Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones by Susie Day reviewed by Lynda Waterhouse

During your teenage years you are evolving faster than the speed of light. Each year brings about massive changes, both physical and emotional. Life is a rollercoaster ride with intense ups and gut wrenching downs. You only appreciate the magic of this fairground ride later on when life is more predictable and humdrum.
On her thirteenth birthday Bluebell Jones wishes for someone to rescue her. She is tried of being ‘boring Bluebell Jones: the shy girl with the practical ponytail who gets her homework in on time and never breaks the rules.’  Red, her fourteen year old self complete with boobs and dyed red hair, comes back through time and re-joins Blue, short for Bluebell, and her family on their Welsh holiday.
The Jones family - Mum (and Peanut), Dad and older sister Tiger - were a delight to read about. Mum and Dad are part of a fifties band Joanie and the Whales who are booked in to perform on Penkerry Pier Pavilion every Friday and Saturday night. Tiger is looking for love again after a messy break up with a girlfriend that nobody liked. Susie Day depicts the Jones’ with wit and humour and lots of allusions to food from burnt toast to Ben and Jerry’s which I always find satisfying in a story.
With Red’s support Blue begins to make friends. She even finds herself flirting with the mysterious Merlin.
But there is an unsettling question at the warm heart of this story. Why has Red come back?
‘What’s in our future that made her wish herself back here?
There is heartbreak on the road ahead.
Susie Day has the rare talent to take us along this bumpy road.
The twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones is published by Scholastic
ISBN 978-1-407120-84-3


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