A riot of fun for teens

2011-12-21 00:00

IT’S pre-2010 World Cup, and as soccer fever begins to take hold of the country, April-May February is back again, larger than life and more feisty than ever. But cute as a button too.

We first met April-May in Melly, Mrs Ho and Me , and I wrote at the time that although I loved the book, I felt it just starts to grip you when it begins to end, which was a great pity.

This instalment sees April-May, a rebel with many causes, on the warpath, and those in her sights had better watch out.

There’s the other new bursary kid at school, Fatty, and her heavily pregnant mother with her new husband Sarel, who have scored scant points in her good books.

Mrs Ho and her son have moved into Chez Matchbox (AKA April-May’s home), as romance blossoms between her dad and her teacher.

If this is not mortifying enough, her father’s job at a funeral home sees her being dropped at her snobby school in a hearse each day. Her best friend Melly has deserted her to go and have serious surgery, and April-May is left to stand all alone, squaring off to the bitchy school bullies.

As prickly as she is, April-May is a perspicacious and sensitive girl at heart, and her group-therapy sessions with Fatty and the school counsellor Dr Gainsborough see her administering some clever Freudian therapy of her own.

A riot of fun, there are so many aspects to this story that they cannot all be reflected here. Suffice to say, it makes for a rich read, which comes together perfectly at the end.

A big fan of Bulbring, I loved this book. Although aimed at teen readers, I recognise so much of myself at that age in April-May, that it’s pure nostalgia to stand in her school shoes alongside her and cheer her through each page.

On the Melly, You and Me Facebook page, Edyth Bulbring responded to my comment that I enjoyed the book. “Thanks Steph, I’m glad you liked it. I recall you reviewed Melly, Mrs Ho and Me , and remarked that just as you were enjoying it, it ended. And I thought at the time: oh, she wants more. And it got me thinking about writing the next one. And so I did. I can write a third one if you want?”

Go on then Edyth. We think you should.

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