Do Not Become Alarmed

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After reading this book I give thanks to the higher powers that be that our lives are too crazy to go on vacation. Reading this book was like living my absolute worst fears as a parent of a young child. Part of me is so thankful that my own kid outgrew the kid’s club but the other half could think that a teen on the verge of being an adult could do just as stupid things. Is this a quick read? For sure – I wanted to know what happened and had a hard time putting it down. Would I call this a summer beach read? Hell no – hermits without any children are the ideal demographic for this book. I’m now on the look out for crocodiles in the streets of suburban Orange County, CA.

What I loved: Penny and Isabel were some of the most strongly-written children characters I have read this year. While I probably would have backhanded Penny at some point to get her to shut up and stop asking so many questions; her drive and vibrant personality showed through the entire book and she never waivered from her true character. Isabel’s path was one of growth and finding strength and courage even when you think you have nothing left. Two opposite sides of the coin, but two strongly written individuals.

What I didn’t love: It’s a toss up between the mothers (Seriously, WHO DOES THAT?) and the story once they return home to Los Angeles. Liv and Nora (and eventually Carmen) just make one horrible decision after another that I lose all sympathy for them. I know I have no competition there for my Mother Of The Year Award! As for the ending – its such a let down – no consequences for the events, their decisions. It reminds me of an old Oingo Boingo song – “Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me.”

What I learned: Don’t get off the boat.

Overall Grade: B-

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