Thursday, 25 April 2013

Book Review: Summers Dream by Cathy Cassidy


Summer has always dreamed of dancing, and when a place at ballet school comes up, she wants it so badly it hurts.

Middle school ends and the holidays begin, but unlike her sisters, Summer has no time for lazy days and sunny beach parties. The audition becomes her obsession, and things start spiralling out of control . . .

The more Summer tries to find perfection, the more lost she becomes. Will she realise - with the help of the boy who wants more than friendship - that dreams come in all shapes and sizes?


This is the third instalment in the Chocolate Box Girls series by Cathy Cassidy. This series was recommended to me by my younger sister. 

I really enjoy the way these novels are told from the perspectives of the various sisters in the Tanberry household. In this novel we get to read the story from the point of view of Summer Tanberry, the ballet mad, twin sister of Skye. I really enjoyed reading the story from Summers point of view as in the previous novel, Marshmallow Skye, I thought she came across as a little self-absorbed and selfish at times. I really felt my opinions of her develop in this novel as I was proved wrong. I really thought the character of Summer was a like able character. She was kind, focused and always thinking of her sister Skye. Although at times I felt a little frustrated with her as she made a few bad decisions in this novel, especially when it came to healthy eating and trusting her friends. 
Another aspect of these novels I enjoy, is that even though we have already read novels from Cherry and Skye's perspectives in the series, they are not forgotten and we get to see their stories continue to unfold in the background of another sisters. I really liked seeing more of Cherry in this novel and of her relationship with Shay. Skye's story was one of my favourites and I was really happy to see her working on the film set and her interact with Finch in the novel. Honey is also a character I am conflicted about. I like and dislike her in equal amounts. She can be selfish and irritating but she can also have her caring moments. 
This novel dealt with the really dark and serious issue of eating disorders. Summer develops anorexia as a result of pressure to "look like a ballerina" or to be as slim as the image of ballerinas that she has in her mind. It was very sad to read about her downward spiral with the anorexia and also very harrowing to read the effect it was having on her body, mind and relationships with others as it became worse. I think that Cathy Cassidy handled the theme of eating disorders and anorexia very well in this novel. She did not glorify the eating disorder but showed the effects and causes of it in a very honest light as to be informative to readers. I really thought that it was well done as if an author tip-toes around a topic, especially one such as anorexia which is so common in today's society, it does not serve any purpose in showing the reader the dangers of such a disease. There were many contact lines to help young people with eating worries and disorders in the back of the novel which I hope let readers know that there is support out there, all you have to do is take the first step. 
Overall this book was the most powerful of the series, mainly for its serious message and tactful handling of it. I cannot wait to receive the next book, Coco Caramel, which is to be released in the following months. 

Five Star novel 
* * * * * 

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