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Trainers V. Tiaras (Diary of a Chav #1)

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  793 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Keeping a diary isn't exactly cool but Shiraz Bailey Wood knows she'd best start writing one. She's going to need it in a few years when she writes her best-selling autobiography. This is a laugh-out-loud, witty, acerbic, sharp, and politically uncorrect Chav manual on not what to do.
Paperback, 233 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Hodder Children's Books
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Nov 29, 2008 Kristi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was laughing my ass off the entire time I read this novel! Shiraz is a very lovable character. I wasn’t sure about this book at first. First off I had idea what a Chav was, and the cover scared me a little.... But once I started reading I was sucked into to Shiraz’s voice. The novel consists of journal entries. Think Sloppy first, British style.

I may not have understood everything she was saying (thankfully there was an English dictionary for all the American cousins) but the girl is bloody b
Howdy YAL
Aug 21, 2013 Howdy YAL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Like TLC and Livvie
Recommended to Howdy YAL by: Saw it in the Library Couldn't help myself
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I picked up this book at the library, my first thought was: This book is either going to be an epic disaster or hilarious.

While it does go a bit off the rails in places, overall, it’s hilarious.

First things first: Ms. Dent captures the Chav dialect and cadence (to this American reader, at least) while still making it readable. That alone is a huge accomplishment. It might be the strongest part of the book.

For Americans: Chav is a derogatory term for a certain subset of lower-class culture
Diane Boukhalil
I'm on chapter 2 right now. So far, so good! It's funny, & it story is really similar to our stories us girls have! Pretty funny.

--I'm now on page 111, I was on page 30 I didn't even notice I was that far! I was just so into the story, through out it, like so far where I reached.. there were some exciting events. But anyway, iim looking forward to reading more of it!

F I N A L L Y finished the book!
Oct 14, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me cackle so much. A frank, refreshing look at a teen girl in Britain who's finding her way in the world.

I wish the publisher would've kept this title instead of Americanizing it to "Diva Without a Cause." I know if I was a teen, I would wonder what a chav is and checked out the book due to curiousity. The glossary in the back of British slang is helpful and, also, hilarious.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This book was suggested to me by a teenager in England who was laughing at me because I didn't know what a "chavvy area" was. Bet she didn't think I'd actually read it.
E. Anderson
Aug 31, 2009 E. Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shiraz Bailey Wood isn't really a chav - even if she wears trackies and loves hip hop and doesn't really care about exams. But she and her best friend Carrie go to a school frequently referred to as "Superchav Academy" and her mother seems put out by Shiraz' sister, Cava-Sue, who is attempting to better herself by pursuing A-levels at an arts college. Since Carrie has become infatuated with her new boyfriend, a terrible rapper, Shiraz has been spending all her time avoiding the lovebirds and hid ...more
Dec 12, 2009 paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shiraz Bailey Wood is a wannabe ghetto fabulous fifteen year old in Essex. That's Essex, near London, not Essex, near Baltimore, although
they are weirdly similar. OUR Essex is a blue-collar community, with a reputation for teen pregnancy, lottery addiction, and recreational drug use. It also smells like poo, due to the proximity of the county's sewage treatment plant. (That's according to my colleague TinkerCinderBellaHontas, who grew up there, so don't email me.)

Shiraz's Essex is pretty similar
Where do I even begin? This book... I didn't like it at all.

First, as you can probably tell, the book is about a British teenager. And since I had an ARC, the book only had about five of the British words in the glossary, while the published copy will have a "full glossary of about 12-16 pages." Okay, that's good for a British ARC - but for an American? I didn't understand a lot of things because I didn't have a full glossary.

Second, this book did not get interesting until close to the end. The
Steve lovell
Jan 28, 2011 Steve lovell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shiraz Bailey Wood, the main character, is the Kylie Mole of the C21st, Brit version. Assuming 'chav' is Britspeak for 'bogan', just as the aforementioned Aussie comedic icon magnified and lampooned the teenage culture of the western suburbs (Melbourne and Sydney - or my own Hobart's northern), Grace Dent does the same for Greater London.
There is much to enjoy in this exaggerated (one can only hope) version of how life is seen through the eyes of Shiraz and her mates, most of whom are similarly
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Originally published in Great Britain as TRAINERS VS. TIARAS, Grace Dent has crossed the Atlantic and now we are able to enjoy the rich adventures of Shiraz Bailey Wood.

Meet Shiraz. Most of the folks in her small town think she is a "chav." And if you're like me, you're wondering what in the world is a "chav" right? Fortunately, Ms. Dent supplies us poor American folk a glossary at the back of the book. A "chav" is a poor working class person in Britain. M
Sixteen-year-old Shiraz Bailey Wood is not a chav. So what if she likes fake gold jewelry and hoodies? So what if the school she attends has been unfortunately nicknamed Superchav Academy? Just because she’s poor doesn’t mean she should be insulted as working class trash, but she doesn’t really know how she can change her situation. When a strict new English teacher sees potential in Shiraz, she dares to hope that there’s more to like that troublemaking and minimum wage. But as Shiraz’s situatio ...more
Brooke Shirts
I've seen this book described as a working class version of Louise Rennison's "Georgia Nicholson" novels, and the description is apt, although I think Dent's work has a bit more depth.

Shiraz is the second daughter of a blue-collar family in Essex, who is fond of hoodies, trainers, and scads of bling. Her high school is referred to by the press as "Superchav Academy" and her parents view higher education as a method of sponging off the government. But she's got brains under the many pounds of lip
Aug 02, 2012 Thalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shiraz Bailey Wood, otherwise known as Shiz, Shizza, etc, is a very likeable character. She lives in Thundersley (Spelling= ??) road,her neighbours, the Brunton-Fletchers have a fridge in their front garden, in year eight she accidently blew up a microwave with a can of spaghetti, her trademark saying is 'Keeping it real', and she has a brother and sister- Murphy and Cava Sue. This should convince you to read it! Its a brilliantly funny read, and after reading 'Trainers VS Tiaras', I bought ever ...more
An amusing book with a completely bonkers narrator. Shiraz is NOT a chav (the British equivalent to trailer trash) - except when she is. I particularly enjoyed the glossary of useful chav terms in the back. An enjoyable read, but perhaps a little too similar in style to the more popular Georgia Nicholson series?
Sarah Rosenberger
Dec 17, 2008 Sarah Rosenberger rated it really liked it
It's a good thing that the new U.S. version of Diary of A Chav includes a glossary at the back, because for the vast majority of American teens, it would be incomprehensible without one.

And that's really a shame, because buried underneath all the working class British slang and alien cultural references is a sweet story of a girl realizing that she's not as tough as she thinks she is and that there's a whole wide world out there. Kind of a cliched premise, but the clever writing, genuinely like
Jun 23, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
I'm not very good at reviewing books but I decided I'd give it a go.

This book is the diary of a girl named Shiraz Bailey Wood, she is considered a bit of a chav, but I wouldn't say she is. She likes make-up, hoodies and gold bling, but it doesn't necessarily make her a chav. In this book, she is talking about her life, as it is a diary and how she got it.
She starts her diary on Christmas Day, as she received the diary as a present from her grandmother/nan. I really do like this book, as it's a q
Jan 12, 2015 Ariane rated it liked it
Ich habe das buch für die uni gelesen und es war ausnahmsweise mal leichte und ganz lustige lektüre.
Jul 24, 2012 Hiria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read it, I didn't really think that I would like it, as it's not the type of book I usually like to read. But I gave it a chance, and I found that it was very convincingly written, and had an interesting plot! I also think that the main character, British teenager Shiraz Wood, was an interesting protagonist. (Though I felt sorry for her with a name like Shiraz, and her siblings Murphy and Cava-Sue!) I'm currently re-reading it, and I must confess that I can't remember how the bo ...more
I quite liked this, though in America, it was retitled "Diva Without a Cause." I'd elaborate on what I liked, but I forgot to update when I finished it - a year ago - and now I've forgotten everything I loved about it, other than the main character's character development was top notch. Dent has done a good job of creating a believable young woman. I really enjoyed it and was bummed when I finished it. My only problem was that I keep imagining Lauren Cooper while I was reading it. Look forward t ...more
Some blogger I like, maybe at Bookshelves of Doom? said this book was much like Louise Rennison's series, but with a more likeable character. I very much agree. Shiraz is the kind of kid who has a brain full of words, but isn't challenged or engaged by much in the school department. Her family is something of a mess and her social life has realistic ups and downs. British slang is fun and the setting reminds me a bit of Rose from Doctor Who. It was a very quick read and I'll probably read the se ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely hilarious! The cover is a bit off-putting, especially as an adult, but I do wonder if it would make teens pick it up...It's nothing earth-shattering, but it's a solid story of a British teen trying to figure herself out. The diary format works well for Shiraz's outspoken voice, and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes YA and is looking for a good laugh. The glossary at the end is handy, but it's easy to pick up things based on context, too. Looking forward to seeing what happens to Sh ...more
Medeia Sharif
Apr 06, 2013 Medeia Sharif rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Shiraz Bailey Wood is sixteen and goes to Super Chav Academy—actually, Mayflower Academy, but the school has a bad reputation for its chav hijinks. Chav, by the way, is a derogatory term for working-class British youth who wear hoodies, sneakers, and bling. Shiraz has numerous problems including a runaway sister, an obese dog, and a mother who doesn’t seem understanding. Written in diary format, I loved Shiraz’s voice, even though the British slang was confusing at times. There is a glossary in ...more
Nov 16, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it! One of my favourite books I've ever read! It may be hard to believe, but I actually like in England, in the lovely town of Essex. I even go to Mayflower high school, which makes me relate to this book very well. It tells of Shiraz-Bailey Wood, a schoolgirl living in what is portrayed as 'Chavvy' town. This book/series is funny, interesting and very, very real. Great for anyone living in the UK, because you'll get the references!
Jan 21, 2010 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth
Quite sweet and very funny. Sometimes things felt a bit off, like the author's voice mocking chavs was coming through Shiraz, which didn't fit very well, but generally it was pretty fun. I'm looking forward to Posh and Prejudice.

(I really wonder how many American teen girls are going to translate this, though. And it really does need almost constant translating at times. Good thing they added in the glossary.)
If you are anything like me, this is the kind of book that will make you howl with laughter on the Metro and cause various Srs Bzns types to look at you as if you are a crazy person.

(It probably helps if you like British slang, which I do.)

I'd liken this book to Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson--I'd like to think that Ashley, the streetwise hero of that book, and Shiraz would have a blast together.
Apr 21, 2009 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yafiction
I was hoping I'd love this, but it just didn't hold my attention. I wanted another Georgia Nicholson, but got more of, I don't know, the villainous teen from an ABC family movie. And I like ABC family movies, but I guess I demand more from a book. I might be too harsh, because I didn't actually finish it though. It's worth a try if you like British chick books, you might fare better than me.
Jun 18, 2009 Grace added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes bling, foreign slang, and family/friendship troubles
So far, it's good. I'm only on page 42, but already it's given a lot of insight into the charector. Suprisingly, despite the cover on the front, it doesn't have to do much with hiphop and gangs. But it is still fresh and up to date with pop culture. The one thing is it takes place in Britain, so some of the "slang" is hard to understand. And I still don't get what a Chav is.
Feb 21, 2009 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the cover, this book was a pretty fun read, although I wish I'd discovered the glossary at the back in the beginning. I picked up the lingo without a real problem, but I wasn't sure I'd correctly defined chav until I found the glossary when I finished reading the book. Anyway, parts of it were really funny, although it wasn't groundbreaking or anything.
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Grace Dent is one of the hottest names in teen fiction right now. No other author nails how young people REALLY speak and behave. In fact, the many 1000s of SBW fans refuse to believe that the vivid Essex sensation is a fictional character!

Grace says: ‘ who claim to have never read anything longer than a text message are ploughing through my books nagging me for the next one. This makes m
More about Grace Dent...

Other Books in the Series

Diary of a Chav (6 books)
  • Posh and Prejudice (Diary of a Chav, #2)
  • Too Cool for School (Diary of a Chav, #3)
  • The Ibiza Diaries (Diary of a Chav, #4)
  • The Fame Diaries (Diary of a Chav, #5)
  • Keeping it Real (Diary of a Chav, #6)

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