Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones by Susie Day

Pages- 177
Published by Scholastic in August 2012

I'm carrying my birthday cake through Penkerry fairground when I hear the first scream. 
There's screaming all around me obviously. It trails above my head as the Whirler Twirler spins, fighting with chopped-up pop songs. It crashes through the doors of the Ghost Train. Pennkerry people like being frightened.


Goodreads Summary

On her thirteenth birthday, Blue makes a desperate wish. To be transformed into a cool, confident teenager. Enter Red, appearing from nowhere like a wacky fairy godmother. She's only visible to Blue - in fact, she IS Blue, but a year older. With Red by her side to guide her, Blue can avoid all the gruesome embarrassments! But her future self causes a heap of crazy trouble - and there are dark secrets she's not telling...
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I have never ready a book by Susie Day before and I now feel I should kick myself over it. I feel like I am really late to a great party! 
Susie Day is a very descriptive writer who captures the feel of the Great British seaside vacation with clarity and nostalgia. I felt like my senses had been taken hostage, as I drooled at the imaginary smell of fish and chips on the beach and longed for a donut. I could visualise every part of the story with my senses kicking into over drive.
The book begins with a very dramatic scene that leaves you a little panicky. I honestly didn't know which way the story was about to go. I then sat wondering why the scene had been  included, and it wasn't until half way through the book that I realised it was pivotal to the plot. 
I loved Bluebell and her family, because I felt like I knew them. They were bits and pieces of many families I know and I was completely at home in their presence. Yet there was also a uniqueness and quirkiness to their personalities. Imagine Bluebell's mum; heavily pregnant and still drumming in a rock band. Fantastic! Let no woman feel unable to conquer the world and have a baby at the same time! 
I adored the budding relationship between Tiger and her new girlfriend, Caitlin. It was just beautiful to watch Tiger change and grow up as she embraced her new found love. It was also sweet to watch Bluebell experience her first kiss with Merlin. This relationship really made me sigh with happiness, as I did know someone very similar to Merlin when I was younger; it brought back happy memories.
I did feel the book should come with some kind of warning, because you will need tissues by the end of it. I had a feeling half way through the book that I might not want to read the ending, yet I was even more devastated when I got there and realised it wasn't the ending I had forseen. This book reminded me in parts  of  films such as Big, Back To The Future and 16 Wishes.  It was all of those films and yet it was none of them, because it really was unique in itself.
This book is simply gorgeous; an innocent coming of age story that carries you on an emotional journey. The writing is beautiful yet poignant, engaging yet very real. A perfect summer read.
If you haven't gathered yet from this review, I really really loved this book. It is so realistic and British yet wearing a generous layer of magical realism. Such a wonderful combination.  I honestly can't wait to read more books by Susie Day.

4 comments:

  1. I really want to read this one. I've not read any of Susie Day's before either, but this one's really got my attention. Think my 13yo would love it too.

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  2. awesome review!! I cant wait to read this one, it sounds amazing!! :)

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  3. I have read this book and the ending is terrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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