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Love and Cola Wars Paperback – April 14, 2014
...an intriguing little story that at first aroused my strong suspicions but turned out to be more than I expected. Or, at the least, I saw more in it than I expected to. Light, fun and entertaining with a thread of a lesson if you seek it out. ***** Rob Slaven, Top 500 Amazon Reviewer
About the Author
Heidi Loney lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Before beginning her writing career, Heidi studied theatre at Ryerson University and worked as a costumer in many of Toronto's theatres. She spends much of her time blogging, drinking coffee and crafting, not necessarily in that order.
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Vincente is Pepsi and Coco is… Coca Cola! She’s popular, rich, and a nice chick. Vincente is a handsome, from the wrong side, and has a thing for fencing. After a variety of close encounters and fist fighting, fencing duals, and generally hatred between Pepsi and Cola, Vincente finds Coco at her father’s huge yearly bash. Her father is trying to pair Coco with a sleazy guy, which Vincente mistakes for a real suitor. Vincente and buddy are tossed out of the party and drunk; Vincente drunk calls/texts Coco and ends up hooking up with a sleazy version of Coco’s suitor. Just when the reader thinks they might drown in teen angst and misunderstanding, the two love birds find a way through fencing duals, bloody fist fights, lies, and teenage hormones and jealously to be together.
This was a satirical (as the book blurb will tell readers) young adult romance. Easy to read and pick up later, it’s an ideal beach read for the younger set who need a tamer romance which a nod toward the possibly franchised future.
To begin, this is a young adult novel so my criteria for judgement are different than I would tend to apply to an adult novel. The first question to be answered is whether this book contains anything inappropriate for the target audience. On this account, the book is acceptable. There is some mild reference to sex but the characters respond in a realistic and appropriate manner when the topic arises. There's little of a violent nature and no use of drugs though there is reference to alcohol and attempts to gain such before legal age. There is also a fair amount of sneaking about and lying to adults but this is far from unusual in any book featuring children.
The second question is whether or not there's anything positive in this book that I would want my kids to read. On the surface this is a modernized Romeo and Juliet with all the usual trappings of young love and obsession. Taken completely at face value the whole thing is rather inane and vapid but there's a strong undercurrent that's worth paying attention to. Avoiding spoilers, in this fictional world everything is sponsored from Coke and Pepsi High School to Microsoft University and these affiliations divide the world in a very strict manner. These rigid commercial castes, if you will, are a potent illustration of our own society's stratified structure. I have no idea if any of this was intentional on the part of the author but I was struck by the way this sociological lesson was presented in a vivid and relateable manner.
The last question I ask is whether the young reader will be entertained. I would have to say that's a strong possibility among teenage girls. This is an upbeat view of the life of a teenager in love from the inside that's just modern enough that the readers might see themselves in the main character. I do have my concerns about whether the theme of corporate sponsorship will make these readers turn away since it does at times come across as almost silly, but it's worth a shot.
In summary, an intriguing little story that at first aroused my strong suspicions but turned out to be more than I expected. Or, at the least, I saw more in it than I expected to. Light, fun and entertaining with a thread of a lesson if you seek it out.
The nice time doesn't last long, Coco's dad comes to get her and starts asking about the guy she was talking to. So already he must know who the guy is and isn't wanting Coco to ever see or talk to him again. Maybe its because of this enemy thing with the companies or he just doesnt like the look of him at all? Well wait until you find out for yourself, too bad they dont exchange numbers fast enough in the start.
Let me jump to one of my favorite parts.....
So what happens when Coco a lovely girl deals with something that Vincente has done? Vincente got drunk and ended up being with some slutty version of Coco. Nothing to worry about here, they get through it and it is worked out better than I would have thought. The way these lovers act is much more mature than in most YA and thats one thing that I really loved! Its not crazy drama and stupid fights, its a real romance that you follow and love. You might think its odd that I liked that part, but I like reading where there is something that tests a connection. Its a make it or break it situation and I can't help but want to know, after all some romances can seem too good or sound ify.
So overall I really enjoyed this book. I loved that you can really get into the personalities of Coco and Vincente. Its much better than some other books out there. What I also enoyed was how mature they were, I mean there wasn't any crazy drama that was constantly happening and I loved that. I'd rather read one or two scenes than a bookful of drama and this book was amazing on that aspect!
I really loved the whole book and can't wait to see if the story continues or if Heidi will create another amazing love story like this one!
This book gets 5 stars!