Monday, December 17, 2012

Posh and Prejudice by Grace Dent

Goodreads Description: "The divine Shiraz Bailey Wood is back in this hilarious sequel to Diva Without a Cause (a.k.a Diary of a Chav) to enlighten us with her signature brand of madcap humor on her demented, glorious life in the gritty suburbs of London.

When sixteen-year-old Shiraz Bailey Wood's year-end test results come in, she's astonished to discover not only that she passed them all, but that she's actually clever! Emboldened by an invite to higher-level classes, Shiraz enrolls in Superchav Academy's "Center of Excellence" to get even brainier.

Hanging with goody-two- shoes types in higher-level classes seems like just the ticket to avoid getting stuck forever in her crap hometown. But Shiraz has to figure out for herself: are these posh types really any better than she, or do they just want to stick their noses up at everyone?"

My Review: Shizza's back! And she's funnier than ever. I really loved Diary of a Chav. It definitely wasn't the best-written book ever and it didn't have some deep, heartbreaking plot---but hearing Shiraz's raw, "keepin'-it-real" voice was hilarious and a reminder that even people that the world likes to look down on---"chavs, trailer trash, ghetto people"---have feelings and thoughts and opinions and dreams. It was almost a wake-up call. And Posh and Prejudice was much the same thing---it was a wake-up call that not everyone's parents think college and a higher education are the best thing in the world (shocking to someone like me), and that some people have to fight to do something as simple as getting a higher education. 
      As for the book itself, its strengths really lay with the characters, as always with Grace Dent's hilarious British books. The plot was, of course, interesting! I loved seeing Shiraz go to the sixth form and try her hardest to fit in but also keep it real. Her struggles to make sense of Wesley and attention from a handsome new preppy rich guy were also cute to read about. Shiraz is so tough but so innocent, in some ways, with a heart of gold---that's what makes her so lovable. 
     Carrie disappointed me a bit in this book. Not much attention was given to her or her friendship with Shiraz, until the very end of the book. However, I did like seeing the character progression with Uma (and it was something I NEVER saw coming!). I have to admit: as someone raised by parents who highly emphasized the importance of a higher, quality education, I was a bit disappointed with Shiraz's decision at the end of the book. However, then I found out that there were MORE books after this, so perhaps things will turn around in future books! 
      For now, the story was heartwarming and also so funny that I literally had to control my laughter at time. Some of Shiraz's observations about the world around her are too funny to believe. And her family? WOW, the Bailey-Woods are hilarious, especially her insane mother. Anyway, this was a great follow-up to Diary of a Chav and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series! 

Cover: SO CUTE! It actually fits the theme of the series: bright, poppy, fun colors and a cute ghetto-fabulous girl who's wearing things that most people would call "tacky" or "chav-y" but who also looks really hopeful and cheerful. And that pretty much describes Shiz to a T! 

Grade: A-

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