What's Up With Jody Barton
May 31st 2012
Macmillan Children's Books
Me and my sister are twins. She's Jolene and I'm Jody. We've both got brown hair, we're both left-handed and we both have these weirdly long little toes which make us look like long-toed mutants. But apart from that, I'd say we're fairly different. Well, actually, we're a lot different . . . It's hard enough being one half of the world's least identical twins, without both of you falling for the same guy. Jolene's turned flirting into a fine art, but Jody? Not so much. And as if a twinny love triangle wasn't messy enough . . . there's something nobody knows about Jody Barton. Something BIG. Told with the trademark warmth and laugh-out-loud humour of the much-loved LOTTIE BIGGS books, this is a book that will make you think, with a gobsmacking twist you won't believe.
What's Up With Jody Barton is completely not the book I expected it to be. The blurb on the back of the copy I have (not the one posted here) gave me a really wrong impression about the book, but that's not to say that it detracted from my enjoyment of it at all, because it was a really great story that isn't as much about love as one might have thought.
I kind of guessed the twist about 50 pages in, and I kind of kicked myself that I hadn't realised it earlier. Once you know what it is, you'll see how obvious it is, and that Jody hadn't been the person you'd thought they were at all. God, this is really hard to talk about without accidentally spoiling anything... It is a really, really good twist though, and it turns the story into what you least thought it would be.
Jody and Jolene were really fun to read about, and they really are the world's least identical twins! I actually really liked both of them, though I spent a lot of the book wanting to kick some sense into them too. There was a bit near-ish the end where I really wanted to smack Jolene, but at the same time I could see where she'd been coming from, and her hurt was totally justifiable. I also really liked the whole theme of self discovery and being comfortable with who you are regardless, and that it's something that Jody finally took to heart by the end.
So yeah, as I've said, it's really not a love story, so keep that in mind when you read it. Because the love interest is kind of a major dick, and you will 100 percent want to cause him minor physical harm by the end of it. In fact, even by the middle of it! He may be pretty, but he's a nasty piece of work, and I'm sorry if I broke all your illusions of him when you're reading it, but I had to vent because I just really, really didn't like him, and Jody and Jolene will do a million times better than him.
I also thought it was really interesting that there was a tiny bit of cyber bullying involved too, and that Jody really couldn't face going into school after everything that had happened. It still kind of amazes me that people in this day and age could still be that cruel and ignorant, especially my generation, but it's true, and some people are just small minded and cold. But if they're going to treat Jody like that then they weren't real friends any way, and I much preferred Chatty Chong in the first place because there is absolutely nothing wrong with drawing isosceles triangles for fun.
Plus I really liked the use of drawings and different text sizes to express emphasis and give a better idea about what Jody was feeling and anything with pictures of Jim Morrison's face in it is a guaranteed win. Who doesn't love The Doors?! Apart from Jolene, of course... ;) But I know that this is something used in her Lottie Biggs books, too, and I really want to read those now as well.
What's Up With Jody Barton is a really great, funny book about knowing who you are and not being ashamed of it, plus it has a killer twist!