Griffin, 2008 (2008)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ith her parents in the middle of an unpleasant divorce, seventeen-year-old Colby Catherine Cavendish is (from her perspective) exiled to the small Greek island of Tinos for the summer, to stay with her '
Crazy Aunt Tally
' and Tally's boyfriend Tassos. Colby gleans from her guidebook that Tinos is '
a place where religious pilgrims, doves, and villagers all hand wash their delicates right smack in the middle of the town square.
he move happens at a time in Colby's life when she is making some bad choices - hanging out with super shallow but popular Amanda, dropping her old best friend Natalie, and losing her virginity to gorgeous Levi (Amanda's male equivalent in both shallowness and popularity) who doesn't seem to value her much. Though Aunt Tally's '
austere, serene island life
' at first leaves Colby cold and she spends most of her time at the Internet café (despite the disapproval of its owner, Petros) the lifestyle gradually grows on her, especially after she meets the
hile on Tinos, Colby writes a blog entitled (at first)
, and tries to guess who's reading it and leaving anonymous comments. She adopts a kitten, hangs out at the beach with Yannis, and tries not to be bothered by news from home - their house for sale, her father's new girlfriend etc.. Then Levi shows up on a nearby island, traveling with his family, Colby makes another bad call, and things go quickly awry. But of course, it all works out eventually as Colby's
draws to an end and she comes to the realization that '
Paradise is a state of mind!
addresses the usual sort of teen angst, it stands out from its peers for both its unusual Greek island setting, and for the honesty and vulnerability of Colby's blog and journal entries. It makes for an absorbing read.
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