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Monday, 26 July 2010

Review: Star Crossed [Summer Love Mondays 1]

Welcome to the first post of my new seasonal feature in honour of my first wedding anniversary. On July 26th me and hubby will have been married for a whole year. I guess you could say I feel I'm feeling a little romantic. Each Monday between now and August 30th I will be reviewing a YA title that embodies the theme of summer romance. There may also be some fun extras in each post.
Today's Summer Love Monday features Star Crossed the first book in the Sweethearts series by Jo Cotterill.
Release date: 27th May 2010
Target audience: 10+
Star Crossed is a story of first love and friendship. Fliss and her friends Mari and Victoria have enrolled in a summer theatre company and the play they will perform at the end of the summer is Romeo and Juliet. Fliss is an adorable character who is extraordinarily shy. Mari is a very confident girl who doesn't know when to hold her tongue. Victoria is a little more sensitive and also I think a little ditsy. They are all super excited to be in the play but none more so than Fliss who loves Romeo and Juliet and has read it many times. Mari and Victoria encourage Fliss to audition for the part of Juliet. It is her dream role but she doesn't really feel confident enough to put herself forward. Especially when the pushy and melodramatic Samantha is determined to bag herself the best role whatever the consequences. Fliss avoids conflict at all costs. But is she willing to let the chance to audition for the play's leading lady pass her by?

Fliss's shyness extends beyond avoiding conflict and not standing up for herself. It also stops her from speaking to the boy that makes her heart flutter and her cheeks blush. Tom Mayerling is a boy that all the girls think is handsome. Unfortunately, that includes the brash Samantha and she is ready to put her paws all over him and brand him with a red hot iron stating that he is her property.
Star Crossed is a wonderful sweet novel for tween readers. It is a fun and engaging read which explores a painfully shy character. For girls who are about to step over the threshold of looking at a boy and seeing a boy to looking at a boy and seeing a heart-fluttering potential boyfriend, this is the perfect story. The pace moved rapidly through the scenes both in terms of the novel and the play itself. I did feel the dialogue may have been a bit too careful. Yes this is for younger readers but I think they are much more streetwise than the author portrayed at times. However, that does mean that you could buy this book for a friend's daughter and not worry about inappropriate content.
Summer in this novel is decidedly English. It rains. There is stormy weather. But there are also sunny days where the girls lie back and enjoy ice cream. The romance was heart-warming and had some beautifully atmospheric and dramatic moments.
Overall, an entertaining story about first love, growing into your own skin and friendship. Fun and swiftly paced, I think this will appeal to fans of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series. This is a book I would have been besotted with at the age of eleven.
Thank you to Random House for sending me the book to review.
And today's fun little extra...
Jo Cotterill's Top 5 Things to Love about Summer

1. Strawberries and cream

2. Flowers in my garden

3. Reading in a hammock

4. Wimbledon (I've never been but I love watching it on TV!)

5. Being able to throw on three items of clothing and be ready to go out!

Thanks Jo!

Followers, Friends, Bloggers!
I need one more teen summer romance book to review for this feature so I would love to see some ideas in the comments. An oldie but a goodie would be perfect!


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Aw, congratulations on your first wedding anniversary, yay!

This books sounds so romantic and sweet, a perfect summer read. I love summer reads and I love to read about love during the summer, so this one seems perfect for me.

Katherine Roberts said...

Oh yes, many congratulations Becky! Isn't the first one paper? In which case a romantic book to read seems just right...

Jo Cotterill writes teenage fiction under another name and very much deserves the popular success she is having with this series.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

What an adorable idea.

Congrats on your anniversary :)

Lauren said...

Happy Anniversary, Becky! This is so cute, and I love the way you've described Star Crossed.

brizmus said...

Happy Anniversary! How exciting for yoU!
And what a fun feature to be having to celebrate. I loved the author's top 5 things to love about summer at the end.

what about the sisterhood of the traveling pants? I'm sure you've read it, and it really is about a great summer romance (at least I thought so). But then, it's so well known - maybe something less popular. I'll be thinking.
I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with.

asamum said...

Aww Happy Anniversary :D
Lovely review thank you - I think my 9 year old would like this one :D

Becky said...

Thanks to everyone for the Anniversary congrats! We had two days at the beach and it was wonderful. I hope this is the first of many happy years of married life.

Irena, this is definitely perfect for summer.

Katherine, I did not know Jo writes under another name. I'm intrigued...?

Juju, thanks! I'm glad you like it.

Lauren, I remember you reviewing this. I remember you disliked the mother. I completely understood why.

Brizmus, interesting idea. I do have The Summer That Changed Everything but I wasn't sure if it had enough romance. I'll look up Sisterhood. I haven't read it.

Emma, yes perfect for a nine year old. Hope she enjoys it!

Miriam Halahmy said...

Mazeltov Becky and what a lovely way to mark thhe anniversary. Good to see a review of Jo's book and wishing her all the best with the series. A tasty review.

Christina/Book Addict said...

Yay! I love this new feature and the heading with your wedding photo. It is too cute. Happy Anniversary!

Have you read The Summer I Turned Pretty? I love that book and it might be perfect for your new feature.

Caroline said...

I know I am late but Happy Anniversary Becky, may you have many more happy years ahead!!
This book sounds adorable! I like the shyness of Fliss, it must be insanely "awww" during the whole book :)
I would suggest Jane Austen my dear, because some don't go farther than "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" and it's a shame :)

Becky said...

Miriam, thank you. I loved being married. Tasty review...hey that's a new one. I like it!!

Christina, I have a copy of TSITP and it is on the list for this feature :-) Thanks. Glad you like the photo LOL

Caroline, Yes you have hit the nail on the head. It is just so sweet. I adore Jane Austen but I'm not sure her romances take place in summer?