Saturday, 29 January 2011

Swallowing Grandma - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Swallowing Grandma by Kate Long

What is it about:
Katherine Millar is eighteen, and desperate for lots of things – to be thinner and less swotty, and to have cooler friends. But most of all she wishes that she had two parents instead of one grandma, Poll.

Katherine’s father, Poll’s adored only son, was killed in a car crash when she was a baby. According to Poll, the crash was the fault of Katherine’s mother, who disappeared shortly afterwards and hasn’t been seen since. Poll is pushing seventy, half-blind and utterly poisonous. Her ambition is for things to stay exactly the same for ever, and for Katherine never to leave their pit village of Bank Top; indeed for her to leave the house only when strictly necessary.

Katherine has other ideas, especially when on her birthday she receives a mysterious parcel of glamorous, grown-up clothes – so unlike the ones Poll makes her wear. And then the handsome and self-assured Callum turns up, claiming to be a cousin she never knew she had. Katherine can feel that change is coming; the omens are all around her. In the meantime, she cleans up after Poll, revises for her exams, watches daytime television and surfs the net at the library trying to find out how to be bulimic. What she doesn’t quite realize yet is that life won’t always wait for you to catch up.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I really liked this book. It's well written, emotionally intense and at times funny. Katherine's problems and fears are very recognisable and I found myself wanting to scream at her grandmother and to kick Katherine into taking control of her life, while at the same time asking myself if I wouldn't have acted the same if it had been me in Katherine's position. All in all a powerful read about discovery: of self, of family and of the world.

Why should you read it:
If you want to read a powerful YA book without the almost inevitable love triangle this might be your read.


Enbrethiliel said...


LOL at your reason to read it! ;-) I never liked love triangles to begin with, and the fact that they're trending is not sitting well with me. =( No wonder I've retreated into MG . . .

Sullivan McPig said...

I'm getting so sick and tired of all the love triangles, I must confess....