Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Review: Paradise City by CJ Duggan

Paradise City is an Aussie YA/NA romance filled with sand, surf, school and sexy shennanignas. And some very hot boys. Seventeen year old Lexie Atkinson has grown up in a small outback town, but her parents have decided to send her to Paradise City (basically a warmer and more surfed up version of Melbourne's St Kilda,) to finish her education. Living with her Aunt and Uncle, she has to put up with her nasty cousin Amanda and adapt to high school life. When Lexie meets sexy bad boy Luke Ballentine, sparks soon begin to fly ...

This novel is a great escapist read that brought back many memories of high school. Ahh, all the little unspoken protocols, the horrible ways that teenagers treat one another in a effort to be cool, and the thrill of buying chips and flavoured milk from the school canteen. (In the book, I notice, they bought Samboy chips and Big M milk. At my school, we always had Smiths crisps and Farmers Union Iced coffee. Then again, I suppose I did attend high school in South Australia and not Victoria.) There are detentions, scenes where Lexie and Amanda sneak out of their bedroom windows to meet boys and some (predictable) romantic misunderstandings. While the story is light and fluffy fun as it is, there is one thing about the book that I found greatly disappointing.

Lexie is never shown to have any interests outside of her relationship with Ballentine.

Lexie and Amanda follow the boys around. They watch them surf. They fetch the boys food from the canteen. And, sadly, they are never shown to have any interests apart from the boys. The pair are perfect little Stepford Wives in the making, reading to sacrifice themselves and to serve the boys. And you know what? That sucks. That sucks massively. I know that this book is supposed to be light reading, with a good old dash of wish fulfilment in there as well, and I know that there is nothing wrong with any of that--the book doesn't claim to be any more than that, but still it is disappointing.

A light and sexy escapist read, with very little in the way of character development.