I know the rule: don’t read reviews, good or bad. That way you don’t risk heartbreak, or ranting mintily on Twitter. But that way you don’t get the ridiculous overexcitement that comes with this: making both Red magazine’s and the Independent’s Best 10 New Novels for 2018.
This is what Red had to say: A bittersweet coming of age novel, The Queen Of Bloody Everything perfectly captures the pangs of adolescence, first love and growing up in a small town. You’re in for a treat with this one.
And the Indy: Dido has grown up under the shadow of her mother Edie, who swears, drinks, has sex and doesn’t mould herself into the conventions expected of motherhood or suburban Cambridge. But as Dido grows up, falls in love with the boy next door and moves on with her life, she has to wrestle with guilt about abandoning her mother and fear about her health. The book expertly follows funny and chubby eight-year-old Dido into adulthood, swinging from gentle comedy towards something sadder, and wiser. This book is a must-read for an exploration of a modern mother-daughter relationship – a topic that is all too often left unexplored in today’s fiction.
(And yes, I know Dido is six, not eight, but I think I can live with that.)
You can read the full Independent article and find out who else made the Top 10 novels here.
And Red’s picks here.
And you can preorder the book here.
About Joanna Nadin
A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the prime minister, since leaving politics I’ve written more than 80 books for children and adults, as well as speeches for politicians, and articles for newspapers and magazines like The Guardian, Red and The Amorist. I also lecture in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and hold a doctorate in young adult literature.
I’m a winner of the Fantastic Book Award and the Surrey Book Award, and have been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Booktrust Best Book award and Queen of Teen among others, and twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, for Everybody Hurts, and for Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated BBC TV series. I've also worked with Sir Chris Hoy on the Flying Fergus series and ghost-written Angry Birds under another name.
I like London, New York, Essex, tea, cake, Marmite, mint imperials, prom dresses, pubs, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn’t stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard’s, Portuguese custard tarts, political geeks, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, my Grandma’s fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, Guinness, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, the 1950s, burlesque, automata, fiddles, flaneuring, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.
Just reading “Queen” brought back memories of student life as I lived in Park Grove in the early 70s and of course frequented the Queens . Thanks
That’s lovely to hear! My friends lived at 114 in the 1980s! x