With a first-person teen voice that’s perfect on paper, this is an addictive rom-com for young teens. Buy now and escape from the dark winter days or save it and enjoy a sunny beach read.
Sixteen year-old Maya is convinced she and her boyfriend, Freddie, are the perfect match. She’s also planning the perfect summer – Freddie has invited her to join his family holiday in a luxury villa in Spain. Then, only days before they’re due to fly out, Freddie dumps her by text and her summer of romance is transformed into a summer cleaning toilets at the local beach resort. A series of strange events, however, throw three gorgeous guys in her path: suddenly she has not one but three summer romances. Each guy seems perfect. How will Maya ever manage choose between them?
This is an addictive rom-com that’s pitched exactly right for young teens (with lots to interest teen readers and nothing to offend or worry their parents). As someone considerably older than the target audience (sorry I’m not going to admit by quite how much!), I have to confess that I did need to google some of the terminology (“pied” is a new term to me). However, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and was disappointed to find I had reached the end.
Maya’s first person voice is instantly addictive, making this an effortless book to read. (I read it over two cold and grey January evenings and loved being transported to a long hot summer.) Maya is easy to especially identify with and there are some wonderful, yet subtle, comic moments. I simply loved the way she initially attributes her break up with Freddie to a misunderstanding about an umbrella hat! Her two best friends, Aimee and Joe, are equally likable and it’s nice to find a book where almost all the characters are fun to be around. Granted Maya’s ex-boyfriend Freddie (dubbed ‘Empty-Box’ by Aimee) and his friend Lydia are far from perfect but they are more self-absorbed and empty-headed than particularly malicious.
The three guys Maya dates are rather stereotyped but I’m confident that this is a deliberate decision on the part of the author, Chloe Seager. Indeed, I suspect she had a lot of fun playing with these stereotypes and choosing the situations to place them in. The plot is also less than original. I guessed the ending about halfway through (on p117 to be precise) but this in no way lessened the enjoyment of the book. If anything, it made me all the more eager to read on to see if I was right!
If you enjoyed this, you might like to try the Waiting for Callback series by Perdita and Honor Cargill (Casting Queen, Take Two or It’s a Wrap). Alternatively, you might enjoy Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison.
Publication Date: February 2019
Author’s website: Chloe Seager