Release Date: 27th February 2014
Edition: e-proof, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Mistakes in the Background, Ugly Shy Girl, Darcy Burdock
The second book starring Darcy Burdock – the cool, all-conquering new character for tweens.
Ten-year-old Darcy sees the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around her. This second book sees Darcy move up to Big School – and all of a sudden EVERYTHING changes. Her best friend Will isn’t sure he should talk to girls anymore, her new teacher may in fact be a cauldron-bubbling witch and, horror of horrors, her precious pet Lamb-Beth goes missing. Can Darcy face these challenges head-on, armed with only her curious, whip-smart mind and eye for a story?
I feel rather in love with Darcy Burdock and her wit and imagination last year so I was very much looking forward to getting back inside her head in Hi So Much. It was even better than the first book.
I’m pretty sure I mentioned it in my review of Darcy Burdock, but I have to talk about it again: Darcy’s voice. She’s witty and charming and so real and alive; I just love her. Her writing and narrative voice is so distinctive and reflects every inch of her personality: her attempts to be grown-up, her wild imagination, her passion and her age. Laura Dockrill has done something amazing with Darcy.
Including stories and pieces of writing by the main character can sometimes be a bit of a risk, I find. For me, I sometimes find that they push me out of the story and I read through them to get through them, but not with Darcy’s. I want to be the kind of writer she is. Her metaphors and analogies and grasp of the world are beyond her years but never seem put upon her.
Darcy’s fear of growing up and going to big school made my heart ache. The change in her friendship with Will, making new friends, the stacks of homework, the bigness of it all was put across perfectly. I felt her fear and harried-ness as she rushed to get everything done in time and missed Will and his important moments. I felt her anger at Olly and his horrible words about her age and capability, and I especially loved how she stood up for herself against him. I think that Laura Dockrill taking a stand against sexism and gender stereotypes for younger readers is brilliant. It’s something that gets thrown at children so, so early and Darcy’s power in those situations will really resonate with other ten and eleven year olds so that they can do what Darcy does.
Hi So Much is clever, fun and endlessly imaginative. I devoured it in mere hours and I’m already counting down the days until I had book three in my clutches.
Thanks to RHCP and NetGalley for the review copy!