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Grade 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Colby Cavendish's plans are tossed overboard when her parents decide she should spend the summer with her aunt on a remote Greek island. They are jeopardizing her hard-won spot as ultracool Amanda's "new best friend," and now that she's hooked up with hottie Levi Bonham, how is she supposed to hang on to him? Crazy Aunt Tally, who talks to her plants and sells handmade jewelry, doesn't have a cell phone, TV, or Internet access. Colby's feelings and experiences are relayed through clever, but sometimes typographically confusing, emails, journal entries, letters, postcards, and a "Cruel Summer" blog. (The island has an Internet café.) The story is one of understandable teen frustration and resentment: adults don't make sense to her, and she's insecure about her new social status. She's far away from the usual connections, electronic and otherwise, that she and many comfortably middle-class, modern American teens rely on. An islander, Yannis, complicates her feelings for Levi, and Colby finds herself becoming involved, against her will, in the rhythms and lifestyle of this charming, remote place. The protagonist's venting and observations are alternately whiny, wistful, strident, and hilarious. Despite typical teen self-obsession, Colby is likable and ultimately well intentioned. As she deals with her feelings, she blunders her way rather charmingly into a new maturity.—Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
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I loved this book. It was written in e-mails, letters, Colby's blog, and by Colby's diary. I usually don't like books like this with all the mixed letters and e-mails and stuff,... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Anna LaGrois
My daughter did not like the "journal-format" that the book was written in. Here are seven more words; blah, blahPublished 20 months ago by KJ. Franklin
The story line is quite predictable as you read, but cute. My biggest complaint is the main character is bratty and selfish though just about the entire book! Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Hellen
Its a fun and easy read, not a great work of literature its what you expect it to be but it has depth and the characters are likable.Published on June 26, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I was pleasantly surprised with this book! I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. For me, it was a little tough getting into because Colby (the main character) seemed whiny... Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by PaigeM.
This book I thought was very interesting. Alyson Noel took a regular teen DRAMA plot and turned it into something else. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Shoe lover16
It's a nice summer book to read and has great morals and stuff. I love how ALyson puts herself into her stories like art and the places she's been and such.Published on September 27, 2012 by S. Locke
I liked this book. It was cute and I liked how the main character changed over the course of the story. It was nice to watch the main character mature. Nice read.Published on December 27, 2011 by dntnnedtoknow
Colby Cavendish, a former dork, is slowly moving up her school's popularity ladder. She recently befriended resident chief popular girl, which resulted in her ditching her former... Read morePublished on October 2, 2011 by Confessions of a Book Addict