When I say this book is horrific, I am not kidding. I don’t mean horrifying like Darren Shan horror-standards, nor do I mean horrific like the 50 Shades trilogy. When I use the term horrific, I mean horrifingly bad. I’ve never read anything like it. I downloaded it a while back onto my Kindle, as at the time it was free and I wanted a light read. It’s a teen book, supposedly for fans of Louise Rennison and Meg Cabot – I’m a fan of both and I don’t see how this garbage can be compared to anything written by them.
This is the book description:
“The last thing fifteen-year-old Flora Fontain wants to do is spend her summer vacation stuck in a tent with her overprotective parents and angst-ridden brother, especially when she should be in Europe with her best friend Jessie—sipping espresso, posing for cutesy tourist pics, and hunting for hot Italian (or French, or maybe even English) stud-muffins.
But since her parents trust her about as much as they trust a cat burglar at the moment, Flora has no choice but to suffer through the boyfriend-less summer of her discontent from the back of a rented SUV, until…
Fate tosses a sexy, sophisticated gypsy boy into her path, making Flora wonder if destiny might know best after all. That is until destiny screws up, big time. Because just as Flora falls head over heels, an unexpected turn of events threatens to land her in the slammer—or worse, separate her from the man of her dreams.”
So now onto my review -and yes, there will be spoilers, but I still stress that you read it so that you don’t make the mistake of buying this.
Let’s start off with the main character, Flora. She is the most moaning, whining, idiotic 15 year old character I’ve ever read about. At the end of the first page, she’s explaining how she feels about this family camping trip, and here’s her oh-so-eloquent way of doing it: “Even though I was more prepared to endure a brain tumor than two weeks of camping hell…” WHAT?! She’d rather suffer from – not ‘endure’, SUFFER – a brain tumour than spend two weeks camping with her family? That really got my blood boiling, and of course it’s the author to blame, not the character (I often find myself blaming the character for things like this), but by god I was furious reading that. Anyway, after that her family are driving off, nothing interesting happens until they stop at a service station. They have a meal – during which Flora insists on checking the fortunes of her family, all of which are more appealing than her “Bad luck and misfortune will infest your pathetic soul for all eternity.” – and then go off back to their car. Which is surrounded by what she describes as: ‘a caravan of hillbilly vagabonds had set up their battered trucks and pop-up campers all around our vehicle.’ Well isn’t she pleasant? So the family do they only thing they can, which is march through to their car. Just as Flora is about to climb into the car, she catches sight of ‘the most exquisite hillbilly boy staring at me from the bed of a rusty blue and silver pick up. Trust me, I do not say this lightly, but this was the most beautiful human being I had ever seen. Repeat, ever. His raven curls gently kissed his bronze forehead and perfectly framed his emotional steel-blue eyes.’ She then goes on to describe how he is ‘man tall’ and has such an amazing body. Of course, this is a guy she has NEVER MET BEFORE AND WILL NEVER SEE AGAIN that she’s describing – and what the hell are emotional steel-blue eyes anyway?!
But it gets worse. Just as they’re about to leave, Flora tells the reader this: ‘I wanted to say something. I wanted to tell the beautiful hillbilly boy he could have me, no questions asked. I wanted to run away with him. But I couldn’t do any of these things, because I was stuck wasting my life searching for a non-existent sea monster.’ And hey, maybe the fact that she was fifteen would mean that her parents might just want to stop her from doing all of those things. This is just the end of chapter two, so of course things have still to get a hell of a lot worse. So, moving on from chapter two, they have now arrived at the camping place. Flora has gone off to look around, and on her way back happens to see… None other than “the hillbilly boy of my dreams.” The two start chatting, but then Flora’s mum starts calling on her, wondering where she is. Mick – the name of the guy – asks if she’d like to do something later, she agrees and asks when, he suggests sunset, and she says – after thinking about how it would make a great story to tell the grandkids – “I love you. I mean, I’d love to.” Because, you know, proclaiming your love for a guy you have JUST met is a totally rational thing to do… Of course, she goes back to her tent for a nap, and sleep right past the time they were supposed to meet, and when she does get there, he’s gone. Ha, serves her right if you ask me. The next morning, she feigns ill and says she needs to go to the bathroom – she then sends her mum off to the shop to get her some Pepto and her dad is sent back to the tent to find a bra that was actually at home – just so that she can go and look for Mick. So she finds him and together they go off on a walk (this girl is really clever; going on a walk with a guy she met the day before when her parents don’t even know where she is…) and he starts pointing out this flower to her and they start talking about Mexico. Then Mick says the two of them should go to Mexico together. She doesn’t answer and instead changes the subject, though I think she sort of agrees later on.
Then it’s her birthday. From her brother, Will, she gets pepper spray – the ideal gift! – but stupidly, she doesn’t take it when she needs it. On the night of her birthday, after her and Mick were together, she’s fast asleep, when, at around 2am, she’s woken up by people trying to pull her out of her pod from the tent. She realises they’re Mick’s cousins, and they tell her that Mick has run off because he thought the two of them had broken up, so the cousins thought she’d be the best person to be able to talk to him and find him. Once she gets into their van, they drive off out of the campsite and stop at a store. There, they give Flora a boxed Blu-Ray disk player and tell her to take it inside and return it, which she does – although she has no receipt, but the woman is a very nice old woman who returns it anyway. When she’s back in the van, she is informed that she has actually just taken part in fraud. Mick’s cousins had bought the DVD player for $100 or so dollars and then got $300 dollars from returning it. They tell Flora that she’s now their “secret weapon” as no-one would suspect an innocent looking girl, and she’s the one who’s returning the dodgy stuff for money. She finds out from the cousins that Mick actually hasn’t run away, but instead of running off – she had the opportunity at least once – she sticks with them for this reason: ‘As crazy as this sounds, I wanted to impress Donny and Cal; I wanted them to like me. I guess I thought that if they like me, maybe Mick would keep liking me too. You know, the whole blood-is-thicker-than-water thing. I didn’t want to be the water; I wanted to be the blood.’
This girl needs to get her priorities sorted out…
Unsurprisingly, she gets arrested, but let off with a…something. She doesn’t see Mick again, but when they’re back home, a mysterious package arrives. Who could it be from? Oh, it’s Mick. Not a bomb, like the stupid girl thought, just a present from her boyfriend. And that’s the be all and end all, really. Unfortunately, there’s sequel.
This is not a book to be read. This is a book you endure. I really recommend that you DO NOT READ IT. Seriously, the love story of Twilight and the characters are looking to be a hell of a lot better than this load of utter rubbish.