Author: Allison Rushby
Allison Rushby eBook RRP $7.99
Review: Monique Mulligan

**During November and December 2013 this book is on special for less than $1 via Amazon**

Diamonds are a Teen's Best FriendAllison Rushby, author of The Heiresses, has just released a new young adult series, the Living Blonde trilogy. Aimed at early teens or even tweens, the series introduces bright and bubbly Nessa, who has more than a passing interest in all things Marilyn Monroe – so much so that Ms Monroe’s movie plots tend to wind themselves into Nessa’s life in the craziest ways. The first book, Diamonds are a Teen’s Best Friend, is a short and sweet read that younger teens are sure to relate to.

Thirteen-year-old (nearly 14) Nessa Joanne Mulholland, aka Marilyn Monroe’s No. 1 teenage fan, is relocating to Paris from New York City with her dad. She’s used to moving around and has had her fair share of interesting experiences for one so young, but this time they’re moving in style – on board swanky cruise ship, The Majestic. Well, sort of in style … they are sharing a cabin five decks below sea level and it’s right next to the engine room. And hanging around dad is, no offence, a bit boring.

Things look up pretty quickly when Nessa realises movie star Holly Isles is on board (as well as her cute nephew); Holly takes a shine to Nessa and the two are soon sharing mocktails, secrets and plots to find Holly the Perfect Man (PM). It’s all a bit Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for Nessa, who can’t believe that Holly is taking Lessons in Love from a gawky (and slightly starstruck) teenager. Will Nessa help Holly find her PM? Or will everything go terribly, horribly, embarrassingly wrong?

Diamonds are a Teen’s Best Friend is a fast and enjoyable read that I quite enjoyed despite being WAY older than the target market. Nessa has a lovely innocence about her that’s refreshing – she’s a bit klutzy, a bit unsure, not at all street-smart and has an overactive imagination; she just wants to help, but manages to stuff everything up in sometimes quite funny style. The chicken fillets scene (imagine a flying “chicken fillet”) is amusing, as are Nessa’s Lesson’s in Love. I think she’ll appeal to a lot of young readers who will see elements of themselves in her. It is a bit predictable (the ending came as no surprise, but I’m a grown-up, so I doubt younger readers will feel quite the same) and Marc as a love interest didn’t work so well for me, but the ending took care of that.

I’d recommend for 11-13, maybe even 14-year-olds, who like an escapist, rather than fantasy or action read; it’s like chick-lit for tweens. Tween-lit!

Available from Amazon. My copy was courtesy of the author.

Bookish treat: When I was Nessa’s age, I loved sweets. Redskins, sherbert lollies … what am I talking about? I still do! Sweets for a sweet read.




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