Review Blog

Dec 22 2010

Three things about Daisy Blue by Kate Gordon

cover image

(Girlfriend Fiction, 20). Allen and Unwin, 2010.
(Age 12+) Daisy Blue is very unhappy. She is forced to go to Bali with her mother, but she wants to stay behind with her friends. Paulina Gifford is also going to Bali, and when her mother asks her to keep an eye on Daisy, the strait-laced Paulina is in for a shock. Both the girls keep a diary describing their life changing moments on beautiful Bali.
Daisy calls her diary Angelina and writes a constant stream of complaints about the possible lack of Diet Coke in Bali; missing out on her favourite TV show and having her mother make pointed remarks about how thin she is. Paulina on the other hand is looking forward to learning about the religious customs on the island and trying the local cuisine.
The Girlfriends Fiction series is made up of quality, easy to read books with themes that will appeal to teenage girls, and this is no exception. Daisy's desire to be thin, her mishap with alcohol and her obsession with pink will resonate with readers, while others will be drawn to Paulina, the nerd. Both girls make a journey of self-discovery, learning about themselves and others, especially about Cody, a gorgeous young film-maker and Wayan, a Balinese student who wants to help others as a doctor.
The device of using diary entries show the difference between the two girls and highlights how their attitudes to each other change and how they cope with their problems. Daisy's entries are particularly humorous and provide a light touch to the story, which does however touch on some serious themes. Daisy's preoccupation with becoming thin enough to attract Robbie Chandler 'who only goes out with skinny girls' (pg. 5.) is central to the story. Paulina's attempts to always be the good girl, as well as the themes of getting on with parents and making friends, provide some thought-provoking ideas for young readers to think about.
I enjoyed this book and believe it would make a welcome addition to libraries.
Pat Pledger

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