Saturday, 20 April 2013

Review: Darcy Burdock by Laura Dockrill

Title: Darcy Burdock
Author: Laura Dockrill
Release date: February 28th 2013
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade/Children's
Format: Paperback
Pages: 278
Source: Review copy from author

My name is Darcy.
I see the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around me.
This is my first book.
One day, it will be read by people like you.

In this book you will find out:

How to calm an Angrosaurus rex with some Maltesers.

Running away with a reluctant pet lamb in tow leads to sore kneebows.

Baby brothers LOVE being dressed up as girls (they don't, they prefer zombie snakes)

Darcy Burdock is an entertaining and refreshing illustrated novel from Laura Dockrill. I loved Darcy's voice and personality, as well as the fact that this book brought out my inner child. I laughed out loud several times at Darcy's antics, and it felt great to be inside a mind that's still one hundred percent childish and carefree.

10-year-old Darcy has quite a few problems to deal with, and gets frustrated quite a lot. She finds release in writing stories. I loved reading Darcy's stories! Her writing book is filled with ingenious and very original stories based on her experiences, and it means the world to her. But things start to go wrong, and Darcy's busy trying to figure out how to fix them.

Darcy is the weirdest but coolest kid I've read about. The first quirky thing about her is the fact that she has a pet lamb. Yeah, a lamb! Called Lamb-Beth. I liked how she's not girly or prissy - she's just a normal 10-year-old who wants to have fun. She has a wondrous imagination, one that puts that of most grown-ups to shame. In fact, I'd really recommend this book to adults, I think it'll really help them get in touch with their inner child. Darcy is a smart cookie too, and she's so incredibly fun. She's also very supportive of her friend, Will, and her siblings. I really loved reading from her perspective. Darcy, you are one awesome mermalade!

I think kids would love this book. They can totally relate to it, and it's just the kind of book I would have read as a kid. Kind of like Roald Dahl books, actually, with the illustrations. Laura Dockrill captured the voice of a quirky 10-year-old perfectly, and I really did feel like I connected with Darcy. There is so much hilarity in this book, but at the same time there are serious parts, too. Parts that have a sort of worldly outlook to them, which make this book readable to just about anyone.

Darcy tells us all about her life, and the incidents are all so interesting! There was one part where she tried to run away with Lamb-Beth, and that was particularly funny, since of course she didn't really get anywhere. Darcy also has to deal with issues like bullying, and I liked how Laura smoothed this into the book, making it seem serious but at the same time something you can laugh at.

Ultimately all Darcy wants is for her writing to mean something to someone, and I was glad that it finally happened. All authors can relate to this, and I think Laura added a little of herself into Darcy's character. Darcy loves writing, and it's her biggest comfort. The agitation she feels when her writing book is stolen is proof enough of that. The way Darcy deals with things is simultaneously child-like and mature, which made me like her all the more.

Overall, Darcy Burdock was a fun read, and it was definitely an escape from the stress of high school and exams and whatnot. I did feel quite wistful after reading this book, though, because what wouldn't I do to go back to that carefree age! Granted, it wasn't that long ago, but it feels like ages. I'd recommend this book to adults and children alike, because honestly I think both can appreciate it equally.

*Thank you to Laura Dockrill for providing a copy for review*

Rating: 3/5

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