Title: Maine Squeeze + Banana Splitsville
Author: Catherine Clark
Release Date: May 4, 2004
Two irresistible and hilarious love stories (and really cute boys)!
In Maine Squeeze, eighteen-year-old Colleen Templeton can't wait for summer. She's going to share a house with her best friends, earn money for college, and spend every free moment with her boyfriend, Ben. It's the perfect plan. At least until she discovers that she's going to be working side by side with Evan, the guy she dated last summer—the best summer of her life . . . until he broke her heart. Will Colleen be able to keep her cool when this summer starts heating up?
Courtney Von Dragen Smith didn't plan on being single her senior year. But in Banana Splitsville, thanks to her now-ex-boyfriend Dave, single is exactly what she is. And miserable. That's okay, though, because she has a plan: steer clear of boys for the rest of high school. Oh, and stick to a new vegan diet. But it turns out that ignoring all guys (well, really one guy in particular) is about as hard as keeping away from sundaes when you work at Truth or Dairy. Is Courtney falling in love again? (With more than that dish of scrumptious ice cream?)
(taken from goodreads.com)
Sometimes, a girl just needs a lighthearted and cheesy piece of chick lit. Something you can read by the pool and giggle about while sipping iced tea. Maine Squeeze and Banana Splitsville are perfect for just that. While the stories might not be all that deep or expertly written, these cute novels provide a nice summertime escape.
What teenager doesn't dream of a summer without parents, spent by the beach with her best friends? I couldn't help but be jealous of Colleen's setup. Throw two cute boys and a sprinkle of drama into the mix and you've got yourself the a worthwhile beach read.
The only real problem I had with the story was Colleen. Ugh, that girl ticked me off about half-way through the book. She spends so much time whining and complaining about her problems. She refuses to accept responsibility for most of the ridiculous mistakes she makes, instead blaming others around her.
The romance was cute, but it lacked the real spark needed to make me love the story. Torn between two guys, Colleen's attention is split. This kept me from forming real bonds with either of the boys. It was also pretty predictable.
The setting is what really made this book enjoyable for me. A quaint island off the coast of Maine during the summer? Can I just be there now? I loved reading about Colleen's bike rides across the islands and her shifts at the bayside restaurant. I vicariously enjoyed living on a cute island through her experiences.
I enjoyed Banana Splitsville more than Maine Squeeze for several reasons. First of all, Courtney is a hilarious protagonist. Her sarcastic thoughts and scatter-brained diary entries had me laughing the whole time. I felt that I could really relate to her, unlike the aforementioned Colleen.
The romance, while fairly subtle and cute, kept me interested without being too mushy. I enjoyed the lack of insta-romance. After being dumped by her long-term boyfriend, Courtney is kind of a mess. I appreciated how the story examined both the fun side of teenage love and the heartbreaks.
I enjoyed reading another diary style novel. In many ways, Banana Splitsville reminded me of my favorite Meg Cabot series, The Princess Diaries. Witty and relatable, I could easily picture myself in Courtney's shoes.
Overall, Banana Splitsville is a nice summer read that I'd recommend to any teenage reader. Girly and amusing, it will keep you smiling.