Wednesday, September 12, 2012

REVIEW: Debutantes by Cora Harrison

It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away. Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country. But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans - ruin everything - forever.

I really liked Debutantes by Cora Harrison. The characters are colourful and life-like, and it's a really fun book to read. During a lot of the book, there actually isn't much going on, but honestly, that didn't bother me, because it was written so beautifully that I just loved reading the book, even if there wasn't much happening in the story.

I loved the time period the book is set in, as well as the backdrop of Beech Grover Manor and London. The descriptions were wonderful, and I could picture clearly the big house and it's many rooms, as well as the city of London and the scenes of the dances the girls attended. The descriptions were precise but not boring, and the writing was one of my favourite features of the book!

Th characters were fab! I can't pick a favourite of the four girls, but I really loved Rose and Daisy. Rose was really funny, coming out with her newspaper headlines all the time, and I could relate to her (I want to be a journalist too!).  Daisy was so lovely! It was fascinating, hearing about her film-making - I knew nothing about film making before reading this book, and now I feel very clued in ;D. She was a good main character, and I felt for her when she was going through tough times!  Poppy and Violet were nice too, but Poppy didn't really stand out to me, and Violet could be a moan sometimes!

I didn't really know where the story was going for around three-quarters of the book, and that didn't really bother me, but luckily the story started to pick up just as I was getting a little restless. Something that bothered me about the book was the fact that there was this really big plot twist (I actually saw it coming, but that's ok :) ) and the characters didn't seem fazed at all! It was something that would be really shocking if it happened to you, and Daisy was semi-upset about it for like five minutes, and then just acted as if nothing had happened afterwards! That annoyed me :/

And of course I can't review this book without mentioning the stunning cover! It's GORGEOUS! It seems so perfect, and is probably one of my favourite ever book covers :D Is it just me or does that girl remind you of Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)?! 

Debutantes has great characters, is brilliantly written, and is so fun to read. It's a really enjoyable read, and I'm delighted it's going to be a series!

                                                       Rating: 4/5

Source: For Review - a massive thanks to the publisher for sending me this in exchange for an honest review.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Age group: 11+
Official Publication Date: 2 August 2012 
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books


  1. Thanks for a lovely review. Hope you enjoy the second book as much where Daisy meets her true love and Poppy decides that love matters more than anything else.

  2. Fantastic review, Cliona! :) I keep meaning to read this, everyone seems to be getting it. I like the sound of it but historical fiction isn't really my preferred genre.
    Rose and Daisy sound great - I want to be a journalist or a film-maker too! ;)
    It's a shame that Daisy was half-sad and then acts as if nothing has happened afterwards though :/ I once read a book like that once, and it annoyed me too.
    I'm glad you enjoyed this though, despite it's flaws. Thanks for posting! :) xx

  3. Rose and the random headlines she spurts out sound really funny! :) Hee and Daisy sound like really nice characters and I could probably empathise with them too, because I want to be a writer or a film director when I'm older too! (high five, Zoe!)

    And yes! The cover is so beautiful! <3 and now that you mention it, the girl does look pretty like Evanna Lynch, doesn't she?

    Lovely review :)
    Catherine xxx

  4. I got this last week and now i can't wait to read it!

    Sangita @ Whisper of Reads.

  5. This does have such a gorgeous cover!
    Usually I NEED a great, stand-out storyline but if the writing is as exquisite as you say, it might not be to big a factor for me.
    And I'm also thinking about being a journalist! It be a great job... A travel journalist would be even better! ;D
    Like Zoe, I'm not the biggest historical lover but I'm really intrigued to read about the dances/dresses at that time. Ahh, how beautiful an era that was.
    Ohhhh, I hate it when a character's response to a hard-hitting situation is a bit too unbelievable. It annoys me too!

    So glad you enjoyed this, Cliona! Brilliant review! :D

  6. I really want to read this book! It sounds so good and I love historical fiction! Maybe some time in the future! <3


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