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Posh and Prejudice by Grace Dent

Posh and PrejudiceShiraz Bailey Wood isn’t expecting great results from her GSCEs, which is why she takes a job to Mr. Yolk. She might as well get a head start on earning her share. But when she gets her grades back, she’s pleasantly surprised—not only are her GSCE results pretty decent, but Shiraz is intelligent enough to enroll in Mayflower Sixth Form. So, it’s back to school for Shiraz despite her mother’s protests. Even if Shiraz does enjoy some of her new classes and the new friends she’s made, school seems to be creating more problems than it’s fixing. Getting an education seems like the alternative to be stuck a chav in Shiraz’s sucky neighborhood Goodmayes, but there are also the distractions like the good-looking rich boys and loads of new responsibilities. That doesn’t even count all the time Shiraz has to spend studying. Even the constants in her life are changing: her sister Cava-Sue is leaving soon to travel, her best friend Carrie is more interested in self-tanner than doing her assignments, and even her boyfriend wants to tie her down. What’s a girl to do when all she wants is to keep it real?

Posh and Prejudice, though by no means fantastic, is an improvement over its prequel Diva without a Cause. The reader gets used to all the British slang that was somewhat confusing in the previous novel. Shiraz’s character is somewhat more solid and defined that it used to be. I like how she seems to have more conviction in her life and her beliefs and a strong will to succeed. She has matured a little since her previous year and can thus navigate her life better. Shiraz realistically struggles with other people’s perceptions of how she should live her life, which causes her to be less true to herself, until she finally realizes that she can only be happy bettering her life on her own terms. I like this message much better than the seeming lack thereof in Diva without a Cause; it’s what makes Posh and Prejudice so much more enjoyable for me than its prequel. While the novel is better than its prequel, it still had a little ways to go. Though Shiraz has become surer of some of her beliefs, she still flounders and doesn’t know what to do with her life. This lost feeling keeps me waiting for something really big to happen, but Shiraz’s one monumental decision is saved for the final pages of the book. This is bad because I was looking for more but good because it gives Shiraz room to grow and develop in a subsequent novel.

This humorous novel will be enjoyed by fans of Diva without a Cause and the It’s All About Us series by Shelley Adina.

Rating: 3.75

Review copy from publisher Little, Brown

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