Monday, 10 September 2012

Review: Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

I was sent "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great" by Emma from Don't Lose My Place when she held a trial giveaway. All you had to do was ask for the book and you would receive. I've had this book a while but picked it up randomly. Basically, the book I was reading has been left in the car and there was this lovely book waiting to be read in the meantime. I also fancied reading something by Judy Blume as I've heard a lot of good things about Forever but never read it. I'm so thankful to Emma for sending me this and am really glad I decided to read it today! Here is the blurb for "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great":

Sheila can do no wrong. Sheila Tubman is not quite sure who she is. Sometimes she feels like confident, brilliant Sheila the Great and other times she's secret Sheila, who's afraid of spiders, the dark, swimming and, most of all, dogs. When her family decides to leave the city for a summer in the country, Sheila will have to suffer everything from long-eared dogs to swimming lessons to creepy spiders. That's enough to drive any city girl nuts! If she can survive the summer at all, Sheila may be forced to admit that she's no supergirl.

This was a nice light read. It was fun and only took me just over an hour to read. Sheila is the main character and suffers from a wide range of fears, not that she would admit it. She is afraid of lightning from thunderstorms hitting her, spiders, the dark, swimming and dogs. Sheila also has a sister, Libby, who is older and spends her time dancing around, singing and acting like a mature and bossy sister. Sheila often lies to avoid admitting her fears. However, this isn't the best tactic and often leaves Sheila in embarrasing situations. There are some morals to this story but they are fun e.g. it's better to admit a fear and face it than lie about it. Sheila's confrontations with her fears though were really funny! The way she refused to admit she was scared made for fun reading. She also met some friends when she is sent on holiday, by the names of Mouse and the Twins. I like Mouse as she is a genuinely nice person. The Twins were okay but I didn't feel I knew about them as much as Mouse. Then again, it is a short story and is definitely aimed at younger reads.

The plot is pretty simple and aims for fun reading. A main part of the plot is Sheila's fears but there is also a great deal more going on. Sheila's family move in to a country house in the summer and Sheila and Libby decide to attend the summer camp that's run nearby. They both gain new friends and there is a sleepover near the end which was my favourite part to read! The sleepover was just really funny and now I want to have a sleepover! Sleepover at mine: for those of you who live outside of the UK, get a plane, hot air balloon, rowing boat or your preferred method of travel!

This book scores high for hookability. It was over so quickly, about 70 minutes of my time! For those of you who want a short, fun and light read, this is the book for you. If you are looking for something that's a little older, you might not enjoy this. I'm not doing a rating for this book as the last time I did a rating for a book that was too young for me (and that I didn't like) I had to deduct marks. And I believe that if I was the right age group I might have given it more marks. So it's up to you decide. However, this is a fun and short read and is good if you want to escape some of those books which deal with heavy topics.

I've loosely laid it out in sections: characters, plot and then hookability.

P.S. Hookability is a book's ability to keep you hooked (reading). Yes, I did make up that word :)

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