Indi Raye is Totally Faking It by Lauren Layfield
Published: August 31st 2023 by Hodder Children’s Books
Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Genre: Young Adult, Teen // Contemporary
Quick Thoughts: Hilarious, relatable and whip-smart, Indi’s story is going to be the Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging for a new generation.
About The Book:
For fans of GEEK GIRL and SUPER AWKWARD comes a hilarious new teen series from CBBC presenter and Capital DJ, Lauren Layfield.
Meet Indi. She’s new to Manchester with approximately zero friends. Unless you count Gary, who, unfortunately, is a gecko.
If Indi’s going to find some real mates – and maybe even a boyfriend – she’s going to have to FAKE IT.
How else is she going to survive her first job in a chippy, which is anything but glam vibes? And how on earth will she attract school crush Johnny Hotpants while smelling like a haddock in a hairnet?
Will Indi ever get her first kiss? Will she accept her mum’s new boyfriend (yuck)? And will she EVER learn that just being yourself is the most important thing of all?
A HILARIOUS new teen diary series about trying to be cool when you just want to eat chicken nuggets and chat to your pet lizard.
Although I’ve been an avid reader for most of my life, my love for books really amped up when I was a tween/teenager. So when I was offered the chance to read Lauren’s debut, and it was pitched as being similar to Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging, which was a favourite of mine as a teen, I couldn’t wait to see if this was something that would be the start of a book lovers journey for today’s teens.
Main character Indi has just moved to Manchester and is about to start all over again, which means no friends, no familiar places, nothing. Sure, she has her first job in a chippy to set some routine, but who’s going to want to hang out with her—and how will she get her first kiss—when she smells like a chip shop? With a plan to make friends and possibly even a boyfriend, Indi feels like she only has one option when it comes down to it: fake it. But with faking it comes a whole lot of other problems Indi’s only just realising.
Told in diary entries that let us into Indi’s world in hour and day slivers, we see her journey into herself through bedroom dancing, making friends, talking to her pet gecko Gary (and maybe pretending he can sort-of reply) and Parental issues. Faking being someone she’s not is a tough task, and on top of her Mum’s new boyfriend in her life, comical blunders and parties, she’s got her hands full. Through it all, Indi grows into not who she thinks she should be, but who she really is. And she’s finding that maybe that’s not so scary after all when you’ve got the right people around you.
Overall, Indi Raye Is Totally Faking It was hilarious, relatable and whip-smart, and I devoured it in just a few hours, smiling, laughing, and rooting for Indi the whole way. I loved how Lauren wrote Indi as this deeply feeling, wise and headstrong girl, someone teen girls will look to and see themselves in. The whole way through I was thinking—and sure that—this story is going to be the Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging for a new generation. There must be something in the air, because this is the third five star book (in a row) I’ve read—and you need to read it, too.
About The Author
Lauren Layfield is a British Guyanese presenter & journalist. Lauren starts her day waking up the nation’s early risers from 4am – 6am on Capital’s Early Breakfast show and she is also the cover presenter for The Capital Breakfast Show with Roman Kemp. Her career was launched in 2014 on CBBC, where she spent eight years at the helm of some of the biggest entertainment shows on the channel. She fronted four series of the BAFTA-winning makeover format The Dengineers, interviewed the biggest pop acts on weekly music show The Playlist and became the solo host of comedy panel show The Dog Ate My Homework – a role previously held by comedian Iain Stirling. All of this was alongside going live on weekday afternoons on CBBC HQ, making her one of the channel’s most recognisable faces. She is an ambassador for mental health charity Young Minds and period poverty organisation Bloody Good Period. Her debut teen novel will be published in 2023.