Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: South Beach Sizzle by Suzanne Weyn and Diana Gonzalez

I have a tween daughter who likes to read but isn't generally into the same books every other kiddo her age is reading. Vampires don't make her little heart go pit-a-pat. She's never been one for fantasy and book princesses (dressing as one herself as a small girl was another story entirely). She wants more reality but not those mean girl stories. Really what she wants is reality viewed comfortably through rose-colored glasses. She wants romance. I thought I'd pre-read a few books for her to see what she finds so very appealing. So this was the very first YA romance I've ever read, at least as far as I know. And I have to say that it was as cheesy and cringe-inducing as the Disney shows she's addicted to watching. But those are wildly popular too so what do I know anyway, old toad that I am.

Lula is starting college in the fall and she's convinced her mother to let her live with her father for her last summer before school starts. So she drives down to Miami with her gay best friend Jeff, discovers and forgives her father's immaturity, finds a job and an apartment, and falls for a guy who may or may not be trying to sabotage her in the local band competition. Lula's relationship with the gorgeous and distracting Enrique is completely predictable, from the doubts and tensions that pull them apart briefly to the expected denouement. And getting there didn't offer any surprises either. The character dialogue was flat and the characters themselves cliches. On the plus side, there aren't any adult situations to worry about for younger romance junkies. I didn't particularly enjoy the contrived plot and stilted writing but can't put up too many objections if my daughter wants to dip into this ultimately frothy and superficial read.

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