Review Blog

Nov 17 2015

Sun kissed by Jenny McLachlan

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Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408856116
(Age: Upper primary - lower secondary) Themes: love, friendship, fitness, Sweden, challenges, resilience, humour. 15 year old Kat, after an unfortunate incident involving her older sister's ex-boyfriend, is sent to spend the summer holidays with her aunt in Sweden. Devastated at leaving her best friends behind, Kat promises to keep in constant communication with them and travels, alone for the first time, to Stockholm, where there is the anticipation of some serious shopping opportunities. However, on arrival eccentric Aunt Frida whisks her off to a remote island to a cabin without power and no phone signal. Once on the island Kat is free to roam, meeting Nanna and her twin who are training for the island's marathon challenge 'Tuff Troll' involving a 5km run, a 1km swim and a 1km kayak. Things look up when Kat meets Leo and spends a wonderful day alone with him, capped off with a thrilling cliff jump into deep water. When Leo's girlfriend turns up Kat is hurt and confused but vows not to let them spoil her stay. She tells them she and her friend are entering the competition and the story unfolds from there. This is the third in the Ladybirds series, following the group of friends negotiating the early teen years with humour as they find out who they are and what is important in their lives. Romance is there but friendship, discovering inner strengths and resilience are more central and in this volume Kat explores some of her Swedish heritage and discovers the power of physical competition in developing self-awareness and inner strength.
This playful look at girls on the brink of independence experiencing lots of 'firsts' in life will appeal to 'Chic Lit' lovers from upper primary to lower secondary.
The author's website is here.
Sue Speck

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