Thursday, 19 February 2015

Book Review: Starring Kitty by Keris Stainton

Kitty’s keeping secrets. Like how she’s struggling to cope with things at home. And how she can’t stop thinking about the girl with the purpley-red hair… A fun film competition with her friends Sunny and Hannah seems like the perfect distraction. But then Dylan wants to be more than Kitty’s secret. Is Kitty ready to let her two worlds meet or will she risk losing Dylan forever?

Kitty is a gloriously 'real' character. After calling Dylan for the first time in a fluttery panic/moment of excitement, she hangs up ‘and then hit[s] herself on the forehead with the phone’ and after speaking with Dylan face-to-face, she ends up saying she lives in a completely different part of town than she actually does just so that she can walk a little while longer with Dylan. The reader will empathise with Kitty at every step of the story - she's not some elaborately-drawn fictional character; she's very believable. Though her life is far from straightforward (Kitty’s mother is suffering from MS and hasn’t left her bedroom for weeks and Kitty is developing feelings for a girl that she’s terrified about her friends discovering), Stainton gives us a warm and very special portrayal of first love. But set against bitchy girls at school, Kitty needs to be strong if she’s going to remain true to her feelings.

Luckily for Kitty though, she is flanked by two fantastic friends: Sunny and Hannah. Sunny’s relentless optimism and drive to make their school film project a winner is adorable: ‘High concept: car chase along the prom… Low concept: sitting in car pretending to drive.’ And Hannah’s obsession with trying to set Kitty up with boys is very funny: ‘You could do a lot worse… he’s hot and he doesn’t honk of Lynx.’ But bubbling inside Kitty are feelings far stronger than a desire to win the film competition – at first, that is. Stainton creates a gorgeous character in Kitty – self-deprecating, kind and damaged – and as author, Karen McCombie said when reading the book, you'll be ‘rooting for her all the way!’ 

No comments:

Post a Comment