Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.com
Colby Cavendish has finally made it into the in crowd! She worked hard to gain Amanda's favor and now she's her new best friend. She's practically guaranteed the best Senior year ever! As an added bonus, Levi Bonham, the hottest guy in school, has suddenly become very interested in Colby! So interested that she's actually sitting right next to him on the couch at Amanda's house.
Okay, so Colby's just a little nervous that it's their first date...well, not even really a date. She's alone downstairs kissing Levi like she's always dreamed, like they'd been dating for forever, while Amanda is upstairs in her room with her guy. And Colby can't stop thinking about her curfew, which, by the way, passed, like, two hours ago. But at least she's stopped feeling guilty about dumping her former best friend, Natalie. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to progress up the social ladder. It's just part of life. Right?
Colby's parents are in the middle of a messy, angry divorce. Turns out they were so engrossed in their fight of the night, that they didn't even know Colby missed her curfew. It seems they barely remember they have a daughter, whose life they are royally screwing up. Then Colby finds out they have plans for her summer that don't include hitting the malls and becoming fully entrenched in her new social order.
They are sending her to Greece. No, not Athens. A tiny little island called Tinos. No amount of ranting, reasoning, pleading, or even crying will change their mind. Colby boards the plane bound for three months with Crazy Aunt Tally and no TV, no computer, no Wi-Fi. Nothing. How is she supposed to maintain her new social status? What if Colby gets replaced by a new Amanda Wanna-Be?
But soon things are looking up. First, there's Yannis, this really cute Greek guy who's living on Tinos! And second? She found an Internet cafÃ©! Score! She is alive again! Maybe she can ignore the parent wars. But why was Yannis with Marie? And should she tell him that she's going to island hop to Mykonos to meet Levi, who's on a cruise to Greece? And her parents are going to sell the house as part of the divorce settlement? She might be spending her Senior year in Arizona?
Teen girls will totally love CRUEL SUMMER by Alyson NoÃ«l. The story is told using letters home, the journal her mother gave her, "Colby's Journal For Desperate Times...," and her new blog. The range of emotions, devastating lows to breathtaking highs, and the intense feeling that everything affects her is so authentic. The reader will relate to her habit of over-thinking every comment, gesture, or word of an email, and the insecurity she feels around Yannis. I loved this book and totally devoured it. For this reason, I give it five stars!