Daisy, Bold & Beautiful

Greek Mythology Fantasy Series Book 1

Children - Preteen
87 Pages
Reviewed on 04/23/2018
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Author Biography

Ellie Collins wrote her debut novel, Daisy, Bold & Beautiful when she was turning eleven and just beginning sixth grade. She finished writing Mylee In The Mirror, the second in her multi-award-winning middle-grade Greek mythology fantasy series before heading back to school for seventh grade and turning twelve and Mad Max & Sweet Sarah before eighth grade and becoming a teen. She writes amid a very busy extracurricular schedule, including a spot on both a gymnastics team and a trampoline and tumbling team, as well as taking weekly piano lessons. She's an avid gamer who loves hanging out with friends. Her love of Greek mythology inspires her writing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful is a contemporary fiction/coming of age novel for preteens and young adults written by Ellie Collins. D.J. and her dad had just moved to a new house in a new neighborhood, and she wasn’t looking forward to her first day at Kirkland Heights Middle School -- not one bit. For one thing, it was April 1, and she dreaded being the butt of April Fool jokes, but, mainly, she didn’t feel ready to face being the new kid in school. Her dad was supportive as ever, but he was also insistent that she eat some breakfast and get ready for the bus. When she got to the bus stop, she tried to ignore the other kids who were waiting, but there was this one girl who smiled at her when their eyes met -- and she saved a seat on the bus for her. Her name was May Chan, and she made it so easy for D.J. to feel comfortable. By the time, the bus arrived at school, D.J. had made two friends, friends who made sure she knew her way around the school and would see her at lunch. Maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t be so hard after all.

Ellie Collins’ contemporary fiction/coming of age novel, Daisy, Bold & Beautiful, is a triumphantly feel-good story about a young girl’s coming of age under stressful conditions. The author’s plot is marvelous, and her characters, especially D.J., May, D.J.’s dad and Persephone quickly became living, breathing people as I read. I found myself enjoying D.J.’s time spent at Kirkland Heights Middle School as much as she did, and loved seeing how her dad was so supportive of her. Collins addresses several important issues in this book: the impact that the loss of a parent can have on a child or young adult; peer pressure to do or behave in certain ways and the growing trend towards gaming rather than the pursuit of other hobbies and outdoor activities, and she handles each of them quite well. This is Collins’ debut novel, and it’s a most impressive one. Daisy, Bold & Beautiful is most highly recommended.

Francine Zane

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful by Ellie Collins is about middle schooler DJ who enters a new school late in the school year. The school is bigger. Her classes are different. Her new home is unlike her old home. She has a lot to assimilate. With the help of bubbly May and a whole cast of new friends, DJ strives to fit in as she remains her own person while dealing with the daily fears associated with change.

Ellie Collins does a remarkable job combining timely issues faced by all pre-teens with the fantastic allure of Greek mythology in Daisy, Bold & Beautiful. Her grasp of kids’ vernacular is spot on, especially when it comes to gamers’ jargon. DJ’s struggles with facing her fears and anxiety is something most kids and adults can relate with. What I appreciated the most is that Daisy, Bold & Beautiful strives to teach children to advocate for their own individuality while maintaining an active role as a group member. DJ’s ability to stand up for her own values while staying open minded enough to experience new things makes her a hero in her own story and endears her to readers.

As a debut novel, Daisy, Bold & Beautiful is a shining example of what promises to be a long and exciting literary career for its author. Collins paints pictures with words that are vivid and fresh. Her ability to maintain the story’s pace while developing the unique personalities of her characters is a strength that many writers aspire to achieve. I look forward to seeing what more Collins has to offer in the foreseeable future.

Patricia Bell

Daisy, Bold and Beautiful is a middle grade story by the young yet talented Ellie Collins. When middle grader Daisy Jane and her father move to a new town, D.J. was a bit nervous. She’d never been the new girl at school before and wasn’t sure how things would go. Right away she met a group of girls who were kind to her and showed her around. Only these girls were nice but didn’t share the same interests as her. In fact, they were into video games and television, something she knew nothing about. She spent her evenings sharing her concern with the Fern in her bedroom that she considered her friend. Confused and not sure how to talk to her new friends about trying out some of the things she liked, she stayed silent, even at the prodding of her father. That is, until the goddess Persephone came to her in a dream. This is where things changed for D.J. Through her new-found friend, she was able to stand up for the things she liked. And she helped the goddess as well.

Ellie Collins, though only a middle grader herself, has a broad knowledge of Greek mythology and uses that knowledge to create a story that is not only comforting but interesting. I enjoyed reading Daisy, Bold and Beautiful as it is a good, clean, wholesome story. It also contains moral values that all middle graders (as well as the rest of us) need more of. I liked that Daisy was a strong young lady who knew what she believed in, and although she tried other things out, she didn’t compromise the things she loved to do. This book is a great encouragement to follow your dreams, stand your ground, and don’t be afraid to dream. Great job, Ellie! Looking forward to more stories from you.

Deanna R Sweeney

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful by author Ellie Collins is a story about a grade six girl who has experienced many disruptive changes in her life of late. A new house, the loss of her mom, a new neighborhood, and a new school are just some of the things she is facing. The morning of her first day of school is filled with natural feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, yet she quickly meets new friends, one more surprising than the rest, that help to make the day more bearable.

I enjoyed reading this story and found that I could really relate to the main character, DJ. We moved a lot when I was growing up and starting a new school was always very hard. Author Ellie Collins captured this awkward experience of a young life quite well in this book and mirrored a lot of the feelings I had experienced as a young girl. The writing was smooth, and the narrative felt natural, making this well-written book an easy read. The descriptions of the scenes and characters were vivid, and I could picture them clearly in my mind. I think that young readers will connect with this story easily and will enjoy it as much as I did. It would be nice to see this made into a series as I think it will be well received. I hope to read more from this author in the future. Job well done.

Mamta Madhavan

Making new friends is not easy and it is D.J.’s first day of middle school in Daisy, Bold and Beautiful by Ellie Collins. D.J. is worried that she will not fit in, but her father gives her confidence and support and D.J. is happy sitting next to Hudson in class. That night D.J. dozes off while reading a book on Greek mythology and, when she opens her eyes, she is lying on a smooth stone bench in the middle of a spectacular garden she has never seen before. She meets Persephone, the Greek goddess of Spring in the garden, who guides her on how to get rid of her fears, insecurities, and complexities and find her own personal space in the world.

It’s a beautiful story that tackles the topics of social fears and being accepted in new places. The author does a great job by combining it with Greek mythology, which adds to the whimsical element in the plot. The narration is detailed and descriptive and I like the way Persephone and D.J. become friends, and how the goddess guides D.J. through her life, which enables her to look at things with a different perspective. The story is about self-growth and it's wonderful to see the bonding between D.J. and Persephone. The fusion of fantasy and reality in the story has been done neatly, the characters are real and relatable, and will make children confident in facing the world. There is open-mindedness in the story that will help young readers view others and circumstances in their lives in the same way.