Trigger Warnings: Eating Disorders; Drug/Alcohol Addictions; Incest.
Firstly, I would like to thank Annabelle Shaw and SilverWood Books for sending me a free copy of Blonde Bitch in exchange for an honest review!
Read my interview with Annabelle Shaw here.
Blonde Bitch is Annabelle Shaw’s debut novel, which surrounds the personal and monarchical lives of the teenagers at Bonnaire Prep School. I really enjoyed Blonde Bitch – it was a gripping read throughout, and I loved how everything all connected together to form one explosive book.
The centre of Blonde Bitch was Bonnaire Prep’s monarchy. Ivy Lowell has returned from a year in France, and the monarchy is nothing like how she’s left it, as although the King remains the same, her best friend Maddison has taken her Crown and become Queen of Bonnaire Prep. I loved it how everything was in some form related to the monarchy, whether this was through Ivy’s quest to regain her Crown, or through the supporting characters and their evident hierarchy.
Whereas every other Young Adult book that I’ve read has been written by an adult for teenagers, Blonde Bitch was written by a teenager, for teenagers. This contributed to this book being so realistic, which was definitely a stand-out feature for me. This is something that I have never seen being executed so perfectly before. I could also see some hints of Young Adult books and series throughout Blonde Bitch – for example, I found the secrets reminiscent of ‘One of Us Is Lying’ by Karen M. McManus (or even ‘Jolly Foul Play’ by Robin Stevens), and the small group of teenagers being central to everything reminiscent of the Netflix series ‘Elite’. I found this really effective, as this further demonstrated how realistic Blonde Bitch is.
I’m sure that every book lover has been at the position where they’ve been a considerable number of pages away from the ending, and everything is seemingly wrapped up. When this happened in Blonde Bitch, I was almost scared about what Ivy would do next……. and I would never have expected what was to come! I especially loved this plot development, as it pushed the story in a completely different direction to where I thought it would go.
The main characters in Blonde Bitch (Ivy, Maddison, Zara, Callum, Jude, and Harrison) were completely different from your typical Young Adult protagonists. I loved this, as this feature definitely set Blonde Bitch apart from other Young Adult books that I’ve read before, as usually, there would be at least one ‘perfect’ character – none of these characters were your typical ‘perfect’ protagonist. I loved this, as this gave each character an ‘edge’, as it was clear from their troubled and secretive pasts that there was a lot more to them that what initially met the eye.
As mentioned in Annabelle Shaw’s foreword at the beginning of Blonde Bitch, this book covers taboo topics, such as questioning sexuality, and the societal pressure to drink alcohol. I really appreciated having an insight to these taboo topics, as I don’t think that I’ve ever seen these topics covered before in a book.
I also love the cover of Blonde Bitch – it’s mysterious, which really sets the tone for, and foreshadows, Ivy collecting secrets about everyone in order to restore her rightful position as Queen. The cover also depicts Ivy, with her trademark blonde hair, showing us that she would be the main focus of this book.
I’d also like to take some time to congratulate Annabelle Shaw on her debut novel. Blonde Bitch was written with such flair and style, that I would never have guessed that this was her debut novel, or that she was only fifteen when she wrote it! Massive congratulations to Annabelle Shaw, you have a really bright writing career ahead of you!
Overall, I highly recommend Blonde Bitch to an older teenage (16+) or to an adult audience, as long as they feel comfortable with reading about the above trigger warnings.
Has this review inspired you to read Blonde Bitch? Let me know what you think in the comments!
Thank you for reading this post.