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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Ice Cream Girls: TV tie-in
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2010
I have read all of Dorothy Koomson's books and am always pleasantly surprised when i pick up a new book and the books are always different then the previous. Some authors get into a rut and their books are quite "samey".

I am mid way through this one and all i can say is i was awake til i fell asleep at 6am this morning!!!!!

BUY IT!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 November 2011
As teenagers Poppy and Serena fell in love with an older man, a teacher by the name of Marcus who physically and emotionally abused the girls right up to the day he was stabbed to death. Both Poppy and Serena were suspects and went on trial where they both denied the murder. However Poppy was found guilty and ended up in prison for the crime she swears she did not commit.
The story begins with Serena who is now married with a family who know nothing of her past, and of Poppy who after twenty years has been released from jail and is desperate to clear her name.
Although it was somewhat disturbing at times I found myself totally engrossed from beginning to end. Highly recommend this novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2010
This book is well written with a cleverly contructed storyline, its easy to read and you want to read on after every chapter! Written from the perspective of 2 girls it tells the story of their lives. I would definately recommend it!
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on 7 May 2013
I caught the first episode of the ITV series only to have to go away for a weekend (without TV). Fortune shone on me as I picked up a copy in Sainsbury's before my train journey. I read it at break-neck speed as I was desperate to conclude the mystery begun by the TV series. Sadly, like some others, it turns out my 'guess' was right - which kind of spoilt the end for me. But it is a tale very well told. The dual narration worked for the most part (although I felt there wasn't as much on Poppy). Serena didn't come across incredibly sympathetically at times, and Poppy's background story with Marcus was quite scant in comparison with Serena's - her teacher/pupil relationship was very believable. The Poppy 'met in the park' story wasn't quite so well thought out. I liked Alain - and the twist with him - clearly aspects of the novel were not just formed from a cookie-cutter template. However, though I enjoyed the book there were several faults. The one glaring omission was Serena's parents. Where were they?! At any time? Suspending disbelief does wonders for enjoyment of this novel. It is easy to be captivated by the narrative of Serena and Poppy - and the 'hook' will keep you turning the pages until the mystery is revealed. Knowing the ending it's a real shame that Serena and Poppy couldn't have found real peace - instead of continuing to believe a lie - but maybe that would have been too neat a conclusion. And lastly - don't be fooled by the cover. This definitley isn't a sweet rom-com.
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on 5 May 2013
I'm a bit late to the party in terms of discovering Dorothy Koomson - she was recommended to me by a lady I got to chatting to whilst queuing for the Jodi Picoult The Storyteller book signing in Nottingham.

I'd started with this one first as I'd recently seen the trailer for the ITV dramatisation and thought I'd be able to compare them quite closely together.

Told in turn by both Serena and Poppy, both teenage school girls, this book highlights the issues of physical and emotional abuse, domestic violence, obsession and the predatory nature of abusers. The cover implies light and fluffy chick lit but it isn't, it's much darker and sinister.

The story is set over 2 time periods, the late '80s and then 20 years later and because of this the timeline would switch without notice, sometimes it would be highlighted by date, other times it would just switch from page to page but it's quite easy to follow after a few pages but I was hooked from the first chapter anyway.

Quite a bit of the legal stuff is swept under the carpet as I'm sure they'd have had an excellent case for self defence rather than murder. But this is more about the manipulation and the whodunnit and the 'who really did it' keeps you guessing until the end, I did suspect in the final couple of chapters who the culprit was and then dismissed it, only to be right. Without trying to give the ending away as a reader all loose ends are tied up, however for the characters it doesn't which is a bit sad considering their ordeal.

So far, I've only watched the first episode of the ITV drama but compared to the book Serena has lost a child & a sister, she doesn't hide the knives and Poppy's physical appearance is considerably different. We'll have to wait and see how the other two episodes fair and if the plot will remain the same as the book.

I really enjoyed this book and you will too if you're a fan of Koomson or like psychological thrillers :)
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I love Dorothy Koomson and I had tried to read this when it was first released but I couldn't get along with it. Anyway, when it started on TV, I decided to give it another go.

The story follows the ice cream girls - Poppy and Serena. Both were put on trial for the murder of their teacher but only Poppy went to prison. Now she's out and wants revenge... Meanwhile, Serena is living the perfect life. Except, she's hiding what happened from her kids and husband. The story focuses on the current day and has flashbacks to their schooldays.

Initially I struggled to get into it and nearly gave up again. I'd already watched the first two TV episodes, which I'd never normally do, and I think it coloured my view of the story. I found myself slightly confused about where the book was set as Leeds, London and Brighton were all mentioned. The TV programme has Serena moving back to Brighton from Leeds, as her mother is ill. I think this made much more sense but there is no ill mother in the book. This is my first problem. What reason was there for Serena to move back if she was so afraid of her secret getting out ?

I did eventually get into it and I really wanted to know what happened to Marcus. The story was incredibly well written and I felt trapped, almost like the girls. It was scary how easily they had fallen under his spell.

Unfortunately, there were a few issues. I guessed who had actually killed him. It was obvious as soon as she was mentioned. The glaring errors drove me mad - O levels in 1987?
I didn't quite buy the story either. Surely more people would have known what Serena did and told Evan? Wouldn't the girls parents have been contacted by the hospitals they went to? And, if they were so unhappy, after two years why wouldn't they tell somebody?

For me, the TV programme is so much better which is rare. I don't think the book flows at all well and there is a dragged out ending. Not Koomson's finest work.
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on 10 May 2013
I love Dorothy Koomson's books and have been a fan for years and this latest story didn't disappoint. This is a psychological thriller that is very gripping and the story is narrated by Serena and Poppy - the 'Ice Cream Girls'. Serena and Poppy are never friends but they are linked by one man that they are both in love with, Marcus. Marcus happens to be Serena's school teacher and they begin a relationship where although starting off well, soon becomes nasty and manipulative. Marcus leaves both girls with emotional and physical scars and things soon come to a head.

The Ice Cream Girls alternates between Serena and Poppy's lives now in the present day, and what was happening back when they were involved with Marcus. Although the novel does cut back and forth, the story is written so well that you follow everything with no problem. Serena and Poppy are both excellently written characters; in fact, all the characters in the story are brilliant.

The book is compelling and heartbreaking and will leave you racing through the story to find the conclusion. It has important messages is a brilliantly written novel that is very thought-provoking, with some shocks, twists and turns and without spoiling it, there is a great twist at the end. I'm off to watch the TV series now.
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on 17 September 2014
This book was left in a holiday rental and to be honest I am not surprised. The plot beggars belief. That not one but two teenagers would be abused by a pedophile and no one noticed? All the beatings the bruising the broken ribs the hospital visits??? Come on I would struggle to let my 15 year old out long enough to get beaten to the point of hospitalisation, never mind on more than one occasion. The police didn't as k the ex wife about the character of her ex husband? I know they are pretty useless at times but come on? I guessed the end half way through. What adult says JUST TELL THE TRUTH< WHY WONT YOU TELL THE TRUTH? What after ignores his idolised daughter but cries in his office about her? What mother treats her daughter that way? None that I ever come across. There are so many unanswered questions in my head Inwas annoyed because I kept reading it. It was like a bad episode of East Enders and a waste of time
Does this writer have children as she seems to make her child characters say and do things that real kids don't do, repeat gossip to the actual victim (You would shut you kid up before it go the chance) ask leading questions to name a couple of annoyances. Who calls each other Sez Mez and Fez ? Not any family I know or even a similar theme. Upshot is Don't Bother
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2013
This is the first book I've read by Dorothy Koomson after seeing her being recommended on the internet. What a good recommendation it turned out to be! The book was fantastic and I urge you to read it. Loved the ending too - there's nothing worse than a brilliant book with a weak ending but this certainly didn't fall into that category! I've now downloaded another of her books and I'm looking forward to another brilliant read :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed this book and could not wait to find out what happened.
Sorry I bought it now especially as Amazon just knocked 1.50 off.

The ending was very abrupt and disappointing. I don't think I will be reading more books by this author if this is how she finishes.

I read this before the ITV series finished. I have to say that the ITV finished the story in a much better fashion than the book.
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