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The class book review: Happy Girl Lucky

The first book in Holly Smale's new series, about a girl in a celebrity family, made our reviewers cry with laughter

Tes class book review: The Valentines: Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale

The first book in Holly Smale's new series, about a girl in a celebrity family, made our reviewers cry with laughter

The Valentines: Happy Girl Lucky

Author: Holly Smale
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Details: £7.99, paperback, 480pp
ISBN: 978-0008254148

The Geek Girl series is incredibly popular with our students. So it was with great excitement that we discovered Holly Smale’s latest offering. Happy Girl Lucky made me chuckle.

I loved the layout – the stage directions and scripted format made it surprisingly easy to read for a fairly chunky book. I also loved the morality behind the words – our reviewers picked up on the fact that fame and fortune isn’t everything (although it helps!). This series is going to fly off our shelves, and rightly so.

Gill Ward is the senior librarian at Fortismere School in North London

Pupil reviews

Happy Girl Lucky is the first in Holly Smale’s new The Valentines series. It’s a very emotional and romantic novel. It shows that reality is not always directed in the same way as movies and sometimes the perfect scenario can take an unpleasant turn in only a matter of seconds.  

Standing up to the world and facing your problems might be hard but this book proves that, with a little determination and willpower, anything can be accomplished. The book makes you realise that fame and money are nothing compared to the loyalty and love of family. It is important to keep your friends close but your family even closer.  

Zeynep Yavuz, Year 8

This is a sad yet funny book, about a girl named Hope Valentine, who is in a family of famous movie stars. Hope’s biggest desire is to find true love and she will do anything to get there. However, on the road to finding it she soon realises that a happily ever after isn’t the only ending a film can have.

Megan Dring, Year 8

I seriously don't know where to start: this book is amazing! It is about Hope Valentine, who is a 15-year-old girl from a famous family trying to find her way through her world. As you read through the book, you realise that this family isn't normal; it’s completely different, especially Hope. The twist at the end is fantastic! I would recommend this book for ages 10-plus, since it is quite chunky.

Nusayba Ali, Year 9

Happy Girl Lucky is great and an original book. I’ve never read a book in this style, which made it very interesting. Even though sometimes the story can be a little predictable, I would still recommend it, especially for young teens or people who enjoy diary-like books.

Ori Yovel, Year 9

I really enjoyed reading this book because it gave an insight into how famous people must feel and how destructive rumours can really be. Throughout the book we got a script of how Hope wanted the conversations to go and then we saw how they really went. I really liked that, because not only do we see what happens but also what she wishes to happen.

This book teaches that you need to keep fighting for what you want, no matter what other people say – although it can go horribly wrong. I think anyone between the ages of 10 and 16 might enjoy this book, especially if they like romance-related books. I would definitely recommend that you read it.

Salka Kristinsdottir, Year 9

Holly Smale makes you cry with laughter. The story shows the reality of being a celebrity: we see how VIPs really don't want superfans and the media interfering with their private business. The book tells us that teenagers – whether they’re popular or not – are fighting for the same thing: love.

Fatima Ali, Year 7


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If you or your class would like to write a review, please contact kate.parker@tes.com

Tes has partnered with Hay Festival to celebrate inspiring books for young people. With the help of your submissions, we’ll compile a list of books we think every library and school should have on their shelves simply because they are full of engaging perspectives and important stories for young people to encounter.

To support the Hay Festival #BooksToInspire initiative, you can nominate a title here. Aside from inspiring the next generation of readers, everyone who nominates a book will be entered into a prize draw to win the selected titles for a school of their choosing. Hay Festival’s Programme for Schools is out now, click here for more details.  #BooksToInspire

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