Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery
August 4th 2011
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Money can't buy you love. But it can buy many other very nice things. Lia's mum is a nag, her sister's a pain and she's getting nowhere in pursuit of the potentially paranormal Raf. Then she wins GBP8 million in the lottery, and suddenly everything is different. But will Lia's fortune create more problems than it solves? Everyone dreams of winning the lottery - but what's it really like? Find out in this hilarious story by Keren David, whose acclaimed debut novel, When I Was Joe, was Highly Commended for the Booktrust Teenage Prize.
From what I've heard about this author, this kind of book isn't really her kind of thing. When I Was Joe and Almost True are about street crime (I think) and not really about 16 year old girls winning £8 million and having a 'Paranormal Boyfriend', but I think she completely did it perfectly. I loved this book! It was funny, but not overly so, clever, had it's fair share of serious and silly, and I read it in less than a day.
Lia was great. While at first, she really did get on my nerves a bit (complaining when you get like £40 a month for pocket money! It's madness! I would die for that kind of pocket money!) but I could understand her fights with her parents and stuff, because I kinda act the same sometimes... ;) And, y'know, then she won the lottery, which is surely a sure fire way to boost the irritatingness. And, I will admit, at first it did. Now, this doesn't mean I didn't like her, but I did maybe want to slap her a little. But. After the book went on for a while, Lia really did start to get better, and we got to see more of her under the bravado. And really, behind the millions of pounds she was just a normal girl who didn't know what to do with any of her new found fortune. (Kind of... She did know what she wanted to do at first but then... Ahh, it'll probably be quicker if you just read the book than sit around listening to me ramble on about it.. ;p)
I loved Raf too! Paranormal Raf Who Wasn't Really Paranormal All The Crazy Twilight-Mad Girls Just Though He Was Because He Was Pale And Reads. But seriously, Raf was lovely, and he wasn't a comedy character as much as I'm making it sound like he was. If anything, he was the Serious Problems aspect of the book. He was really the only one with a whole load of bad things happening, and it was nice to see a vulnerable boy for a change. Seeing the boy falling in love with the girl with the girl not sure. I loved that even near the end of the book she wasn't sure about their relationship, because it's just realistic. And I enjoyed the fact that there was a bit of awkward sex in the book too ;) *whistles innocently* But books that glamorise sex, especially first time sex, kind of annoy me. I mean, I genuinely don't really know a lot about sex (I mean I know a lot about sex but I don't, rightfully (I'm only 14!) have any actual experience so...) But I'm pretty sure sex doesn't always really go exactly to plan and it was the best moment of their life and blah de blah, y'know?
I also really enjoyed seeing Lia's journey from winning the money, her brief stint with being a bit of a minor celeb (the pie throwing incident being one of the highlights of the book. Man, that woman totally deserved it.) And I liked seeing her relationship with her mum get better. I mean, her mum was a bit of a bitch some of the time. She did the whole guilting you into doing stuff thing that mums are so good at... But it was great to see Lia change and develop. And I really liked the involvement of Islam as well. I can understand Lia and Shazia's relationship because one of my best friends is Muslim and we can sometimes have similar problems, but we're pretty cool about it ;) But it's nice to see Islam put into a book, in a positive way. I haven't really seen that a lot. And it wasn't done in a preachy way or anything! It was just, there.
Lia's Guide is a wonderful book which I really enjoyed reading. It had just the right balance between light and serious, and gave a new insight into money and being rich and what not, and what it's like to have that sort of money thrust upon you at such a young age. Plus, I laughed quite a bit... And Raf and Jack were both quite nice... ;p