Review: Big Bones by Laura Dockrill

Big Bones by Laura Dockrill
Published by Hot Key Books
Released 8th March 2018
400 Pages
Kindle Edition
Goodreads / Amazon


Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The latest teen novel from the sparkling Laura Dockrill, introducing Bluebelle, and her moving, hilarious take on food, body image and how we look after ourselves and others

A heart-warming teen story from the unique voice of Laura Dockrill, about Bluebelle, aka BB, aka Big Bones – a sixteen-year-old girl encouraged to tackle her weight even though she’s perfectly happy, thank you, and getting on with her life and in love with food. Then a tragedy in the family forces BB to find a new relationship with her body and herself. Moving, memorable and hilarious.


As a slight bigger girl myself I am always interested by books about body image and body positivity. This is how Big Bones caught my eye. I was so intrigued by a YA novel about a body positive 16 year old that I knew I had to read it. When I received a copy I couldn’t wait to start it.

Sixteen year old Bluebell, aka BB, aka Big Bones, is a perfectly happy, confident teenager. However, she’s fat and after a visit to the nurse is encourage to tackle her weight. Bluebell, being body positive is just happy to get on with her life and carry on loving food. Then, a tragedy strikes her family and forces her to find a new relationship with life, her body, food and her own wellbeing.

First of all, I LOVED the body positivity in Big Bones. It’s a topic that I feel isn’t addressed enough in YA fiction and it should be. Why shouldn’t we all learn to love our bodies? Bluebelle’s admiration for her own body was inspirational – young girls will read this book and hopefully realise that they don’t need to be stick thin to be beautiful. Granted, BB was a fictional character but in my mind she is a beautiful young woman. 

The way the story is written is so clever. I really enjoyed the diary format and the fact that each entry was based on a certain food made it even better. How could a food diary be entertaining? I hear you ask. Well, read Big Bones and you’ll find out! Some of the entries were so descriptive when it came to the food that it had me salivating. Trust WILL get hungry when reading this. That can’t be a bad thing though right? Food is good.

Bluebelle was a kick ass female character. As mentioned I found her to be so inspirational and I’m sure other girls will too. Her confident, sassy attitude was a joy to read. Some people could say she was too full on but I think that just added to her personality as a fully rounded character. She had you laughing, she had you crying and at times she had you wanting to be her.

If I had to say something negative about Big Bones I’d say that I didn’t find the overall plot to be very engaging. I felt like the first part of the book dragged on for much longer then it needed to and if I wasn’t so engrossed with Bluebelle I may have stopped reading. There were also a few bits that I don’t think added anything to the story but I won’t say what..because spoilers. 

Big Bones was an entertaining read and shows you the importance of loving yourself, looking out for family and friends and finding out what really matters. It’s a book that helps bring out body positivity in a unique way and the character of BB will certainly stick with me for a long time.
Laura Dockrill is an author, illustrator and performance poet whose wonderfully inventive and vibrant approach to life is reflected in the rich and vividly imagined worlds she creates. Laura grew up in Brixton and attended the Brit School and still lives in London. She has always had a vivacious spark, finding creativity in words – from poetry to novels and scripts to song lyrics. 

She is author of CILIP Carnegie medal nominated YA novel Lorali and it’s sequel Aurabel, as well as the Darcy Burdock series for younger readers, which was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie medal and the Waterstones Children’s book prize in 2014.

Children’s books are at the heart of her work. She curated the Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl exhibition at The Southbank Centre and loves to visit schools and festivals and meet young readers who are as spirited as her. Laura has appeared on Blue Peter and CBeebies and is a frequent poet performer at festivals including Glastonbury, Hay, Edinburgh, London Literary Festival and Latitude.

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