A Month With April-May by Edyth Bulbring
Paperback, 224 pages
Expected Publication: 17th February 2013 by Hot Key Books
My thanks go to Hot Key Books for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
I am always on the look out for fresh, fun and quick reads (aren't we all?) so I had to check out this new release from Hot Key Books. I admit that I hadn't heard of the author before, but the story sounded entertaining and I really wanted to see what April-May was like. From only the blurb, I knew that April-May was a character that I just had to get to know.
There are comparisons of Bulbring's writing to the hilarious Louise Rennison and one of my childhood favourites, Jacqueline Wilson. This both excited me and made me a little nervous - those are quite big names to live up to! I can understand these comparisons as the writing style is very easy to read, accessible and fun. I often have some issues where I feel the author tries to be 'too cool' when writing for younger teens, but thankfully this was not the case here. Though there were some words that some people will certainly not be familiar with, the words flow easily and it's easy to understand what they mean in context (though if you really are stuck, there's even a glossary at the back!).
The main thing that stands out about this book is the setting - rather than the usual British or American setting, it's set in South Africa. I've never read a book that was set in South Africa before so it made a great, interesting change. I loved the use of some Afrikaans words in the book - it added a great deal of authenticity and added to the cultural aspect of the book.
Of course, the characters were interesting and fun too - especially April-May herself, who is a witty, funny character who is absolutely bursting with attitude. I enjoyed reading about her relationship with the 'awful' teacher, Mrs Ho. However, my favourite relationship in the book was between April-May and her father. Though the book is very light hearted and jokey, there was obviously a good and slightly deeper connection between April-May and her dad which stood out to me most.
This is a book that is aimed at young teenagers and so I am above the target age-group for this book. However, I can imagine that if I read this when I was younger that I would have liked it very much and it's something that I'd definitely recommend to middle grade readers. For me, this was a speedy and amusing read which grabbed my attention from start to beginning. Though there wasn't really any depth, I do look forward to seeing what April-May gets up to in her next instalments!