Monday 20 November 2017

Review: The Real Rebecca by Anna Carey

O'Brien Press, €7.99, Paperback

Recently the Irish children's fiction world has been dominated by male writers. Eoin Colfer, Darren Shan, Derek Landy and John Boyne have all enjoyed national and international success. But things are about to change.

Judi Curtin, already huge in Ireland, has landed a deal with Puffin; Denise Deegan's debut teen novel will be published later this month; children's laureate Siobhan Parkinson's Bruised is a humdinger (due in May); and respected Dublin journalists Anna Carey and Bridget Hourican (The Bad Karma Diaries, due in March) have debut novels with O'Brien Press this season.

Carey's book, The Real Rebecca, is the first of this new wave. Set in contemporary Dublin, it chronicles the life of Rebecca Rafferty, an angst ridden 14-year-old with a problem. Her mum is a bestselling novelist who has turned to writing for teenagers, much to her daughter's mortification. Everyone thinks the main character in her new book is based on Rebecca, but Rebecca is determined to prove otherwise, with hilarious results.

Written in the form of a diary, Carey's teen voice is spot on, and the dialogue crackles with authenticity and wry humour. Rebecca's friends and their embryonic band -- Hey Dollface -- provide a refreshing plot twist. It is an excellent debut novel that would delight any Louise Rennison fan.

Sarah Webb's fourth novel for young teens, Ask Amy Green: Party Drama-Rama, is out in May

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