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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, heart-breaking and compelling - You must read this book xxx
I'd read The Ice Cream Girls when it was first released many years ago and liked it, so when I had the opportunity to review the novel to go in line with the release of the TV adaptation, I could not wait to re-read it.

Teenagers Poppy and Serena both fall in love with an older man, Marcus, who happens to be Serena's teacher. They both fall helplessly in love...
Published 20 months ago by Megan ReadingInTheSunshine

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better as a short story
I felt the story took a long time to get to the point and the main characters were not believable as real people so it was hard to feel any empathy with them. The peripheral characters were completely one-dimensional and the style of writing and the words all of the characters used just didnt ring true a lot of the time. I agree with the reviewers who say there are too...
Published on 12 Mar 2011 by ymb


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1.0 out of 5 stars I know they are pretty useless at times but come on, 17 Sep 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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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly wonderful, 3 Mar 2010
By 
Best Crime Books "Best Crime Books" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ice Cream Girls (Hardcover)
Poppy and Serena were 18 when an event took place that would change both their lives forever. Marcus was their school teacher and he ends up dead with only Serena and Poppy as witnesses. The media have a field day and label the pair `The Ice Cream Girls'. Twenty years on and their lives went in completely different directions. There are however secrets from their past that Serena is desperate to keep hidden and Poppy is determined to bring to light.

I originally came across Dorothy Koomson by accident after picking up the wrong book in a bookshop. I was very glad that `accident' happened otherwise I may never have found this truly brilliant writer. The first book of hers I read was Marshmallows For Breakfast and what a joy it was to read. That followed with all of her other publications and I can honestly say I have not been disappointed with any of her books.

One thing I want to point out is the genre of these books. I would hazard a guess that most of her books are put into the Chick Lit genre which isn't that true, especially where this book is concerned. The front cover may lead you to think this is a feel good book but don't be fooled. This is a very heartfelt and in parts powerful book telling an incredibly sad story.

The story is written in two parts one being written from Serena's perspective and one from Poppy's. Not only that, we are taken on a journey through the current nightmare that they are both facing. Not only are we swept up into their current lives but are given glimpses of their past as the story progresses.

We meet Serena and her husband Marcus who knows nothing of her past. She does everything in her power to stop him from finding out about her and what she used to be like. Unfortunately for her there are things in her life that are threatening to put her perfect life at risk and her secrets won't stay that way for long. We also get introduced to Poppy and learn about her relationship with her parents, brother and sister.

We get to share their pain as they relive both their pasts and their attempts to move on with their life in the way they know best. I felt at times that I was almost sitting beside these two women and sharing their experiences. The writing is done wonderfully with the right balance of emotion and meaning. It covers some very sensitive topics which are done with empathy but bares the souls of the characters involved in the book.

The switch between Poppy and Serena, past and present was done with ease and as the reader you are just swept along whether that be to the current day or their murky pasts. As the story progresses it picks up pace and manages to pack a serious punch in the last 5 chapters.

It is hard to go into too much detail about the book itself because I do not like spoilers and the theme running through this book is the whole point of the story.

All I can say is that I didn't want to put this down until I had finished, it was that good. I'm not a naturally sensitive person but I would be surprised if anybody read this and didn't feel the tug of emotion whilst reading this story. It is truly a wonderful book, not always happy, not always easy to read, but truly, truly wonderful. If you have not read Dorothy Koomson and you want something different then this would be a good place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 5 Oct 2013
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars great story, 23 Sep 2013
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Really enjoyed the subject matter and the characters were easy to picture.

An easy and satisfying read. Was recommended it by a friend and it did not disappoint.

J T
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark tale sensitively handled, 20 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Ice Cream Girls: TV tie-in (Paperback)
I love Dorothy Koomson's writing and I thought this book was excellent. Don't think by the cover that it is chick lit; far from it. This book has a serious message. I saw the recent TV adaptation before reading it (which I knew differed from the TV mini-series) and found the book to be far more powerful. The outcome is made clear from the very first page with the inclusion of clippings from the local newspapers. A teacher has been killed and the two protagonists Poppy and Serena were tried for his murder, Poppy jailed and Serena acquitted. But which of them did it? Each of them blames the other and the story follows Poppy who is jailed for the murder, released on parole and tracks down Serena in order to make her confess and get her life back.

The writing is absolutely superb although I do feel there are some inconsistencies in the way the girls were brought to trial and the events leading up to it (why did the parents not notice what was going on as they dressed and acted out of character; why was the ex-wife not interviewed; why did the neighbours not notice anything and most of all, Serena has a very unique name and I found it impossible to believe no-one had heard of the events of 20 years ago). This is not a police procedural though and focuses on the psychological games and appalling manipulation and abuse the two girls were subjected to and it is a scary read. You find yourself hating Marcus with a passion and asking so many questions. The story is told from alternating points of view of Serena and Poppy, both in the present day and with the many flashbacks. I found it very easy to follow and very relatable as we travelled back and forth in time as I am the same age. I felt heartbroken for Poppy, and though they each get their happy ending of sorts, I still felt sad for each of them. The narrative alternates between Poppy and Serena in the first person and is very detailed, which I liked as it gives an insight into their thoughts, feelings and motivations. A brilliant read and I am now looking forward to Marshmallows for Breakfast. 4.5 out of 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this a lot. (teeny spoiler), 7 Aug 2013
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I enjoyed this book a lot. It certainly held my attention throughout and was quite gripping. The way that the two girls involved are completely manipulated by the much older teacher is horrific.

However, my only niggle with this book Is that I cannot believe that a teacher who takes on two of his pupils of fifteen years old as sexual partners would be seen only as something of a fool for getting into the situation.

Also, the ex-wife was apparently never questioned or interviewed by police, even though it was well known that she frequently visited him without invitation AND that the custody of their son was constantly a topic of arguments. My own (limited) knowledge of police action is that an ex-wife or ex-husband would ALWAYS be interviewed in such situations, even if the murderer confesses - which never happened here.

However, that said, the story was good, the location interesting and the characters believable.

The only thing NOT interesting or believable, was the love-interest. Shame.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the ending, 3 May 2013
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This review is from: The Ice Cream Girls (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ICE CREAM GIRLS, 7 Nov 2011
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Amanda "sac" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ice Cream Girls: TV tie-in (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great summer read, 16 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Ice Cream Girls (Paperback)
Thoroughly enjoyed this book-quite a disturbing storyline but it does draw you in making for a read that's difficult to put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars it was such a good read. I had read Rose Petal Beach by ..., 24 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Ice Cream Girls: TV tie-in (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this book and couldn't put it down, it was such a good read. I had read Rose Petal Beach by the same author and enjoyed it but this was even better.
Dorothy Koomson brought the characters alive and I felt so much for the two teenagers, Serena and Poppy who, in their naivity fall in love with Marcus, their teacher who treats them so appallingly.
Not wishing to give the game away but just to say that I was taken by surprise at the final twist in the story.A sign of an excellent writer.
I will now go buy more books by Dorothy Koomson.
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The Ice Cream Girls: TV tie-in
The Ice Cream Girls: TV tie-in by Dorothy Koomson (Paperback - 25 April 2013)
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