Friday 8 January 2016

The It Girl: Team Awkward, Katy Birchall

Pages: 304
Publisher: Walker
Release Date: 7th January 2016
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: The It Girl

There are good ways of starting back at school after half term as an ‘It Girl’, but hiding in the loo because the video of you falling bottom first into a paint pot has gone viral is not one of them.

If everything Anna does is going to be seen by more than 10 million people, then she's determined to find something that she's really good at. Everyone else seems to have a ‘thing’ – especially the new girl at school distracting Connor with their shared love of art. Luckily the school sports day is looming and Anna is limbering up!

What could go wrong?

The It Girl was one of the most fun novels I read last year and Team Awkward will be on that list in 2016! I loved it.

Anna becoming the team captain for the Puffins sports day team really does sound like a disaster, and it definitely starts that way. That girl cracks me up. She’s so uncoordinated and clumsy it make me look elegant! But against all odds, she pulled it off. I loved how fiercely determined she is to succeed, even though she's nervous and doubting herself. It's a lovely message to give teen girls – even if you don’t think you can, or if you think you’re not good enough, you can and you will. I thought it was great that her teachers believed in her too.

But as usual, behind all potentially disastrous plans are usually BFFs and so it was Jess who had the brilliant idea of Anna taking on the challenge of sports day. I adore Jess and think she’s brilliant. She and Anna make such a brilliant team, if a slightly barmy one. Their friendship feels so authentic and I can easily put myself and my best friend in their places. I loved the teasing, the mocking, the egging each other on and most of all, the undying support, belief and loyalty Jess had in Anna just makes her the perfect BFF. Luckily, they're also qualities Connor has. Though things didn’t go completely smoothly with Anna and Connor in Team Awkward, I really enjoyed watching their relationship play out; the near misses and brilliantly embarrassing moments had me snorting out loud and I nearly cheered at the final moment at the end of the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Team Awkward and I really, really hope there’s more of Anna to come. I need more fun, female-led UKYA in my life and Katy Birchall is just rather good at it.

Thanks to Walker for the review copy.


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