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Whilst it is certainly impressive that at twenty years old, Nigerian born Chibundo Onuzo is the youngest ever female to sign a book deal with Faber, the premise of her novel did not excite me. Pitched as an against-all-odds love story between a wealthy girl and a street vendor in the divided world of contemporary Lagos, it sounded like yet another modern (or if I were to be unkind, rehashed) Romeo and Juliet, an unnecessary addition to an already overflowing canon. I was prepared to be underwhelmed.

I am pleased to admit just how wrong I was. With the two teenagers alternating as narrator, the story started with an unexpected bang (or more precisely, a “hit”) and continued to hold my reluctantly-offered attention until the final page. Although the premise may be unoriginal, Onuzo’s skill as a storyteller is quite exceptional. Her prose manages to be both gentle and exhilarating at once, and combines moments of touching humour with some hard-hitting observations about the hypocrisies of class divide: “How dare they bully my driver when they knew I was in the car?”

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Perhaps I was guilty of ‘judging a book by its cover’. I urge you not to do the same, and to give this impressive debut a go. After all, if Onuzo can get published by nineteen and promote her novel whilst studying for her finals – not to make you all feel like massive under-achievers – then surely we can make time for some reading-for-pleasure. Because that’s exactly what The Spider King’s Daughter was: a pleasure to read.

Faber and Faber, £12.99, trade paperback