Book Review: The It Girl (Katy Birchall)
Release Date: 7th May 2015
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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…
I was lucky enough to win this book in a competition over at the lovely Tales of Yesterday, so big thanks to Michelle, Katy Birchall and Egmont for that. I’ll admit to being a bit sceptical going in, as this just didn’t sound like my kind of book, but a few pages in I found I was really enjoying it.
A large part of this is probably me relating to Anna so well. I’m massively nerdy (only a lot less embarrassed by it) and also (lets be honest) probably as weird and unpopular as she is too. I guess the difference with me is that I don’t mind all of this, and have embraced that, whereas Anna really wants to change these parts about her, to hang out with the popular kids and not be so damn weird.
I felt a little disconnected from the plot at some points, and I’m going to put this down to an age thing. As a 24 year old, I’m pretty comfortable with who I am now, but I do remember what it was like to feel awkward about yourself and wish to be ‘normal’ like other people. I just felt Anna was being a bit silly wanting to hang out with people that blatantly only liked her because of her new found minor celebrity status – this naivety irritated me and I couldn’t really see the justification in some of her decisions.
So I had some minor plot/character problems, but as a whole I really enjoyed the book.
Anna is chatty and funny and her antics did make me laugh out loud a few times (embarrassing when you’re reading on the bus on the way to work…) The book’s written really well, with the story told, not just through Anna’s narrations, but her notes passed in class, the lists she doodles for herself and emails between her family and friends. It was great to have these little slices of something different in between the narration and I hope it’s something that will be continued in the next book(s) – I hope there’s lots of them!
This is a lovely, light hearted comedy with some important themes on staying true to yourself and knowing who you are. As an old(ish) person I wasn’t as keen on this aspect but I think younger readers will find it both interesting and helpful as they struggle to navigate their own teenage lives. The book reminded me of the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson which I read as a teen, so anyone who’s read them is sure to love this.
Check out my soundtrack for The It Girl here