Fifteen-year-old Shiraz Bailey Wood's days are filled with hanging around outside Claire's Accessories, her parents work crap jobs, and her school is pretty much loser central. But this loveable British dreamer with a brain and a heart of gold is beginning to feel there might be a lot more to life than minimum wage and the bling of a souped-up car.
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.
Diva Without a Cause by Grace Dent is published by Poppy (2009)
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