Book Review: Class by Jenny Colgan

November 20, 2017 Book review 5 ★★★★½

Class by Jenny Colgan is a fast, fun, frivolous read that stirred up nostalgic feels for all the boarding school books of my childhood.  And just to clear up any confusion, they were originally published under the pen name Jane Beaton, but later under the author’s real name – Jenny Colgan.

Book Review: Class by Jenny ColganClass: Welcome to the Little School by the Sea (Maggie Adair) by Jane Beaton, Jenny Colgan
on 28 July 2008
Genres: Contemporary Women, Love & Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

One teacher and a class of unruly girls - what can possibly go wrong? As term begins, so do the fun and games.
It's about love lives... Maggie Adair has left a rough comprehensive school in Glasgow to teach at Downey House, an exclusive boarding school for girls. Maggie has been dating Stan McAteer for years - safe, comfortable and about as exciting as soggy toast. Can their relationship survive? Especially when Maggie meets David McDonald, her opposite number at the boys boarding school over the hill. Every single girl in the school has a crush on him, but not Maggie... yet.
It's about school lives... Two girls. Same form. Simone Kardashian has won a scholarship and is determined to make her parents proud. Fliss Abney is furious at being so far from home and her friends. As Simone tries desperately to fit in, Fliss tries desperately to get out.
It's about private lives... Veronica Delaforce knows how to manage a school. Routine and discipline are fundamental to her role. But Veronica has a secret that could ruin her career.

addictive Page-Turner Refreshing Romance

First Line of Class by Jenny Colgan

“Purple skirt no”

My thoughts on Class by Jenny Colgan

I devoured boarding school books when I was younger, and to this very day I snap up every single one I come across.  So when I discovered this series, I was in book heaven.  If ever a series was written just for me, it’s this one.

It features Maggie from Glasgow who gets a teaching job in a posh boarding school in Cornwall.  She upends and throws herself in to a life that is different to anything she has ever know.  I loved everything about Maggie; she is unpolished, quick to temper, but keeps a loving watch over all her new pupils.  Her students are a mixed bag, and I loved that their various voices added colour and tension to the plot.

All the usual boarding school clichés are present.  But that’s not a complaint, that’s what I want in a boarding school setting.  I want new girls struggling to find their feet, tricks, a potential tragedy, people being wrongly accused and I got all that and more.  Even a french Mam’selle in a glorious hat raise to those in The St Clare’s and Mallory Towers books.  I appreciated too that the clichés were all given a fresh, modern twist.

There is also a cute romance to swoon over.  A maybe romance, as it didn’t really come to anything but I’m hoping for more in book 2.  I know I crushed a little on David, the English teacher at the boys school who tramped around the clifftops with his dog, spouting poetry.  The chemistry between Maggie and David simmered tantalisingly and I want it to boil!


The only thing that slightly irked me was the annoying fat shaming.  It felt unnecessary.  I understand it as a plot device to show how new girl Simone felt different.  But being overweight was portrayed as being unsavoury, and occurred more than once.  Basically, that just didn’t sit right with me.

Apart from that jarring note, I adored the books.  I can’t emphasise enough just how much fun they are.  And I jumped straight on to Rules which is book 2 in the series.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read Class by Jenny Colgan?

I highly recommend Class to you if you love boarding school settings or a if you want a light-hearted fun read with lots of laughs.  Fans of authors such as Sophie Kinsella or Lisa Jewell should also enjoy.


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5 Responses to “Book Review: Class by Jenny Colgan”

  1. Angela

    I feel like I would love Jenny Colgan’s books; they seem so sweet and light-hearted. And I’m a big fan of Sophie Kinsella, too.

  2. Kathryn Trask

    You’ve ‘sold’ this one to me! I am off to look for it. I loved boarding school stories growing up although really haven’t visited since! As a retired teacher there is an added dimension of interest. So one of her older books, will have to see how they compare to her now books.
    Kathryn Trask recently posted…It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  3. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I don’t think boarding school books are that much of a thing here – maybe because they’re not very common in the States? That’s really too bad because the premise is amazing! I’ve really discovered Jenny Colgan this year and have fallen in love with her books and this sounds awesome. I missed out on boarding school books as a kid but I can make up for it as an adult! That’s too bad about the fat shaming but hopefully it won’t reoccur in later books.
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Better Late Than Never – Cozy Mystery Review

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