“It was hot—the kind of heat that makes you wish the weather would cool down” is indeed one of the first lines.
So, last week Millie Bobby Brown released her new book “Nineteen Steps”. This is a historical romance novel set during the Second World War and based on the Bethnal Green Pipe disaster. But the reviews are coming in very quickly, and yes, some of them are truly shocking.
The book is described as “an epic story of love, loss and secrets” and is actually inspired by Millie’s family story. Nanny Millie Ruth was involved in the Bethnal Green tube station disaster in 1943, when 173 people died walking down the steps in an air raid.
But like many celebrities before her, she also came under fire for claiming the book was ghostwritten. Even though the cover said “Millie Bobby Brown” in big gold letters, most of the book was actually written by writer Kathleen McGurl.
In a March blog post, Kathleen McGurl explained that she was sent “a lot of research that had already been done by Millie and her family, and a lot of ideas.” They then had a “couple” of Zoom calls before Kathleen wrote the first draft. Millie kept sending her new ideas on WhatsApp, but most of them weren’t written by Millie Bobby Brown.
This may actually make some of these reviews worse considering she had so much help. So here are some reviews of Millie Bobby Brown’s new book, where she gets absolutely broken:
Literally just read the first paragraph
Sorry, but who actually read “It Was Hot – The Kind of Hot That Makes You Wish the Weather Would Cool Down” and gave it a thumbs up?
It’s so bad – so bad I wish it was good x
“Can Millie Bobby Brown Write Novels?” Absolutely not’
Jessa Crispin of The Telegraph completely fell in love with Millie and called her book “flat and repetitive”. Overall, she gave the book two stars.
“In three pages she mentioned that her character Nellie was not like other girls.” Sorry, but this is the most Millie Bobby Brown I’ve ever heard, and it gives off an Enola Holmes vibe.
She also noted the historical accuracy: “There are some historical moments along the way. Did you know that during World War II, things like food were rationed? Millie Bobby Brown knows; You can tell because she mentions it almost a dozen times.” Yes.
What’s in fifth grade literacy class?
I refuse to believe that this is from a real book and not an entry from an eight-year-old entering a creative writing competition to win an Easter egg. This is supposed to sound like a teenager from 1943, but this man definitely sounds like he’s had a few drags at Elf Bar or watched an episode of reality TV.
“Pretty tasteless” and “sickening affair”
Barry Pearce for iD called Millie Bobby Brown’s book “pretty tasteless” and “sickening.” He said that the first 150 pages of the book are just symbols indicating how tricky the steps leading to the station are. It seemed like she had just learned what an omen was in seventh grade English and wanted to impress her teacher with it.
“It’s a bit like the Titanic novel where the guests randomly say, ‘Oh, I really hope we don’t see anything.’ icebergs on our journey,” he said.
“Look, no one goes to The Nineteen Steps expecting a masterpiece. Personally, I didn’t even expect it to be good. It’s a curiosity: a young actor begins to write fiction (albeit ghostwritten). But even as a curiosity it is rather tasteless. It’s goodies vs. a villainous tale of the Second World War that uncritically praises the likes of Churchill and Montgomery.” Oh my God.
Did the war separate families? What?!
Thanks for this insight, Millie!
“I expected her debut novel, The Nineteen Steps, to be quite good. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.”
Anne Marie Scanlon also wrote a scathing review in The Irish Independent, pointing out all the historical inaccuracies in the book. She said: “Brown gets the important facts right, but completely fails to understand the historical period she is dealing with and happily imposes modern social mores and values on the past. Everyone loves an unmarried mother, and no one condemns her.” She also described it as Disney’s EastEnders, which I honestly found funny.
“As far as celebrities go, I’ve always liked Brown and I think she’s a big disappointment. There’s no doubt that The Nineteen Steps will sell well to her young fans, but with a few more years and a strict editor, Brown could have written something more substantial.”
“No plot, no atmosphere”
Some Goodreads reviews don’t hold back either. A one-star review said, “No plot, no atmosphere, and it wasn’t even written by her,” while another two-star review noted how predictable the plot was and that “there’s no character development.” I kind of wish she was going to lie.
The image was shared via @milliebobbybrown on Instagram.
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