Sometimes, just when you think you’re rocking along nicely and minding your own business, life throws you a complete curveball and leaves you feeling totally and utterly freaked-out.”
Jody and Jolene Barton are twins. They share everything, except a birthday. Jolene was born just before midnight on February 28th and Jody was born just after on February 29th, the leap day. However recently they haven’t been sharing all that much and just before their 16th - and fourth- birthdays Jody has a massive secret that not even Jolene knows about. Life’s thrown a massive curveball again and Jody can’t talk to anyone about it.
This is going to be a very hard book to review. very hard indeed.
I loved Hayley Long’s last series, Lottie Biggs, and I was very much looking forward to Whats Up With Jody Barton? When I started reading I was a little let down because it just seemed very very similar to the Lottie Biggs series, the narrative was a little crazy and very 16 year old-ish and it just felt like another contemporary school type book. Then the book throws a complete curveball at the reader. Now I can’t discuss this in detail as it doesn’t happen until page 108 but I will discuss it a little.
This curveball change the book completely and whilst I liked it, I also didn’t. For the first 100 or so pages I found that something I thought was obvious and implied was not true, and it kinda made me feel a bit cheated. I could deal with it and understand why it was there but I honestly think that it would have sat better with me maybe a little earlier into the book, not too early, maybe page 30-50 around there somewhere but seriously, half way through the book? I didn’t like it when I read it.
Then I carried on reading and ended up really liking the story. Jody has kinda fallen for Jolene’s boyfriend and its causing some serious issues with the whole family, especially Jolene. Their parents are struggling to deal with the problems caused between Jody and Jolene but they try and help out, and they are lovely to be honest. I found Jody’s dad quite embarrassingly funny and thought he was very realistic. I thought Jody’s mum was a bit too in her own bubble sometimes and Jolene had picked that trait up too but they were both there for Jody when it mattered.
The layout of the book was very similar to the Lottie Biggs books with a mixture of font sizes and fonts, and pictures interspersed throughout. I really like this style and it makes it really easy and quick to read. This book will make a great edition to any teens bookshelf and I really would recommend it because of how much it makes you stop and think.
I thought What’s Up With Jody Barton? was a really interesting coming of age style story. It makes you think and makes you re-think later on and it really makes you kick yourself. As I said, the revelation really didnt sit well for me and I had to stop reading to take it in, I was tempted to even re-read the first 100 pages because I really thought something was very much implied that wasn’t but once I’d stopped to take it in I really did enjoy the book.
What’s Up With Jody Barton? was released on May 31st by Macmillan Children’s Books. My copy was sent in exchange for an honest review from the publishers.