Tuesday 10 April 2012
TRAVEL MONTH REVIEW - 'Jessie Hearts NYC' , Keris Stainton (Orchard Books, 2011)
It was very refreshing to pick up a book (I say pick up a book, what I really mean is raise aloft my Kindle in all it's convenient glory) that isn't too laden with angst ridden drama and tearing-their-hair-out teens. Ok, Jessie.. does have a little bit of this, but this neat little twist on the classic New York love story is a generally sweet and happy affair, and all the better for it.
Told from the alternating perspectives of Jessie and Finn, both our progtagonists are likeable without straying into goody-two-shoes territory and mis-guided enough to make them ring true. Perfect YA main characters then. I particularly liked Finn. We've all been there, falling in love with someone we can't have and spending most of our time banging our head against a brick wall trying to figure out why we insist on staying in self-destruct mode...Sorry, bit too much overshare there. ANNNYWAY... Yes, Finn, loved him.
Jessie seemed remarkably well-adjusted for a girl with such an unconventional family set-up. Have to say, I never really warmed to her mother, Natalie, even towards the end, although I liked the fact the author has highlighted how, for some, nuturing does not come naturally. But some of her actions were a bit on the reprehensible side, so BOO to Natalie on the whole from me.
I adored the summer setting. When I think New York love story, and I automatically think romantic snowfall, crunching along the sidewalk, rugged up in snuggly winter gear, pretty, pretty, pretty. But the long, hot summer thing really worked for me here.
The pace of the writing was brisk and lively and there were no points where I felt the book drag. The only downside for me was that I hoped the story could have taken a few more risks and maybe have some snappier exchanges between the characters, but other than that, this is a great, light-hearted, refreshingly up beat read for those who get a bit teary when watching Sleepless in Seattle.
As much as I enjoyed reading about New York in the summer, I think I'll pass if/when I ever actually get the opportunity to go there myself. It will be a spring time sojourn methinks. Too sweaty for my liking. And I hope a visit to the Empire State Building lives up to these expectations and won't just be full of annoying tourists bumping into each other. But, yes, New York, our paths will cross one day, I can be sure of that.