Monday, 29 May 2017

Book Review: The History of Hilary Hambrushina by Marnie Lamb

Title: The History of Hilary Hambrushina
Author: Marnie Lamb
Author Info: Website|Facebook
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Author
Publisher: Iguana Books
Publication Date: 31st May 2017
Rating: 3 stars

Tell Me About It
Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie’s lack of interest in being “cool,” Hilary and Kallie find themselves becoming friends. That summer friendship, however, is put to the test when school begins, reigniting Hilary's obsession with climbing the social ladder. As Hilary discovers the dark side to popularity, she must decide who she wants to be before she loses everything.
My Thoughts
The first time I heard of The History of Hilary Hambrushina was when the author approached me in regards to a possible review. After reading the small excerpt I knew I had to know more about the characters.

The book begins with an introduction off Hilary, as she tells us where she decided to start her story, the most life-altering thing that happened to her. Hilary's friend Lynn is going to California for the summer holidays, and Hilary is left behind to amuse herself. But soon a new neighbour called Kallie, moves in, and Hillary finds herself developing a friendship with this strange girl.

The History of Hilary Hambrushina was a relatively quick read for me, from the excerpt alone Kallie was someone who intrigued me, her personality and her mannerisms really stood out and I wanted to see how this friendship with Hillary would play out. For me Hillary came across as slightly needy and confused over herself. Her one and only friend is Lynn, who is more popular than Hillary, and although Hillary and Kallie do become friends I felt like Hillary wanted to control this friendship for her own reasons and for her advantage, but when things aren't too her liking, like clothes shopping or role playing, she is quick to shut it all down and try to turn it to her advantage. She has a lot of issues about her body and her looks, and isn't necessarily treated right by her peers with a lot of bullying and teasing, but I also felt like she didn't understand what she was doing herself to Kallie was also bullying.

The story itself was an interesting read, and one that really portrays the problems that children go through everyday in school. It makes you think about your actions and words towards others but also forces you to look at what others do too.

Final Verdict
While I did enjoy The History of Hilary Hambrushina it didn't really blow me away, but I do like the message it portrays. The characters will be easy to identify with for younger readers, or those going through similar experiences.

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