The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby by @NatashaFarrant1 – #summer reading #YAbooks

flora iris

This is a fun and enjoyable series – it does deal with some important issues of family and loss and grief but it also makes you smile, leaving you with a nice, warm feeling inside. So far two books have been released in the series – a third book is underway.

Book 1 After Iris: Bluebell is 13 and she has decided to keep a video and written diary. In it she records her somewhat chaotic, and often amusing, family life: parents who are too busy working, her unusual siblings, their pet rats, the interesting Joss from next door and Zoran their new aupair. The diary helps her cope with life and with the absence of her twin Iris, who died a year ago.

A funny and thoughtful book with a lovely, tender tone. It pulls the reader in so that you want Bluebell to be happy, to find love and peace and a normal family life. Bluebell’s quirky and chaotic home is well described, as is the relationship between the siblings, their parents and their aupair. Whilst you laugh at Bluebell’s family and the antics they get up to, you also understand just how hard life must be for a 13 year old who feels lost and lonely.

Book 2 Flora in Love: Blue is back writing and filming her diary. It’s a year since After Iris finished and the Gadsby family is as chaotic as ever. The Gadsby children are growing up and, as Flora, Blue and Twig find (or not) romance, Jas finds some kittens to love. Mum is grumpy and tired and dad is still wrapped up in his book. Zoran, their old nanny, is living near by and has his own problems. Together they all live through an interesting, emotional, and exciting time, with Flora’s new love, Zach, playing a central role in the family’s latest drama.

Blue is as lovely and funny as ever, recording life around her in a thoughtful and honest way. Her family is made up of fascinating and interesting characters who are larger than life and whose escapades are often unusual. They love and despair of each other in equal measure but pull together and support each other. In all the chaos, Blue provides an oasis of calm, watching, caring, thinking and loving her family. Her perceptive and entertaining comments draw the readers in so that they come to care as much about the happiness of Blue and her family, as Blue does herself. Highly enjoyable.


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