I mentioned a while ago that I was re-reading the Ally’s World books. These are a series of 14 books, plus 2 specials, by the author Karen McCombie. She’s also done a few other series and books which I’ve read sort of sporadically.
They follow roughly a year in the world of a 13 year old girl Ally, her best boy-mate Billy and her two best gal pals Sandie and Kyra. Along with all of her (very large) family.
I remember starting to read these books in about 2004, maybe 2005, when I was a lot younger than 13 myself. I loved Ally’s world and I especially loved Ally because she reminded me so much of myself. Slightly shy and awkward, boy mad and of course she LOVED writing. Which I did too, and I’d spend all of my spare time on the PC in the kitchen typing up my own stories with a mix of Ally’s World inspiration and also Confessions of Georgia Nicholson inspired.
In 2006 Karen McCombie wrote her second ‘extra’ book. I remember being so excited when I found out and reading it was just amazing after nothing for a few years. (Only problem, the cover was in the new format and all my old book covers were in the old format, and that still bugs me when I look at it on the shelf).
These books have had a lot of love during their time, and as I was reading through them I found old bookmarks, splodges of chocolate, bent pages and I think even some paella stains.
I was cautious when I started reading these books again, as they’d been sat untouched under my bed until we moved (at which point we purchased 2 bookshelves so everything now has room!!!) and I was worried the books wouldn’t be as good as I remembered from last reading aged about 14.
Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The books were exactly as remembered (although slightly mortified at the extent of 13 year olds snogging – gosh we didn’t do that did we???) and I finished up to 3 books per sitting.
Ally was as awkward as I remembered, Billy as goofy, Sandie as shy, Kyra as sarcastic, Rowan as crazy, Lynn as hot-headed and Tor as cute.
One of my favourite things about these books is how the story grows. From the first book with Ally pandering about how she’ll deal with the new girl at school and her unfinished history project, to some of the more serious storylines that follow throughout the book.
Although these books are definitely aimed at a much much younger demographic, I think it does everybody good to go back and read their favourite tweeny books once in a while (my problem is that it’s probably 3:1), even if just to chill out with a cup of tea.
Thanks for reading.