Monday, April 5, 2021

Doll Face by Dianne Stadhams


RRP £9.00

When Tilly and Jane Doll are taken hostage on holiday, they decide to tell the world their version of the truth and what justice is all about.

Fourteen-year-old Tilly Henderson-Smythe is articulate with attitude, and was born with Mosaic Down's Syndrome. But she's not sleeping. Her parents and school are worried. She is sent for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) assessment after being taken hostage on holiday by a local group disgruntled over land rights and tourism development. With a secret passion for dodgy websites, and an appetite for just retribution, Tilly's view of complex issues goes viral.

Her doll, Jane, is her best friend, confidante and the namesake of her website.

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Doll Face is a clever, thought-provoking story, which raises a number of interesting issues. The protagonist, Tilly, a Mosaic Down Syndrome girl challenges some of the perceptions around her, as she navigates her way through the teenage years. She throws out some great lines, “You have to break away from the norms to learn anything new.”

            Tilly is strongly characterised, intelligent and endearing, along with her alter-ego, Doll. ‘Once she told a teacher that the definition of a normal child is one that doesn’t act that way very often.’

            The serious content is interspersed with wit and funny moments, particularly as the reader sees characters and situations from Tilly’s point of view. Her psychologist, “was skinny and wore dead dodo kit.”

            Doll Face is likely to be enjoyed by YA and adults alike. It’s serious, humorous, moving and amusing. The book is best summed up by the introduction: ‘Vive la difference…it makes us who we are!’

'What a wonderful read. Doll Face is rich in its characterisation and far reaching in its themes and issues. I really engaged with Tilly the protagonist and found the focus to be on the person she is, her mind, her interests and opinions rather than her Down Syndrome. The fusion of voices to tell the story allowed for a fast pace and differing viewpoints; a real page turner. '
'What a refreshing view of the world! Stadhams has crafted a plucky, resourceful heroine in Tilly Henderson-Smyth. Tilly has a way of cutting through the bull and arriving at the unaffected truth, never mind that she is a 14-year-old girl with Mosaic Down's Syndrome. Although this book is meant for teens and young adults, the rest of us can sure learn from a lot about humanity from Tilly. The subject matter is quite serious, but I found myself laughing out loud often.'

'In the end, we are left pondering over Tilly’s idea of restorative justice and Jane’s blog. Doll Face keeps you engrossed and is highly recommended, especially if you are a reader looking for Young Adult novels.'


ISBN: 9781907335914


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