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Pop! – Catherine Bruton

Pop! by Catherine Bruton“Rules of Talent TV No: 1: Come up with a great story

I’ve always been good at making up stories. I get it from me mam. She reckons the more outrageous you make a story the more likely people are to believe it – and she’s had plenty of practice at telling whoppers, so she should know.”

The factory workers are on strike. For Elfie’s family – who’s dad laughed the strike – that means no money and her mum can’t cope with that so she’s out. For Jimmy’s family it means no money, and with his swimming training it means more pressure so that he can gain sponsorship. Money isn’t what makes the world go round but the lack of it can cause serious issues for the two of them/ So Elfie comes up with a plan – what better way to make money fast than enter into the local tv talent show?! Only issue is, they have no talents. Thats where Agnes comes in. Lets hope Elfies plan of getting on TV and sharing their back story with the nation works, and doesn’t cause more tears, tragedy and broken homes than have been caused already. 

***

Pop! is the story of ambition, family, friendship and a plan so huge it could change everything. It was an interesting story right from the start and I have to say I’ve read very little like it before!

I’ve been a fan of the author of Pop!, Catherine Bruton, since I read her first Egmont book, We Can Be Heroes. Since then I have also read her latest book I predict a Riot but something stopped me from reading Pop! and I think it was the idea of a TV Talent show. I have reality TV and you wouldn’t catch me dead watching X Factor or American Idol, I couldn’t think of anything worse. But thankfully once I started reading Pop! I knew it was about so much more than that and the talent show barely really starred in the book at all.

The book was heart felt, just like Catherine Bruton’s other books. It was full of emotion and I enjoyed getting to know the characters a lot. I think it was probably the weakest of the three by Bruton that I have read but considering I really loved the other two, this had a lot to live up to! I loved that the book was separated into narratives by the three main characters Elfie, Jimmy and Agnes because in all honesty a book fully narrated by Elfie would have just been too much, you needed the others to balance things out a little! I also loved what it showed the reader about living in situations like the characters were and I loved that you had the three sides of the argument so to speak. Ellie’s dad is the one in charge of a strike which was caused by the factory he works at employing contractors from abroad, Agnes’ dad is one of those contractors, and Jimmy’s dad is a factory worker who agrees with the strike but is having a hard time carrying it out because he knows whats best for his family is him actually earning money.

The characters were all completely different and I liked that it was easy to tell who was who. I never had to remind myself about which character was meant to be narrating and although Agnes didn’t narrate much, she was a pivotal part of the story. Ellie was certainly the character who stood out the most, had the most interesting back story and was honestly the star of the show. I didn’t like her much as she seemed to brash and in your face, I would have actually hated knowing her! However you could kinda tell through Jimmy especially that a lot of that was just show and I really enjoyed getting to know her through his eyes more than her own narration to be honest.

Pop! was long, and it could have been a bit shorter if I’m totally honest. It took me a while to get into and I really thought I was going to give up on it at one point. Its worth sticking with through to the end though because the conclusion was brilliant, and I really enjoyed how the characters developed. I probably wouldn’t read it again unlike Catherine Bruton’s other books but I probably  would recommend it to anyone who has dreams of reality tv!

Pop! was published in June 2012 by Egmont. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
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