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Is there any girl who hasn't read a Jacqueline Wilson book when they were a younger teen? I read many, although I've never found many to be particularly believable or memorable. I adored Love Lessons and can still remember most of the plot but Dustbin Baby isn't a interesting one for me, despite having read it about 4 times. I remember it, of course.
This one is about a girl called April, she's just turned 14 and decided to bunk from school, after having a temper tantrum because her foster mother bought her earrings instead of a mobile phone. Deciding to revisit her past, she starts at her first foster home and works from there. Throughout this journey April tells the story of her life, of her old foster mothers suicide and how she was severely bullied in another foster home.
What the story could have really done with was a better ending. The ending felt quite rushed and I was left wanting to know what happened afterwards. In the movie (with Dakota Blue Richards as April!) we get a glimpse of what happened next, how April current foster mother, Marion, reacted to her disappearance and them working things out. In the book however it just seems to cut off when you want to read more.
I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that Tanya, from Bad Girls makes a cameo appearance in this book and she also mentions Mandy, the main character in the book. I love books that have links to other books in them, although I admit that I would have loved to have seen Tracy Beaker in this!
It's not the most thought provoking of JW's books but then again, the ones I'm thinking of (Love Lessons, Kiss) would probably appeal to older readers. For the younger YA set, I think it's a perfectly enjoyable quick read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.