signs to younger readers who may be approaching or going through their first romantic relationship.
I received an advanced review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
After I got used to Hope Valentines way of thinking that everything is a Hollywood movie and that she daydreams a lot, plus often uses words incorrectly, I whizzed through this book.
All she wants is to be 16 to be allowed to start being an actress like everyone else in her family. She has three older siblings who barely notice her, and parents who aren't really about.
You can't help but feel sorry for Hope, as she hopes to meet her one true love. In fact every boy she comes into contact with is considered for leading man role!
This is a light fun, and quick read and I am already hoping to read more of the Valentines family in future books.
This story just shows that just because you are from a rich and famous family that your life may not be perfect and for YA read that is an important message for the celebrity obsessed, social media addicts out there, that you need to look beyond the surface to know more about a person.
Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.