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.
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!
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!