BURNING BRIGHT by Sophie McKenzie

“In this second book in the series, following on from Falling Fast, four months have passed and River and Flynn’s romance is still going strong. River thinks Flynn has his anger under control, but when she discovers he has been getting into fights and is facing a terrible accusation at school, she starts to question Flynn’s honesty. Things come to a head at a family get together when River sees Flynn fly into one unprovoked rage too many. The consequences for both of them are devastating and threaten to tear them apart forever.”

This is, as mentioned in the book’s blurb above, the sequel to Falling Fast. I read both books in one day- they were short and relatively easy reads- because I have been literally book starved as of late and I was desperate to read something new! I guessdisappointed is too strong a word, because- as I mentioned in my review of Falling Fast– this kind of book might be right up some people’s street. It’s romantic, simple, and short, and it’s very normal. It’s about a teenager who falls in love with a violent guy. I mean, Flynn’s not violent toward River herself, but he’s violent to everyone else. So this follows on from Falling Fast, and Flynn’s been getting into fights and being accused of stealing iPads and all sorts of things. So during this big drama over who “stole” the iPad, River starts doubting Flynn, and then Flynn beats up his dad- who is the definition of the “evil parent”, so I get why he did it even though it was a bit extreme- and he and River are torn apart by his having to move away.

One character I like is River’s dad. He’s laid back. But even he disapproves of Flynn, understandably, and this is where River turns into a bit too much of a “typical” teenager for my liking. Overall- I preferred this book to the previous, because there was a little bit more to the plot, but really not my kind of series. Genre- romance. Age, like the previous one, around 13-14.

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FALLING FAST by Sophie McKenzie

“When River’s all-girls’ school joins up with the local boys’ school for a performance of Romeo and Juliet, River auditions for a part and finds herself smitten by Flynn, the boy playing Romeo. River believes in romantic love, and she can’t wait to experience it, but there’s something about Flynn River can’t quite work out, and as they spend more time together, she finds she’s still a long way from understanding – or trusting – him. A roller-coaster story of first love and all the ups and downs that entails.”

This was a bit of a chick flick, if I’m honest. There’s really no other way to say that. It was girly and romantic and not at all my kind of thing, but I’m going to try not to be biased! It was, in my opinion, not one of Sophie McKenzie’s better books. You read the blurb and you’re not really surprised when you read the book itself…there’s not really a massive plot twist that really grips you. There’s River, and her two friends Emmi and Grace, and they audition for Romeo and Juliet- the girl parts, of course. Grace is shy-and-pretty, Emmi is bold-and-gorgeous, and River is River- which is to say, I-don’t-think-I’m-pretty-but-the-boy-I-like-finds-me-gorgeous. Flynn has not so much of a “secret” as a different lifestyle to the rest. There is one thing about Flynn, though, and that’s his personality. He’s moody and strange and yet she falls for him anyway.

It’s a story I’m not massively fond of, mainly because it’s not my type of genre. But it’s worth a read if you enjoy romance. It’s quite short and I have to say this for it- it’s quite ‘different’. Age, I’d say around 13-14.

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