My name is Lottie Biggs and in three weeks time, I will be fifteen years old. At school, most people call me Lottie Not-Very-Biggs. I’ve never found this particularly funny . . . My current hair colour is Melody Deep Plum which is not as nice as Melody Forest Flame but definitely better than the dodgy custard colour I tried last week . . .
And this is my book – it’s about important things like boys and shoes and polo-neck knickers and rescuing giraffes and NOT fancying Gareth Stingecombe (even though he has manly thighs) and hanging-out with your best friend having A BLATANTLY FUNNY TIME. It is definitely not about sitting in wardrobes or having a mental disturbance of any kind!
Painfully honest and laugh-so-hard-you-forget-to-breathe funny.
What I love most about Lottie Biggs Is (Not) Mad by Hayley Long is that it is extremely funny. Lottie Biggs is such a fun and endearing character that I couldn't help but fall in love with her pretty early on in the story. From hair-dye dramas to the wonderful little illustrations throughout, I was thoroughly entertained reading this book.
As Lottie writes about her life, school, her friends, her job and her enormous fascination with Gareth Stingecombe's manly thighs, I really got a great sense of who she is. She has a very typical nearly 15 attitude, and she can be slightly self-obsessed and a tad obnoxious/annoying but I think that's part of her charm! For me, an added bonus is that this book in set in Wales!
Lottie Biggs has a wonderful voice and I could really relate to her as a person. She a has a wonderul best friend, Goose and together they have mad little adventures during their Saturday job at a shoe store. I loved how much Lottie bounces around in her feelings for Gareth, poor boy. While some of her decisions seem a little strange at first, we soon discover something more serious going on. Because it isn't all rosy in Lottie's life either. In fact, things really take a turn for the worrying, as Lottie deals with what she calls a 'mental disturbance.'
And here's where I went from really liking the book into loving it. I really loved the way in which Lottie's mental health issues are handled in this book. The information regarding what Lottie is going through is told sensitively and without preaching or being heavy-handed at all. Everything felt very realistic in the way that Lottie responds to it. I love that her mental disturbance isn't the defining characteristic of the book in the same way that it doesn't define who Lottie is.
She's still a wonderful, full-of-life girl and I'm really glad she has such an amazing amount of support around her, from her mother, to Goose to Gareth Stingecombe. I really can't wait to read more of Lottie in the sequel, Lottie Biggs Is (Not) Desperate, and I couldn't be happier to see books regarding mental illness for a young adult audience written in such an engaging way.