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Breathless by Jennifer Niven. Pub. Penguin Books, 2020.

December 9, 2020 Comments off

I lingered over this romance novel and was sorry when I finished it. I can’t possibly replicate the passion and feeling of this novel in a review except to say “first love will leave you breathless”.

Claudine , (Claude) Henry is as happy as she can be. She lives in small town Ohio, her parents are creative, she is 18 years old and still a virgin and looks forward to when her virginity has gone. She has a fantasy about the boy she wants to take her virginity but he is aloof and unaware of her feelings.

Everything she feels is shared with her best friend Saz. The phone, text and skype to each other all the time. Their discussions on virginity are at times hilarious. Saz is lesbian but this has nothing to do with their relationship. The two plan to do a road trip in summer before both go to college in separate states but they vow that their relationship will be forever.

Then the Sh*t hits the fan. Claude’s father tells her that he is breaking up with her mother and there is nobody else. Is this true? Lauren the mother takes Claude away under protest to a family home on an island off the coast of Georgia with a history that is intriguing.

On the island Claude meets Jeremiah a boy with a lot of charm but a disturbing past. They fall in love over the next 32 days. He is so beautiful it hurts her heart. She can walk the beaches of the island and it is a rare person you can be silent with. Will he take her virginity? Jeremiah warns her not to fall in love with him and she gives him the same warning but will both be able to do this? read it and find out.

Some lovely descriptions of the island and the feelings Jeremiah and Claude have for each other. I enjoyed the book and so will you. As good a romance as you are going to get.

A Trio of Sophies by Eileen Merriman.

March 2, 2020 Comments off

trioA Trio of Sophies by Eileen Merriman. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2020.

This is a page turner make no bones about that. It is about friendship between three girls, all called Sophie, all 16 years old, all at the same school and what happens when boyfriends and sexual relations enter their lives.

Sophie A is very attractive with hair that doesn’t go frizzy on the most humid of Auckland days. Sophie T is sporty but not so academically gifted as the other two, and Sophie M is academically gifted and wants to become a forensic scientist. They have been friends since they were 9 years old but the hormones are buzzing around and this is going to shatter all their lives.

During the summer holidays Sophie M, who narrates this story, falls while running at Muriwai and is tended to by James Bacon. He tells her he is 19 and their romance blossoms with him being very much the leader and Sophie a willing participant. It is a dream come true for her and she is in love. She tells no-one but he is not being honest.

First day back at school is a massive surprise and things start deteriorating between Sophie and James. To make things worse Sophie A, the attractive one goes missing. I can tell you no more but it is riveting.

Structured in 3 parts the first of which takes up 75% of the book and the last two deal with the aftermath of what has occurred. What makes it a page turner is that it is written in diary form by Sophie M and there are hooks that make you keep reading. Also Sophie knows something that no-one else does but is it ever resolved. Read it and find out.

Teenage girls will love it, plenty of first love experiences, feelings and doubts and a male character who is as devious as a ferret. Much to enjoy in this novel. Other titles by the same author are reviewed elsewhere on this blog.

Best  New Zealand YA novel of the year so far. Don’t miss it you will kick yourself if you do. The ending will make you think. Classy cover.