How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro (hardie Grant EGMONT)
PB RRP $14.95
Reviewed by Lillian Rodrigues-Pang
How To Keep A Boy As A Pet is the blog journal of Circe Shaw. The story begins with Circe explaining that her two best friends have hooked up and try to include her but all they really want to do is ‘get meaningful behind the bushes’. In fact all people in her school have relationships and participate in a snog fest at the school gates at the end of each afternoon.
Circe has recently moved to this neighbourhood, which she calls “The Middle Of Absolutely Nowhere" after a family breakdown. Circe has made some good friends in her new school although is being bullied by the most popular girl. Overall it leaves her facing a long summer holiday alone. In her desperation to fill the long boring hours she decides to become “…a fabulously sophisticated journalist and reveal the actual scientific truth about dating boys . . .” The result is this blog (book). Her blog attracts one reader who gives her the advice to treat any boyfriend with the confidence she treats a pet.
This is a coming of age story in which Circe learns to have confidence in herself. In the process the relationship between Circe and her Mum repairs and grows. The premise is sweet and there are some humourous moments and perspectives.
Personally I have a problem with the concept of a teenage girl blogging everything she feels rather than talking to a person but that’s probably more a statement about my age. The overall message is a strong and positive one.