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Becoming Betty by Eleanor Wood - Review

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I read Eleanor's first book, My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend, over Christmas, so as soon as I read that she had a new book I immediately ordered it. The cover is so beautiful that I'm swooning over it! Isn't it enticing?

Where did I get it?, which as a reminder, has prices very similar to Amazon, free shipping, fast service, and most importantly they pay their taxes (unlike Amazon).

What's it about? Lizzie Brown has just left school and is starting college. Her friends Daisy and Jake are staying at school, so she won't know anyone at college, but she had a bit of a bad time during her GCSEs so is looking forward to a clean start. She decides she reinvent herself and buys a vintage dress from a cool shop in Brighton. She starts college and on the first day meets Viv, who is so cool that Lizzie can barely stand up. Together, they skive off college and meet Viv's boyfriend Rex. Viv wants Lizzie to join her band as the bass player, and reinvents Lizzie as Betty Brown, ready for a local Battle of the Bands.

This novel is just lovely! I thoroughly lost myself in the story and was on Lizzie's side the whole time. She is a bit clueless but basically a gentle soul. There's also a cameo from Tuesday Cooper, protagonist in My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend, which was just lovely. I did think there were some things I'd have written differently, but that for me is part of the enjoyment of a good novel. Viv is the type of girl we've all known over the years. I liked to dislike her!

I also really like Eleanor's use of older music to signify moments for these kids. That's probably partly because I love music and also write about music and bands in my own work. I can't wait for Eleanor's next work - she's an auto buy for me now.

What age range is it for? 15+, nothing too salacious

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes, but no spoilers

Are any main characters people of colour? No

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Lizzie has mental health problems which are really well portrayed. I loved the description of her panic attacks and they felt really true to life.

Is there any sex stuff? No not at all. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No

Is there any talk of death? Not much, if any

Are there swear words? No hardly any

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely. I loved it. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? Partly because I wanted to get ahead of the curve and read it on its launch! I never manage it but I did now!

What other books is it like? It's a lot like Eleanor's other book, and also Songs About A Girl by Chris Russell

How many stars? Nine out of ten. Practically perfect in every way.

Where is the book going now? I'll keep it, I hope to see Eleanor at another event in the future and get it signed!

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