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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 April 2007
My mum went and bought this book for me today as an alternative for an easter egg as I always buy Cathy Cassidy's books because I think they're the best, and I was certaintly not dissapointed.

It was funny at times, and I just kept on wishing things for the characters and hoping things would turn out well for them as the story went along. The relationship between jude and carter is so sweet but I must say this book has made me cry the most I've ever cried whilst reading a book, It's so sad towards the end and it just shows a teenager like me, although families will always be quite embarassing,you can't live without them!
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on 29 January 2008
I am aged ten and i am an advanced reader.
I found Sundae girl a brilliant book,I couldn't put it down.
However this book could be very upsetting and complicated for younger readers.
The story had wonderful and powerful characters.
My favorite characters were Genovie ,mums boyfriend who runs an ice cream van ,dad an elvis impersonator and most of all Jude an unusual,secretive and shy girl.
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on 9 December 2014
Sundae Girl Jude wishes her family wasn't so embarrassing. Her mum is an alcoholic, having an addiction to alcohol, her dad dresses up like Elvis Presley and her gran knits scarves that are too long.

This story is packed with love (family love and boy love), trouble, danger and excitement. This book is page-turning, thrilling and lets you in on some of Jude's most private secrets. And there's a surprise at the end, to do with Rose (Jude's mum) and her alcohol addiction, and Kristina Kowalski also has a secret up her sleeve... That is, if she even has tops with sleeves!
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on 29 December 2010
when i read this book i thought it was brilliant. at the time my family were going through some tough times which i was glad to be able to relate to whilst reading this novel. i thought that the story never slowed down and there was always a turn in the road which almost always kept me wanting to carry on reading.
therfore i think that this book is great ;)
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on 26 February 2016
I remembered that when I read this, aged ten, I hadn't enjoyed it that much. In fact, I considered it to be my least favourite Cathy Cassidy book (as it happens, it isn't my least favourite. It's my second least favourite. My absolute least favourite is 'Driftwood'). So I decided to read it again, because I couldn't actually remember why I disliked it, or really, anything about the story, though I did recollect that there was an Elvis impersonator in there somewhere.
The story is about a girl named Jude Reilly, whose family is about as far from normal as it's possible to get. She lives with her granddad, and her grandma, whom Jude adores, although she gets a bit confused sometimes. Her mum has a serious drinking problem, and her Dad and his girlfriend are just a teensy bit obsessed with the Swingin' Sixties- Dad drives a pink Cadillac, lives in his satin catsuits, and sings rock 'n roll for a living.
Jude is trying hard to be a normal girl, but it's hard when she's chasing a trail of broken promises. Suddenly, life spins out of control, and Jude is forced to follow her mum's wake of destruction, picking up the pieces of her broken life. Can new friends, ice-cream sundaes, and a blond haired boy on rollerskates make Jude's life sweet again?
After re-reading this book, I found that I am actually in agreement with my ten year old self- this is definitely one of Cathy Cassidy's weakest books. I was struggling to come up with a synopsis, because not a lot happened.
I didn't really have a favourite character. I didn't have anything against Jude, or anything. She wasn't unrealistic or annoying or boring. She was just, there, I guess. She served her purpose, she narrated the story. But she was nothing special, nothing memorable. It's hardly surprising that I barely remembered the book- it's not one that particularly sticks in your mind.
Jude's mum wasn't exactly likeable, and the other characters were just a bit, well, bitty. They bobbed up here and there, but they weren't around enough for me to make a proper judgement on them.
In 'Sundae Girl', Cathy Cassidy did what Cathy Cassidy does best (aside from conjuring up fanciful romantic fantasies that, while sweet and cheerful to read about, are highly unrealistic) and that is cover some really important issues and depict them truthfully, yet simply.
So of course, a key one here was alcoholism, and I like the way Cathy demonstrates how it destroys lives and families, but also shows that it doesn't have to fully destroy a person. People can be helped. A dependence on alcohol can be overcome.
But the topic that I personally identified with the most was that of Alzheimer's, and how difficult and upsetting it can be. Obviously, Jude's grandma in the book suffers from Alzheimer's, and I think she is a very accurate portrayal. If you've never known someone with a memory condition, it can be hard to imagine how challenging life must be for that person, and the people around them, but this book really put it into perspective, and I admire that.
However, the book is let down by its lack of actual content. Because the story is SO focussed on those all-important social issues, it's like Cathy Cassidy sort of forgot to include a plot, and she seemingly failed to remember that a bit of character development never goes amiss. For instance, take Jude's so-called 'love interest', Kevin Carter (sometimes he's referred to as Kevin, other times, he's called Carter, and no real explanation is given as to why). It is never clarified what he sees in Jude. Jude provides no backstory regarding who he is, and how she came to know him- she just begins randomly talking to him on page 5, seemingly not acquainted with him at all, and yet is suddenly jealous when he announces that he finds another girl attractive.
Carter makes about three appearances in the book, and any attempts at developing his character and his relationship with Jude were half-hearted. He really wasn't at all necessary to the plot. It was as if Cathy Cassidy thought to herself, 'Well, I have to throw in some romance SOMEWHERE, so we'll make him do something romantic here, and he can visit her there and...' She clearly couldn't help herself, even though it would have been better if he hadn't been included at all. Another thing Cathy Cassidy can't resist is adding tragic backstories. She can't leave characters, especially antagonists alone. For example, class mean girl, Kristina Kowalski, can't just be a mean girl. No, Cathy just had to ensure she some sort of sad past, thereby justifying her malicious actions. Kristina's story was just randomly thrown in near the end of a chapter. Again- very unnecessary, and it just detracted from the main story.
But, on the plus side, Cathy Cassidy's age judgement wasn't so skewed this time. Jude is 13, and she acted pretty true to her age, which was good. Although I did laugh out loud when Kristina was described as a 'year eight siren'. The terms 'year eight' and 'siren' do not belong together.
I'd rate this book...
3 out of 10 stars.
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on 19 August 2015
Sundae Girl is about a girl named Jude who comes from a broken home. She lives with her mum, granddad and grandma and sees her dad and his new girlfriend: Victoria, on the weekends. Jude's family are far from different and Jude often finds herself hiding her families true characteristics when she is in public. Her dad is an Elvis impersonator who goes to parties dressed in catsuits whilst singing. Her mum is an alcoholic who is chasing broken dreams and tainted promises. Her grandma has Alzheimer's so she seems to forget things and her granddad, is a granddad. Jude often believes she's the only sane person. However after her dad announces he is marrying Victoria, Jude's mother takes a turn for the worse and soon it's not only her own life she's damaging, but Jude's as well. Alongside the family mayhem, Jude has to balance being a kid and having crushes and being an awkward teenager.

Personally, I think this book is hard to critique. There were some really strong points that I adored about this book, however there were also some points which made me feel like the book was flat and almost a little boring. I loved the idea of her mum being an alcoholic and having the perception of Jude battling her mothers addiction in her own life, as this was interesting and real. Also, I loved how the book didn't necessarily have a happy ending when it came to the death of someone, because it just meant that the book wasn't trying to cast out any fairy tale endings or happy ever afters. However, small things in this book seem to make me just feel a little bit odd and makes me feel like the book lacks a few things. There were some factors in the book that weren't really needed and kinda dragged the story on slightly. I understand Alex, the bird boy, being a leading character because he's Kristina's brother, however it doesn't really connect with the story that much - in my eyes, so I felt that it wasn't necessary.

The book is really good at highlighting addictions of parents and family members as well as the truth of broken homes, and how sometimes a grandparent is all you need. It also is amazingly beautiful at showing the sadness of Alzheimer's and how it can effect the younger ones around you. However there were some times in the book: 'the music was so sad that it made me want to slit my wrist' which I thought were really unnecessary and almost like it was a push too far and as if the book was just lacking something so Cathy replaced it with something else.

Personally, Cathy is an excellent author, however I feel like this book just wasn't for me but it was for me too. It took me a while to even consider reading this because I'm not the target audience anymore so I was contemplating the big risk. If you like some harsh drama and a little bit of oddness, this book is for you.
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on 23 August 2013
A great purchase and quick postage. Cathy Cassidy is a top author for teens and audio cd's perfect to get them involved in the world of books (and asleep at night!). Would recommend :-). With thanks :-)
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on 3 February 2013
I loved this book, considering everything I just love the idea of a girl with an incredibly embarrassing family but she still loves them. If I think about I think everyone has this sort of family somewhere.
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on 6 August 2014
Yummy yummy yummy,Sundae's are epic and so are girls. so already this book is awesome. I enjoyed this book so much. even though cathy Cassidy is my personal favourite author, I have been disappointed with some of her books lately. but I take that backs after reading this book.
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on 8 January 2014
Book this book for my 12 year old daughter, as it was one of the only ones left that she had not read. She could not put it down and read it in about two days. Cathy Cassidy books are sometimes a bit near the mark but they let young people know what life can sometimes be like. Arrived really quickly and well packed. All in all a good purchase.
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