Swoon At Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter (April 5th 2010—Graphia)
Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5
Summary: “It’s the summer before senior year and Polly Martin has sworn off boys. Who needs the hurt and confusion? Five recent breakups have left her with an unnatural knowledge of NASCAR, the ultimate hiker’s outfit, a student council position, the sixth highest score on the Donkey Kong machine at the mall, and a summer job at Wild Waves with ex #2 Sawyer Holmes.
Success seems a sure thing when Polly’s grandmother, the syndicated advice columnist, Miss Swoon, moves in for the summer. Polly almost doesn’t mind sharing a room with her little sister, Grace. Think of all the great advice she’ll get!
Everything is going according to plan except... Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy septuagenarian! And then there’s Xander Cooper. If only he wouldn’t keep showing up at Wild Waves with his adorable cousins every afternoon — and what is he writing in that little notebook?
No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for the lessons she learns when she goes on a group camping trip (with three too many ex-boyfriends). Polly is forced to see people for who they are — a blend of good and bad qualities that can’t be reduced to a list or a snappy answer in a Miss Swoon column.”
Review: I loved Salter’s debut novel, My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters, I kid you not. I bawled like a 5 year-old for some reason. I had a huge grin on my face that my mom had to stop and ask why I was happy. When I find a novel that good I stalk the author. Seriously I’m like a rabid dog that will not let go until the owner of said leg dies…or something (preferably the something).
Swoon at Your Own Risk doesn’t deliver the initial love I had. My expectation bar was high, but the jump was just a few notches down from the clear. I think for me the hardest part to read was Polly herself. She was just so easily persuaded. I felt too frustrated to even enjoy the novel completely. I wish her internal mind somehow connects to her external mouth, which eventually does happen….
Swoon at Your Own Risk plays of childhood friends grown apart but grew extremely hot somewhere in between those years. Yes prepare for some swooning of your own ladies. Okay I’m not going to bore with all those needless details; I liked the book, but didn’t love it. There were chapters I gobbled up like a chocolate and some I had to waddle through like thick molasses. Some characters I yearned for more and others I learned to appreciate with a few that I would have been fine to never have read.