Lottie Biggs Is (Not) Mad – Hayley Long

“My name is Lottie Biggs, and in three weeks’ time I will be fifteen years old. At school most people call me Lottie Not-Very-Biggs. I’ve never found this particularly funny. I am five foot and a fraction over a half an inch tall. My current hair colour is Melody Deep Plum, which is better than the dodgy custard colour I tried last week.”
Lottie Biggs is having a bit of a strange time of things lately. She is so engrossed in her English project that she’s staying up til 4am most nights. On top of this her best friend gets a boyfriend and Lottie seems to think everything is a competition now. And just to make matters worse she seems to be “rescuing” shoes and tights from her workplace.  Things are confusing and it would appear that to make things a bit clearer Lottie needs to take a break; maybe in her wardrobe.
I wanted to read Lottie Biggs is (not) mad when I saw Michelle’s review over at Fluttering Butterflies as part of her Mental Health Awareness week. I knew then that this book would be hilariously funny but would also tackle a lot of serious issues.
Lottie was amazing; I loved her and as you get closer to her you start seeing whats wrong, why things aren’t quite simple for Lottie. The pinicle moment is Lottie’s fifteenth birthday and I just wanted to hold her and give her a huge hug! I felt so bad for her! However Lotties “mental disturbance” may be, she doesn’t really let things get out of control, you understand that she’s always had a couple of issues before and she does really want help. I loved how strong Lottie was, even if she thought she was a bit weak, and I loved how she didn’t let anyone get the better of her.
The story is really sweet, with the plot working really well at a good pace, I loved that illustrations were included that Lottie was meant to have drawn herself; they were so so funny and really insightful! It was written from the point of view of Lottie and is basically her English GCSE Coursework, which was pretty damn cool. I loved that the book worked well in addressing such difficult issues but in a way that teenagers could really understand. Not at any point did I find myself thinking that a “mental disturbance” of this kind was unrealistic for a teenager like Lottie, or any teenagers.
This book is an excellent quick read for a quiet Sunday afternoon (when you’re meant to be packing up your flat to move!) I was laughing, I was almost crying, I wanted to hug my book. My boyfriend was getting annoyed because every moment I could get I was picking it up to steal a quick minute reading time!
If you liked the Georgia Nicholson series of books (which I did and still need to re-read!) then this has to be the next book for you! It really was awesome and I can’t wait to read Hayley Longs next Lottie Biggs instalment!
Lottie Biggs is (Not) Mad was Hayley Long’s first YA novel, this and Lottie Biggs’ next instalment, Lottie Biggs is (not) Desperate are both available now. The third in the series Lottie Biggs is (not) Tragic is due for release in August 2011.  


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