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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.