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young adult book reviews & more

Cruel Summer by Alyson Noël

Cruel SummerColbie Cavendish is looking forward to a fun summer spenet partying with her new (and über-popular) circle of friends. Unfortunately, her fighting parents decide to send her to a tiny Greek island no one’s ever heard of to stay with her crazy aunt Tally. This is practically unforgivable to Colbie since she’ll only have minimal contact with her new friends (email) and is worried they’ll forget her. But when Colbie finally takes a break from being depressed about her vacation when she spends mostly in an Internet café, she realizes that maybe she should be out living instead of mourning all the changes to her old life. And that’s when she meets Yannis, a gorgeous Greek guy who’s just as interested in her as she is in him. It seems Colbie’s vacation isn’t as miserable as she thought it would be; it changes her perspective on her entire life.

I really enjoyed Alyson Noël’s writing in her other novels that I’ve read, Faking 19 and Saving Zoë, and Cruel Summer was no different. While the plot isn’t fast-paced and exciting, it’s the well-developed characters that really caught my attention, though in this case, Colbie was the only well-developed character as the story was told from her point-of-view. Alyson Noël has a subtle way of making her stories much deeper and more meaningful than they may appear on the surface, and this makes them seem real. For example, Colbie is initially portrayed as a whiny and insecure girl, but as her vacation progresses, she starts to appreciate or at least accept what she has in life. I also liked how romance was incorporated into Colbie’s story, because she really deserved Yannis in the midst of all her other problems. In all, Cruel Summer was a very enjoyable story and, despite the cover, much better than just a beach read.

In a strange way, although none of her novels rank very high among my favorites, Alyson Noël is one of my favorite authors. It’s not just because she’s an Orange County resident like me and often writes about that setting; Alyson Noël just has a really great writing style. I definitely recommend Cruel Summer as well as her other novels that I’ve read, Faking 19 and Saving Zoë. I also look forward to reading Art Geeks and Prom Queens and Kiss & Blog sometime in the future.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from publisher St. Martin's Griffin through LibraryThing Early Reviewers

22 munch(es) :

Booked Books said...

Interesting. I'm an Orange County resident too...

Anyway, awesome review. (= I actually signed up for this for LT early reviewers too, but I didn't get it.

Book Chic said...

I loved this book too! You're right- it's not exactly the most exciting story, but Colby's voice really pulled me along. Great review!!

keri mikulski :) said...

Love Alyson Noel's books. :) Heard her new one, EVERMORE is amazing. :)

sweetmelissa818 said...

I LOVE this cover and always imagine that it's me!

TheBookworm said...

I entered to win this on Books by Their Cover, and fingers crossed I do win it. I'm really looking forward to Evermore's release in the near future.

Amanda said...

I have 2 Alyson Noel books in my TBR pile. I am really wanting to read them.

Shalonda said...

Why have I not already read this? I enjoy Alyson's books, in fact Art Geeks and Prom Queens is one of my favorite books ever!

Liviania said...

I loved this one. Colbie's a great narrator.

Brooke Reviews said...

I usually feel that a story doesn't have to be exciting to pull you in. It's all about the characters and emotions. :D Great review!

katayoun said...

interesting and i liked "Saving Zoë" and also the other book you've mentioned "art geeks and prom queens" has a lovely title!

tynlyd said...

Great review, but I don't really like slow moving plots.

donnas said...

Great review. Stories where the characters grow up and find themselves are usually good reads.

Mandy said...

Wow, if my parents did that I'd be both mad and happy. Sounds really good and I love the cover. :)
I think I'll add it to my reading list.

Mitzy said...

I've really been wanting to read Faking 19 (since like two years ago I think), but haven't been able to find it at any of my libraries! I may just have to give in and buy it ;-). This book caught my attention as well!

Genevieve said...

Ah! That sounds really good! Plus I have this thing about Greek Islands, my dad and I spent 3.5 weeks one spring/summer traveling all over a bunch of Greek Islands.

cosmicdustbella said...

I wish my parents would send me to the Greek Islands, or even had the means to. Looks like a good book though!
lizzieland@optonline.net

Korianne said...

I really want this book! I tried to get it on LT when it was up for an ARC, but I didn't get any that month. I have a friend who got it though and plans to send it to me, but I hate waiting! (Not that it really would have a chance in my TBR pile)

Elizabeth said...

I kind of know what you mean about having a favorite author, none of whose books are among your favorites. It's sort of how I feel about M.T. Anderson, or John Green.

Julie K said...

I've never read an Alyson Noel book, but I keep adding them to my to-read list. Maybe I'll start with this one.

Ann said...

This sounds like something I could really enjoy reading!

Michelle Kuo said...

I'm definitely going to read some Alyson Noel books now. You make them sound so well-written!

Paradox said...

It takes place on a Greek island!!! I want to read it, especially since I discovered it at about the same time as I read Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs.

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