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The International Writers Magazine: Review

32 C, That’s Me By Chris Higgins
ISBN: 9780340917275
A Hodder Paperback

Natalie Tehrani

This book’s target audience is girls in their early teens. The front cover itself is clearly designed for its target audience; decorated with floral, glittery patterns. The title seems to invite young girls that are trying to grow up to read the book, it seems to say - I identify with you.

The main character is Jess, a 14 year old girl dealing with the ups and downs of life and growing up. The way the book is set out is easy to read, the chapters are short and the writing is simple yet extremely effective. I found I couldn’t put the book down!

I felt the language was fairly colloquial in the sense that you felt the character was talking to you as if she would a friend. I liked this as it gave a personal touch to the story and helped the reader to identify with the main character. I feel that especially for a young girl reading this book the language and writing style is perfect. The author sets the text in the modern day with up to date references to shows like Big Brother and Eastenders, again this makes the book relevant to its target audience.

One aspect of the book I really found interesting was the author’s clever link between the main character Jess and the part of Lady Macbeth she is playing in her school play. Higgens uses Lady Macbeth’s journey through the play and parallels it with Jess’ progression in the book.

This means we get lots of quotes from Shakespeare and some really insightful opinions of the characters roles. Having studied Macbeth I personally found this touch very intriguing and I feel that it could be quite helpful to any student reading the play for school, as so many young kids have to do.

The book tackles serious issues such as cancer and parents separating in a very real way that I feel would be both insightful and sensitive to a reader who was experiencing similar events at home. Everyday teenage issues are also explored (often with comical effect) such as waxing and the struggle for freedom against our parents.

Despite the fact that this book is clearly aimed at the younger teenage market, I would say that this book is a great read for any girl who’s growing up or who has experienced the trial and errors of teenage life! I am almost 20 and I loved this book. The reading style is light but highly engaging and I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good girly book.
 © Natalie Tehrani Oct 22nd 2006

Natalie is studying Creative Writing at Portsmouth University
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