Lucy Zeezou’s Glamour Game, by Liz Deep-Jones

A barrage of lights flashed in our faces, blinding us, while relentless clicking and snapping sounds polluted the air.
The reporter at the fron of the pack shouted questions at my father. ‘Paulo, Italy’s leading actress, Loretta Sophirelli, has revealed your secret to the world. AC Milan’s new signing is Tommaso Sophirelli – or should that be Tommaso Zoffi? What’s your response?’
Pins and needles travelled along my body. What were they saying?
‘Your son is being touted as Italian football’s new hope, “Tommy the Tiger”. What do you think his chances are for a spot in the World Cup squad?’
‘How have your kept your son a secret for so long?’

Lucy Zoffi is the daughter of a world-class soccer player and a famous model, recently moved to Sydney to be near Lucy’s grandparents. They are rich as well as famous and their every move is watched by paparazzi. Lucy is mad keen to play soccer and appears to have inherited some of her father’s talent. Her mother thinks that she’d be much better to pursue modelling, particularly in support of the family fashion line ‘Love Lucy’. When Lucy hears rumours of an older half-brother, her world threatens to explode. Her mother and father aren’t speaking, her friend Max has done a runner, and her best friend Bella seems to be angry with her almost all the time. It seems that no matter how she tries, she gets it all wrong.

Lucy’s life is a privileged one, travelling by private jet between Australia and Milan, Italy, but that doesn’t make it a simple one. She wants to play soccer. Her mother doesn’t want her too. Her father has secrets which may tear the family apart. Her friend who should be settled in a new home is struggling against unaccustomed supervision. At school, people think she’s a spoilt princess. Lucy is emerging from childhood and discovering that the life she thought was just about perfect, is not quite as she thought. She’s learning that her parents are individuals as well as part of a family. As is she. She is also a teenager and trying to navigate her way through dreams, friendship and a potential first relationship. As far as her friend Bella is concerned, Lucy has it all and she should just enjoy it. It’s certainly a life Bella would love. There are themes around family, friendship, secrets. Recommended for early secondary readers, particularly girls who love soccer or fashion or both!

Lucy Zeezou’s Glamour Game, Liz Deep-Jones
Random House 2010
ISBN: 9781864719734

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author