Book Reviews

Book Review: The Exploding Life of Scarlet Fife by Maz Evans

Rating: 5/5

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books, Hachette UK

Genre: Children’s, Middle Grade

Release Date: 13th May 2021

Format reviewed: ARC Ebook (with thanks to Netgalley and Hodder Children’s Books)


Cover image by Chris Jevons, 2021

Scarlett Fife has BIG FEELINGS. And when she has BIG FEELINGS, they explode out of her like an over-squeezed stress ball.

Scarlett’s in big trouble after a BIG FEELINGS episode leads to a runaway hamster getting into the vicar’s trousers at her aunty’s engagement party. If she loses her temper ONE MORE TIME, she’s going to miss out on her trip to Mega Awesome Sicky Fun World, the best theme park on the planet.

But feelings are like slime in a party bag. No matter how much someone tells you to keep it in, it’ll always find its way out. And very soon, Scarlett notices that every time she pushes her feelings down, something explodes. Like … really, properly explodes.

It might be her teacher’s slimy green smoothie. A huge pot of purple paint. Or a massive pile of elephant poo at the zoo. And let’s hope Scarlett doesn’t get mad at Aunty’s wedding – that wedding cake is HUGE …


We loved this wonderful, pacey, lower middle grade book!

Scarlett is a brilliant character surrounded by a vibrant and diverse cast of family members and friends (everyone needs a friend like Maisie) who has to deal with a whole heap of unfair reality with some hilarious and heartfelt consequences. The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife by Maz Evans is a gorgeous book that really captures BIG FEELINGS with a little magic realism thrown in too.

It has a well-mastered plot that is intelligent and full of warmth with some brilliant humour – my seven year-old laughed along heartily too – and some lovely lessons along the way. I loved how it captured Scarlett’s grievances and the growing anger that she must somehow learn to quell. I was rooting for her – and could completely identify (even at my BIG AGE) with her frustrations and the absolute unfairness of it all! The little twist that takes it out of reality really adds to the fun, and who wouldn’t do everything in their power to secure a trip to a place called Super Mega Awesome Sicky Fun World?

I highly recommend this excellent book for 5-10 year olds (and their parents) – it’s both hilarious and full of warmth and I can’t see how anyone could not love Scarlett!

Thanks for Reading!

Anna xx

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