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Summer Loving Paperback – 26 May 2011
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"Once you get into this fun book, the tide could be lapping around your deckchair before you realise it...It's a frothy, first class treat." (Peterborough Evening Telegraph)
Shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award for comedy romance 2012See all Product description
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Obviously the beautiful setting isn't all that the book is about and we follow four best friends throughout their two week holiday: Beth, Kirsten, Anna and Ginny. They're friends, have been for ages, but because they're dotted about all over the World they rarely have a chance to meet up so take the opportunity to holiday in Liminaki and re-establish their friendships with each other. I liked the plot of the novel and for the most part I thought it was presented very well but there were a few things I had an issue with. All of the girls have their own problems, but rather than sharing them the way regular friends would (if I had a problem, I would certainly discuss it with a friend), instead all four try to tackle their problems in secret. For me that was a bit false. Because surely you just don't do that? I couldn't understand Kirsten's hesitance to tell her best friend her troubles. I also thought the Ginny/Beth tension was horribly obvious. I knew precisely what had gone on there and it was very much as cliched as I expected it to be, sadly. But for the most part I was happy with how the plot went, how it panned out.
Aside from a few minor niggles I found the characters to be delightful. Beth's irrational anger over the fact the guy she meets, Dan, used to work at the bank that killed her business aside, I liked Beth. She was very real, very likeable and as our leading lady it was probably a good thing I liked her so much. Anna was probably my second favourite character, I loved her sweet nature and the slow-burn romance she had with Nick, I would have loved if we could have seen their relationship develop through their eyes rather than Beth who narrates the story. Kirsten was a well-rounded character, although, again I question her need for secrecy. I never really found any love for Ginny; for the entire novel she was just a pain in the proverbial. I couldn't understand why three lovely people like Beth, Kirsten and Anna would be friends with someone like Ginny. As for the male characters, I fell head over heels for both Dan and Nick. I think Nick probably edges it for me, though! He was just so wonderful and dreamy (believe me, I am the type of person who doesn't use the word `dreamy').
I must say, I didn't think Summer Loving was as well written as the other two novels Allie has had published. For starters (and yes, pernickety Leah is alive and kicking right now) there is an absolute deluge of colons in the novel. There are colons where there should be commas or full stops and it took all of my wills not to get a marker pen and smudge them out. Truly, if someone who edited this novel looked through it now and counted up the colons they would cry into their manuscripts. I know I'm picky, and I'm going to resist to point out the editing errors I noticed, for fear of you all hating me (I can't help it! Honest!). Despite my pernickety-ness I did thoroughly enjoy the book. I really and truly hope that Allie is busy writing a new novel that will be out next year, because she is so good at writing an easy holiday read that manages to have it all. Romance, relationships, friendships and, best of all, a sunny destination! I'd definitely suggest packing this one in your suitcase this summer or sitting in the back garden with it on a sunny afternoon, it will transport you all the way to Liminaki and you'll feel as though you've had a holiday yourself once you've finished!
Our main character in this book is Beth who I found to be a very likeable character and it didn't take long to warm to her. Although I did love Beth my favourite female character in this book was Anna and I really wish we got to read more about her as she seemed like such a warm gentle and genuine character who never sees the bad in anyone. My one down point to this book is the character Ginny. I didn't like her from the moment she arrived in the book and I didn't enjoy any part of her in the book I don't think her presence was really needed in this little gem of a book. Allie got the male characters of this book spot on having both a true English gentle man and a gorgeous Greek piece of eye candy to keep us ladies entertained. I enjoyed both of their characters but I have to say that Bick the Greek guy had the slight edge for me as I always find Greek and Italian men a bit mysterious and charming!
I found with this book rather than there being one main story line there were many different things going on as each of the girls seem to have their own problems going on which all come to light in the book. I did find that the book was predictable but this didn't ruin the book for me I still flowed along with the story.
This is defiantly one to take on holiday with you as it really gets you in the holiday mood. You do get lost in the story which was a bit of a shock for me when I finished the book then looked out the window to see the rain and realised I am not in sunny Greece!! I would defiantly recommend this book and I eagerly await the next novel which I hope Allie has already made a start on!
Book review also on my book blog (...)
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I found the book very entertaining at the start then i got a bit lost...Read more