About the book
What's Up With Jody Barton is a stand-alone contemporary YA novel by Hayley Long. It was published by Macmillan Children's Books on 24th May and the book is 256 pages long.
Me and my sister are twins. She's Jolene and I'm Jody. We've both got brown hair, we're both left-handed and we both have these weirdly long little toes which make us look like long-toed mutants. But apart from that, I'd say we're fairly different. Well, actually, we're a lot different . . . It's hard enough being one half of the world's least identical twins, without both of you falling for the same guy. Jolene's turned flirting into a fine art, but Jody? Not so much.
And as if a twinny love triangle wasn't messy enough . . . there's something nobody knows about Jody Barton. Something BIG.
(Taken from Goodreads.com)
What I thought
I hadn't even heard of this book before borrowing it but as I was assured it was a good one, I was willing to give it a go. The YA market is so full of paranormal books and I've been really in the mood for contemporary recently that I would take whatever I could get my hands on.
This book tells the story of Jody Barton, maths lover, River Phoenix and Jim Morrison enthusiast and twin to Jolene. All of these different things help to give Jody a very distinct voice and was a great character to read about. Jody was not exactly that character that I thought that I would end up reading about either though. Twists and secrets are added in to make the reader second guess what they're reading which for me was a good thing. I love to be surprised and this book definitely did that.
Due to the major twists and secrets in this book, there isn't a lot that I can say about the plot without giving everything away. However, I will say that What's Up With Jody Barton deals with some massive issues for teenagers and the topics are dealt with extremely well. Parts of the book deal with how to be happy with who you are, others deal with cyber-bullying and others deal with family. There is a really mixed range of things going on here but they're all fused together perfectly.
Hayley Long does something a bit different with this book compared to anything else I have read. Throughout, illustrations are used to enhance what Jody is either thinking or talking about. Some are of some quite random things while others are of famous people. The illustrations were fantastic and in regards to the famous people, quite true to life. This aspect of the book was something that made it stand out for me.
While this book was very serious in its themes, it was also quite humerous. Different text sizes are used to convey importance of feelings and emotions which I thought was a really good way of getting a point across. While I didn't really know what to expect with this one, I was so glad I read it. If you're looking for something a bit different from YA and also from a British author, look no further than this book!