Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 17 July 2013
When I received this book for review I read the blurb and thought it was the sort of book I probably wouldn’t have automatically picked up to read but it sounded like it could be really funny. I therefore didn’t start reading the book with many expectations at all.
To begin with I wasn’t sure whether I was going to get on with the book. It’s written in a diary format which is something I really enjoy, but I was switching rapidly back and forward between finding Hattie entertaining and infuriating. Once I got to grips with her I realised there was no way I was going to stop reading the book, I did care about what happened and I wanted to find out how Hattie’s year went.
The real grit of the book is Hattie’s quest to discover who her biological father is. She has the difficult situation of not knowing who he is yet having a stepfather who has been in her life for almost all of it and who she loves dearly. She has a real sense of conflict because as wonderful as her stepfather is she can’t help wondering about her biological father – the fact her mother is so reluctant to tell her about him only adds to the intrigue and wonder.
Hattie is a lively character, throughout the book I found at times I laughed with her, at times I wanted to give her a hug and at times I wanted to shake her! She’s a 14 year old girl (for most of the book) and I think she’s a pretty accurate representation of this – she’s suitably inward looking and self-invested! Her two friends, Weird Jen and Dimple are highly entertaining, the three of them together make for a great trio.
The real strength of the book for me was in some of the supporting characters. I loved Goose, the boy next door, and Hattie’s grandmother in particular. I felt at times that Hattie’s mother got a bit of a raw deal but this was probably very realistic in the circumstances.
By the end of it I enjoyed this book and was satisfied by the ending. There were a few surprises scattered throughout the book which were pleasing to discover. I think this book will be really popular with its intended audience.