Friday, June 05, 2009

Book Review: Diary of a Chav by Grace Dent

Book: Diary of a Chav
Author: Grace Dent
Published: 2008

Time: 1:33:32
Number of Pages: 216

Shiraz Bailey Wood has it all planned out. She's going to go on Big Brother, get famous, make millions, and do it all while looking fabulous and having a laugh.

But for some reason, her teachers don't think this is such a hot plan, and they insist it's time to start considering her future. Between a terrible job-placement in an Indian-food factory, fights with her best friend, missed chances with adorable Wesley Barrington Bains II, and the hilarious implosion of her family, that future doesn't look so great.

But this is Shiraz Bailey Wood, who has guts, smarts, and attitude to spare. The future doesn't stand a chance.

Why Did I Hype?: This looked like the kind of deliciously over-the-top, Bridget-Jones/Georgia Nicholson book that I love.

Live-Up-to-the-Hype Score: 9/10

This book is just plain fun. While there is a slightly more serious subplot about Shiraz beginning to value education over bling, you'll be kept in stitches by her frank narration and the crazy situations that just seem to pop up. It's Georgia Nicholson, a few years down the line.

Kids who aren't familiar with British slang may be checking the glossary in the back of the book, but they'll recognize themselves in Shiraz's attitude, her trepidation about the future, and her determination to meet life on her own terms.

Note: This book comes out in paperback as Diva Without a Cause, apparently because the term "chav" was deemed too alien to US kids. Under either title, make sure they get their hands on it.


Zoraida Cordova said...

These books are so fun!

The Floating Lush said...

Bookshelves of Doom has been going on and on about these, and now you. Clearly, I must read them! :D

soundistheword3 said...

Great review. I really like how you have "Why Did I Hype?" and then "Live-Up-to-the-Hype Score." Also, thanks for sharing that bit about the title change - I didn't realize that could happen after the book was published, but I guess Catherine Clark did it too, so it can't be all that unusual.