Saturday, April 17, 2010
Review: Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter
Title: Swoon at Your Own Risk
Author: Sydney Salter
Keywords: Friendship, Dating, Love, Identity
Description (from GoodReads):
It’s the summer before senior year and Polly Martin has sworn off boys. Who needs the hurt and confusion? Five recent breakups have left her with an unnatural knowledge of NASCAR, the ultimate hiker’s outfit, a student council position, the sixth highest score on the Donkey Kong machine at the mall, and a summer job at Wild Waves with ex #2 Sawyer Holmes.
Success seems a sure thing when Polly’s grandmother, the syndicated advice columnist, Miss Swoon, moves in for the summer. Polly almost doesn’t mind sharing a room with her little sister, Grace. Think of all the great advice she’ll get!
Everything is going according to plan except... Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy septuagenarian! And then there’s Xander Cooper. If only he wouldn’t keep showing up at Wild Waves with his adorable cousins every afternoon — and what is he writing in that little notebook?
No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for the lessons she learns when she goes on a group camping trip (with three too many ex-boyfriends). Polly is forced to see people for who they are — a blend of good and bad qualities that can’t be reduced to a list or a snappy answer in a Miss Swoon column.
SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK is a perfect warm weather read, filled with cute boys and a feisty heroine.
I wasn't sure if I would really connect with or like Polly, but I was a bit attached to her by the end of the novel. She was spunky, sarcastic, and witty! She begins the novel confused and prickly, but she really grows throughout the novel. She reminds me, in ways, of Veronica Mars: tough as nails, but really just a marshmallow on the inside.
I'm all for fluffy beach reads, so characterizing Swoon as such wouldn't really be insulting in my mind, but I must say that this novel is on a higher level than most beach reads. It has the cute boys and predictable love story, but Polly has more depth than many female leads in fluffy novels. The fact that Polly's main issue was the fear of being without at boyfriend and that she was constantly adopting the hobby of her current beau was extremely realistic - which made it even funnier and Polly all the more easy to relate to.
And oh my gosh: Xander. He was so unbelievably adorable. It was definitely obvious from the beginning of the novel that Xander is the perfect guy for Polly but in her confused and boy phobic state there would be a bit of a journey to her realization of this fact. I loved the tension and buildup to this point. Xander definitely joins the ranks of my favorite book boys! (Yay!)
I will definitely be reading MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS, Salter's debut novel, sometime soon! I think I've found a new author to add to my favorites.
I think that the cover is really cute; I like that the girl is cautiously testing the water. I don't really like the guy in the background though.... It just looks awkward to me. I don't know what would be better there, but it doesn't mesh for me.