Sea Change by Kate Cann

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Sea Change by Kate Cann

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A fabulous mix of stunning scenery, scrumptious food and irresistible bad boys, this tale of the highs and lows of friendship is un-put-down-able.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: June 2007
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0439944281

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I grew up reading Kate Cann books. From the first one which came free with a copy of Bliss or Sugar or some other top quality teen mag, I was hooked. There was something about the way she found a voice for her teenage heroines that was neither too old nor too young, nor too cheesy. And it wasn't just the Goldilocks factor. The stories always seemed alarmingly real, as if they could happen to you, or your best friend, or one of the girls at school.

So, needless to say I was quite chuffed when The Bookbag received a copy of her latest, Sea Change, and I discovered she was still writing, and had far from lost her touch.

Chloe is a bit of a fish out of water at her new school, where she moved when her parents split up. From a tough local comp, she's now at a prissy girls school where there are fewer knives but a lot more cattiness in the playground. Davinia is a bit of a fish out of water too. She soon replaces Chloe as the new girl but comes from the other extreme, a fancy pants boarding school in the country, from which she has just been expelled. The two strike up a friendship through their mutual dislike of most of their classmates, and though it's an odd friendship, it seems to work ok. When summer comes, Davinia invites Chloe to tag along with her to the family's holiday home on a Mediterranean island.

That's when the story really gets going, as the girls, and Davinia's parents, jet off for 6 weeks in the sunshine. But 6 weeks is an awfully long time to do nothing really, just snooze in the sun by day and hang out in the island's meagre night spots in the evening. Davinia might be content with this sort of life, but Chloe soon gets restless and as she tries to take more of a stand and do her own thing the fabric of their friendship starts to come away and things get sticky fast as Davinia undergoes a Tempestian Sea Change.

A lot of the pages focus on how torn Chloe feels -

torn between supporting her dad and betraying him by thinking of the mother who left them

torn between sucking up to Davinia or being effectively friendless

torn between being the perfect house guest or speaking up when things get weird

torn between doing what she ought to do, and doing what she wants to do

torn between staying loyal to Davinia or doing what is right

It's not all negative emotions though, and one of the things I loved about Chloe is how excited she gets at the smallest things from the Jacuzzi at Davinia's house at home to the stunning vistas of the island to the simple, fresh food she feasts on. I like to think I can be that kind of person too - someone who will squeal in delight over crusty bread and cheese eaten al fresco as much as they would over a gourmet 5 course meal - because it is a trait I admire. Chloe is as wholesome and down to earth as Davinia is wild and out of control and though the excitement of opposites attracting is enough at first, the differences soon become too much, causing friction between the two.

The descriptions throughout the book are scrumptious, from the clothes the girls doll up in for a night out, to the physical features of the many characters they meet on the island. Not in a chintzy, flowery way, but more subtle than that - the dress that's terracotta rather than just brown, the perfection of Davinia that stirs up all sorts of lesbian questions in Chloe's mind.

As with so many of Kate Cann's books, there is a love story in the background, though this does not span the whole book, nor is it the only thing going on. However just as it's getting a bit frustrating this heats up quickly, exploding onto the pages towards the end, and was just what I needed to keep me reading on.

This book is good. It's exciting, enticing and energetic. It has a good, fluid story and some interesting characters, and it asks a lot of questions both of these characters and of the readers themselves.

Who can write intricate, engaging, thrilling books for teens that suck you in from the first chapter? Kate Cann.

Thank you to the publishers for sending this book. Also recommended by The Bookbag for girls of this sort of age are Good Girls if you want another meaty story, or The Boy Book if you want something a bit more frivolous but equally fun.

We also have a review of Possessing Rayne by Kate Cann.

Booklists.jpg Sea Change by Kate Cann is in the Top Ten Teen Chick Lit Books.

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Buy Sea Change by Kate Cann at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sea Change by Kate Cann at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Sea Change by Kate Cann at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sea Change by Kate Cann at


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