Saturday, 14 August 2010

Review: Zelah Green: Dating Queen - Vanessa Curtis

Published: July 5th 2010, Egmont Children’s Books

Pages: 229 pages, paperback

Acquired: Sent for review by Egmont

Summary (from back cover):
Summer’s supposed to be good, right? But I’m stuck at home with a lousy laptop, stacks of homework and Dad being more useless than ever.

And then Caro turns up out the blue, all heavy metal and piercings and attitude and my boring summer’s turned upside down. It’s like she knows just what to say to wind me up, sending my OCD right out of control...

My review: I reviewed the first book in the Zelah Green series last month (my review can be viewed here) and really enjoyed it. Zelah’s a great protagonist and her character is just as loveable in this book, the second and final installment. However, things are very different in this book as Zelah is back at home (living with her father) and none of the action takes place at Forest Hill House, the setting we came to know and love in the first book.

This time, we’re focusing on Zelah’s love life. Although the OCD is still very much a part of her life, she’s managing to cut down her rituals and slowly gain some control so now it’s time for Zelah to turn her attention to dating. After signing up at (I loved that) she starts speaking to a few different boys – though, most of these dalliances are over before they’ve even begun.

Caro’s come to visit as well, which creates drama, as you’d expect if you’d read the first book in the series. Caro is a troubled girl who can’t get through a simple family meal without slinging her plate across the room and cranking up Marilyn Manson. That said, she’s probably the best character in this book and it was nice to see her explored further, without the distraction of so many secondary characters to dilute her.

The love story weaving its way through Zelah Green: Dating Queen is very sweet but a little lacklustre. I could see the twist coming from a mile off and the whole thing was quite rushed, with the majority of romantic action happening right at the end of the book. I think more love drama and more time for Zelah and her potential new boyfriend to get to know each other would have made this book a much more exciting read.

I did enjoy Zelah Green: Dating Queen but it didn’t quite live up to the first installment in the series. It felt to me as though some of the writer’s passion had gone in this one and she was going through the motions of finishing the story, rather than really putting her all into it, which is a shame as I really did enjoy the first book. That said, it is worth a read if you want to find out more about Zelah and Caro but I almost think the original Zelah Green book works better as a standalone novel. Sorry.

First line: ‘My name is Zelah Green and I’m a Cleanaholic.’

Read if you liked...: Extreme Kissing – Luisa Plaja

Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Total: 13/20 (C)


  1. I just love your reviews. we have an award for you at I'd So Rather Be Reading:

  2. This sounds interesting, going to see if I can find the first one.


  3. This definitely sounds like an interesting read. Will have to check the first book out in the series before I get around to this one!

  4. I really like the sound of both books. Sounds like a series I'd enjoy. :)

  5. Carly, I was stopping by doing the Crazy For You Friday Book Blog thingy (even though I didn't get signed up on time) and I thought I'd head over to your blog because of your name. Come to find out that you and my daughter share the same name: Carly Bennett. Cool.

    -Anne Bennett (what's your mum's first name, maybe we're the same)


Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.