GIRL, ALOUD by Emily Gale

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Girl, Aloud is about Kass, an average teenager with a dysfunctional family. Her father has decided she has to audition for The X-Factor - problem is, Kass can't sing, and she really doesn't want to be a star. But when her dad decides to do something, it must be done - and he's not giving up on the idea of his daughter being a star - so now they're spending every spare moment practising for the audition, while Kass tries to figure out a way to get out of it. Then, when a boy who Kass's friend Char has had a crush on for years shows interest in Kass, she has a falling out with her two best friends. On top of this, Kass's mother seems to be keeping secrets, and her brother's in trouble, and the only person who can help is Kass...

When I started reading Girl, Aloud I expected it to be a light and funny read about a girl auditioning for a reality TV show. And it was light and funny - hilariously, laugh-out-loud funny in some parts - but it was a lot more than that, too. It dealt with a vast range of issues - including mental illness, among problems with family, friends and boys - always with a great deal of honesty and tact. Kass was an easy to relate to character, and a very entertaining narrator. I usually find myself skipping over chat transcripts in books, but the use of IM chats was really well integrated into Girl, Aloud.

Sometimes, when I'm reading something that gets me really angry, I have to stop reading and get up and stamp around the room (luckily I was reading this at home. That mightn't have gone down well had I been out in public). I really sympathised with Kassidy - so I was really annoyed, first by her incredibly frustrating friends, infuriating dad, her brother, her mother and most of all dumb Cass (Kass and Cass - different people, similar names. Read the book and you'll see). Everything just kept going wrong for her, and it irritated me no end. Of course, everything will somehow work out... You'll have to read the book to find out whether or not she actually auditioned, though!
I recommend this book to teenage girls looking for a funny, smart and easy read - if you're a fan of Jacqueline Wilson's books, I think you'll love this one.

Q: Would you ever audition for a reality TV show? What if your parents wanted you to?
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