Blog Tour Book Review: Taking Down Evelyn Tait

This was a really entertaining Contemporary YA fiction, from start to finish. It definitely brought the humor and eased the tension through the difficult time that the world is facing at the moment. You don’t know what book to read that’ll be enough to distract you or let time speed by—this is that book.

Impulsive Lottie – heavy-metal fan, expert tomato-grower and frequent visitor to the principal’s office – is in even more trouble than usual.

Her best friend Grace has dropped an unlikely bombshell: she’s dating Lottie’s mortal enemy, good-girl Evelyn Tait.

Studious Jude, the boy next door, has the perfect war plan. Lottie will beat Evelyn at her own good-girl game, unveiling Miss Perfect’s sinister side in the process.

Taking life more seriously starts as fun, but soon offers its own rewards . . . so long as Lottie can manage gorgeous Sebastian’s sudden interest, Jude acting weird, and the discovery that she might actually be good at something.

Taking Down Evelyn Taitis a story about family, friends and embracing who you are. Even if that person is kind of weird.

Thank you to AusYaBloggers, who gave me the opportunity to be on this book tour! Also to Walker Books, who provided a physical copy along with other goodies. I don’t have many purple books, so this is a start!

For a book that’s less than three hundred pages, I thought eventually it would drag, but I noticed that it paced out really well. There was enough drama, humour and dialogue to keep me entertained and hooked from start to finish. Lottie’s thoughts weren’t long and excessive, but enjoyable. That’s coming from someone whose least favourite genre is contemporary. The humour really kept me going. With Nwosu’s style of writing, I noticed there wasn’t a lot of descriptive language. Just enough to let the readers create a visual on what’s happening. I find that to be a bonus when writing YA, as it’s supposed to be short and sweet. Unless we’re talking about fantasy or sci-fi, which requires further detail.

Charlotte, our main character or better known as Lottie, is an outgoing, rebellious and humorous character who (spoiler alert) wants to take down her step sister who starts dating her best friend. Everyone loves Evelyn Tait, who’s the perfect princess with top grades. Only Lottie knows that it’s all fake and the only way to take Evelyn down it to be just as good as her. It’s a tough process, but Lottie pulls through with the help of her childhood friend, Jude. Eventually her longtime crush, Sebastian takes an odd liking toward her.

It’s a lot for Lottie to process, especially when Jude indirectly admits his feelings for her. She doesn’t know how to act or tell which Lottie both boys have fallen for. Her old self or new self. It doesn’t help when her best friend Grace doesn’t realise the changes in her and think it’s all a game. Lottie has to take it a step further to show the world who Evelyn Tait really is. Not only to show Grace, but her stepmother and father.

Without trying to give it all away, I can assure you it’s one heck of a rollercoaster for Lottie. Not only are we shown her story and background, but a bit of Evelyn too. It gives readers the chance to understand both sides. It also throws Jude into the mix when we learn about his parents. No spoilers, but throughout the book he was my favourite character. There’s a point in the book when he just… evolves into the Jude that Lottie doesn’t see as her childhood friend anymore but the teenage and mature Jude. He’s way better than Sebastian in my opinion, yet still to this day, I can’t find out his true motive to Lottie.

Relationships had to be the main theme in this book. Lottie’s relationships change drastically throughout the story. Some develop while others have a slight change. I somehow like what she had with her father, who’s also a therapist. She connects with the principal that way too. She’s just one of those characters that people like who are mischief. She’s annoyed with her stepmother, but that soon develops when she’s the only woman that Lottie can turn to. We learn how close Jude and Lottie are in the beginning, but as Lottie’s life changes, Jude is the one person she draws away from. That gives space for other people to fill.

I didn’t particularly have a favourite part in the book. This has to be one of those books where I liked the characters more. Lottie and Jude were my favourite because I felt like it was their story as much as it was Evelyn and Grace’s story. This was an awesome read that I finished within a few days and happy to give it five stars!


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About the Author:

Poppy Nwosu is an author of YA fiction. Her debut novel, Making Friends with Alice Dyson, was shortlisted for the 2018 Adelaide Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award, and the 2019 Readings Young Adult Book Prize, and will be published by Walker Books US in America in 2020. She was also awarded the 2019 Writers SA Varuna the Writers' House Fellowship for Young Writers. 

Growing up in central North Queensland, Poppy enjoyed a thoroughly wild childhood surrounded by rainforest and cane fields. After studying music at university, she moved overseas to Ireland, where she spent two years visiting stunning Europe. These days Poppy and her husband still love to travel, but they also like to come home again to their house in Adelaide near the sea.

Poppy’s quite obsessed with stories, books, movies, writing and music.

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Perth WA 6000, Australia