I've never read any of Cathy Hopkins previous books before, although I do know they're very popular with younger teen girls. I was looking forward to the humour and fun she's renowned for and wasn't disappointed. I really liked the fun, sassy and easy writing style but was also surprised to find it had some quite serious themes which I wasn't expecting.
I liked India, she's a relatable character with the same anxieties as many teens: parent difficulties, boy troubles and feelings of insecurity/not knowing who she is. I also really liked the dynamics between India and her older cousin Kate, party girl extraordinaire, and how self conscious she made India feel. I think we've ALL known a Kate, who we look up to, idolise and yearn to be like. I have to say though I found the adults in this book annoying beyond belief, particularly India's parents. It's a kind of role reversal where India is the grounded and sensible one, and the parents lack any sense of real responsibility. Her father's attitude to his unemployment particularly wound me up...he comes off as on overgrown spoilt brat!
I expected this book to be aimed more at younger tweens/teens but was surprised at some of the content involving boys and alcohol. However I did think it was pretty realistic and not overly shocking, just not what i was expecting and I'd say it's suitable for ages 12+. The setting was gorgeous, with Greece being beautifully depicted. Set in a holistic retreat, it has a spiritual edge to it too which I also really liked, and the romance got my full approval too. Joe is perfect moody bad boy swoon material.
This Way To Paradise was a nice, easy read, perfect for the beach or poolside. It's funny with a slightly more serious edge than I was expecting, and romantic. But overall it's a girls journey to discovering who she is and where she belongs, and an enjoyable one at that.
on 2 February 2014
I devoured this book in a day, mostly because I wished how that was how my teenage years went! This book is aimed at 13+ so I didn't expect too much when I picked it up - I expected a really cringy, tween book but it wasn't like that at all. I was shocked at some scenes in the book, considering it is aimed at 13+, but it helped the story along nicely and helped you understand the way the characters were a bit better. I really enjoyed this book, it's a nice story and has a nice, happy ending.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2007
India Jane moved to London, she now lives with her aunt Sarah and cousin Kate (who smokes and drinks). India meets Joe, a boy she starts to fancy, and India does embarrassing things when he's around e.g. pick the wrong shampoo, spill yoghurt everywhere etc. Cinnamon Girl (as her dad calls her) has to go to Greece with Kate because her dad has to do a concert (somewhere else)she goes to Cloud Nine which is a centre that Aunt Sarah owns with Joe's mum. India and Kate meet Tom and Robin at the airport, Tom and Kate become a couple and Robin fancies India (but she doesn't fancy him back.)Later on, in Greece a religous man called Sensei comes and teaches India how to meditate and find her inner voice (or something like that.)
This is a good book for teens and I recommend it.