International Writers Magazine: Young Fiction
Told from the perspective
of Katie, Dont call me baby creates a realistic teenage voice with
is use of contemporary cultural references to Hello
magazine and celebrities like David Beckam, and the relatable everyday
teenage problems that Katies faces, with a cheating boyfriend and
jealous friends. This use of culture references, in conjunction with the
relatable issues, also allows readers to see the novels close link
and relevance to everyday British life. In between Katies accounts,
Dont call me baby includes magazine clippings, these not
only reinforce the media obsessed theme of the book, but also give the
reader a celebrity life history of Brett and Kassie Ballentine.
Dont call me baby by Laurie Depp
Hodder Children's Books; (Oct 2007); paperback
call me baby follows the life of eighteen year old Katie Meredith
when she gets her dream job as a nanny to the kids of Britains
golden couple, Kassie and Brett Ballentine. Bretts a premiership
footballer and Kassies a press obsessed ex-pole dancer. Katie
cant believe her luck but her 21st century fairy tale isnt
all it seems and the cracks soon start to show as Brett is soon
revealed as rude and unapproachable, taking the term playing
the field a little to literally and Kassies behaviour
gets increasingly strange and desperate throughout. Stuck in the
middle of their marriage battlefield, Katie is left looking after
the children, unable to trust her friends and boyfriends as more
and more stories about the Ballentines are leaked to the press.
The intimate conversational style of the book also allows readers to empathise
with Katies character and by the end of the book the reader really
cares what is going to happen in her love, family and work life. The simple
use of language and the breaking up of text with magazine clippings, in
addition to making the text entertaining and reflecting the influence
of the media on our culture, make the text a fast easy read, allowing
Dont call me baby to be accessible to a wider audience.
Although Dont call me baby does create a realistic teenage
voice, considering that the story is set up as to giving an inside look
at the world of celebrity, the book often lacks detailed description,
skimming over key events in the book. For example, at the celebrity filled
ball that Katie attends, there are only a few lines of description and
then the story returns to Katies thoughts and teenage angst. Similarly,
throughout the book, there are underlying references and clues to Bretts
adultery, but when it comes to his confession, the reader isnt told
any of the consequences. This is just a tad frustrating.
However, even with the lack of description and limited consequences Laurie
Depp's fiction is still an entertaining read, saying a lot about our media
celebrity obsessed culture where a teenagers dream job is to work
as a nanny for a footballer and ex-pole dancer. And although its not very
deep Dont call me baby still does give a brief insight into
the life of a celebrity couple, whose similarities to Posh and Becks and
Jude and Sienna cant be ignored.
© alana hebenton November 2007
In Case By Meg Rosoff
Such an extraordinary book. Its strange, haunting, humorous and
deeply moving, and unlike any book I have ever read.
Bridget Joness diary chronicles the life of the attractive thirty
something Bridget who lives a chaotic life
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