Friday, October 2, 2009

Review: Miss Understanding: My Year in Agony

Miss Understanding: My Year in Agony by (Lara Fox/T S Easton*) (June 2009, Hodder Children's Books, ISBN: 0340988827)

First Lines:

Miss Understanding Blog Entry
- 1st October 2009

Hey there you.

Well I'm back everyone! After two weeks' break, in which I was taken by my grandparents and brought to their cottage in Devon.

Review: Anya Buxton is a sixteen-year-old who runs the anonymous blog and advice column, Miss Understanding in which she hosts gossip about teachers, answers agony aunt questions and details her life (with fictitious names for her friends and family). The book comprises her online presence and runs between October 09 to June 10.

Anya's parents have divorced and she's living with her six-year-old brother at her mum's new home which has entailed a change of school and friends though she tries to keep up with her old group.

During the year Anya makes many mistakes, goes through some difficult times before resurfacing as a more mature individual.

I adored Miss Understanding: My Year in Agony. It's very funny - the agony aunt questions and answers are a hoot - and in some ways it reminded me of Back to Life by Joanna Nadin. It does seem to me to have an underlying theme - about the effect of divorce on children and how they have to adjust to the new arrangements and new partners. It feels very up to date with little touches like referring to Matt Smith as Doctor Who and I was a bit startled to see the blog entries labelled as 2010 as usually books are set a year or two earlier than present day. In short, Anya's life and her decisions kept me hooked and I really could not put this down. I'm very pleased that there's a sequel out next April: Miss Understanding: My Summer on the Shelf.

There are some "rude bits" so again this is one probably for older teens.

Cover: I love the cover though I can't see many boys picking it up. The next one is blue.

*Author's Name? The author wishes to remain anonymous but for ease of finding this book - online bookshops list it as Lara Fox and inside the cover the copyright is for T S Easton (this copy was shelved under EAS in the library).


  1. I really want to read this! Thanks for the great review, it sounds really funny :)

  2. I loved this too - it was very funny! We have a review of it on our site.

  3. I did LOL quite a few times - one particular scene stays in my mind, Miss U's response to a photo of a boy with some underwear which isn't his own...

    I shall look up the Chicklish review - I tried to comment earlier to thank you for including this blog on your list, but the system wasn't having it!

  4. Oh, really sorry you had trouble posting on our site before, but thank you for trying! And you're welcome - I love this site and check it regularly!

    I remember that response! :)

  5. P.S. This is a link to our review - I hope you don't mind if I post it here?

  6. Many thanks for the link. It's quite possible that I read your review at the time and that's what prompted me to get this book in the first place, as I can't remember where the recommendation came from! My brain cells aren't what they used to be...:)

    I'm looking forward to the inside story about publishing in the next instalment.

  7. This book rocks! And it doesn't have to be over when you're finished. You can continue to follow Anya by becoming mates with her on Facebook!

  8. loved this book