Any South African reader will tell you that Zelda Bezuidenhout is a huge deal in the local young adult scene. Her books are extremely popular and she has a huge following. So naturally, I was ecstatic when she was chosen to translate my novel Sharp Edges into Afrikaans. Skerwe was released earlier this year and I get a thrill every time I see both our names on the cover.
Zelda writes in both English and Afrikaans and she has a brand-new English title out this month called Confessions Of A Ginger Pudding (Penguin). It’s a wonderful contemporary story full of light and humour. I had no idea what to expect and I was left with such a huge smile on my face after reading it. It’s the perfect remedy for a cold, Cape day (not to mention a raging pandemic).
Fifteen-year-old Arnelia (aka Hungry Noldy as her mother calls her) has just started at a new school in Potchefstroom and its not going well. She’s already tripped in front of the whole school, had a nasty trick played on her, and to make matters worse, the school has no tuck shop. Despite this bad start, Arnelia is determined to reinvent herself and soon makes friends with Dineo, Shaun and Dewald, who she quickly sets her romantic sights on.
The new friends start a food truck business to raise money and fill that gaping tuck shop void, but Arnelia’s plan to get closer to Dewald is threatened by a pretty blonde rival with the same intention in mind.
This is such a light-hearted, sweet read and I loved the characters, especially Arnelia, who is so likeable, funny and relatable. In the scene where Arnelia discovers Dewald was seen with another girl, I was suddenly that mortified teenager running away as fast as possible. I can see why Zelda’s books are so popular. They’re compulsive reads that put the reader right in the middle of the minds of the characters.
I’d recommend this book to any young reader looking for an awesome Spring read.
Confessions Of A Ginger Pudding is out now and available everywhere good books are sold.