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young adult book reviews & more

South Beach by Aimee Friedman

South BeachSpring break is approaching and neither Alexa St. Laurent not her former best friend Holly Jacobson have plans. For Holly, this is nothing new since her super strict parents rarely let her go anywhere, but for Alexa, this is a complete and utter social disaster. Never one to admit defeat, Alexa concocts a plan with Holly, and before they know it, they’re off to South Beach in Florida. Rooming together is a little awkward since the girls are so different. Alexa, a partier by nature, is afraid shy Holly will put a damper on her wild plans while Holly, intimidated by Alexa’s clothes, makeup, and attitude, just want to reconnect with her childhood friend—and crush—Diego. Things go along relatively smoothly until Alexa sets her sights on none other than Diego. South Beach is about to see a lot more drama.

South Beach is the perfect guilty pleasure read for any spring or summer vacation. Filled with hot beaches, dance clubs, gorgeous boys, and drama, this story is sure to keep any girl interested. Even though there is plenty of drinking and other sticky situations, South Beach does not come off as a trashy read, and this, I believe, is all due to the realistic characters. Alexa is certainly the less inhibited of the two girls but even with her selfish actions and sometimes nasty personality, she’s hard to completely dislike and can still be sympathized with. Holly is a genuinely sweet and innocent girl most readers will be able to relate to. Her character experiences growth into being more independent, which readers will cheer for. I commend Friedman for creating such an interesting and enjoyable read of friendship and fun.

South Beach will be enjoyed by those who also liked Summer Boys and Summer Girls, both by Hailey Abbott, and Faking 19 by Alyson Noël.

Rating: 3.5

Review copy from publisher Scholastic

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Danmark said...

I am an English teacher, so I feel qualified to say that this book is a must-read for adolescent women. It not only captures the exhilirating sense of freedom of being on vacation away from one's parents, but it also plumbs the depths of relationships between friends.

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