Wednesday, 14 August 2013

New England Rocks

17606712
 
New England Rocks by Christina Courtenay
Published 14 August 2013 Choc Lit Rocks
 
I have always had a soft spot for Choc Lit publishers and was thrilled when they announced the launch of their new YA imprint Choc Lit Rocks.
 
New England Rocks is the first title for this imprint, itself the first in a series by award-winning author Christina Courtenay.
 
I love reading about New England and was excited to read this novel. It has a very cool contemporary cover featuring main character Rain.
 
Rain has been expelled from her British boarding school for bad behaviour and, in order to teach her a lesson, her titled father demands she attend the high school local to their home in New England, USA. Rain is furious and determined she won't be staying, but a few encounters with high-school-hottie Jesse just may change her mind.
 
Now for the painful part. New England Rocks did not rock my world. I read a lot of YA fiction and there is a need for more contemporary romance in the market. Authors like Simone Elkeles and Jennifer E. Smith can't do it all on their own! I finished it, but this novel seemed too coincidental...too contrived. I can't see a titled, educated and successful man like Rain's father interrupting her top-level education by sending her to a local high school to do home economics.

I find Jesse mediocre. His description fits the hot rock star persona but his demeanour just doesn't cut it - he's not bad enough! With his family situation on top you'd expect him to be more angry loner, determined to succeed on his own terms. Rain herself I found a contradiction. She has no qualms in downing tequila and driving the 'Lambo' without a licence but then she's looking for someone to cover for her while she goes to see the band. Doesn't add up.

Lastly, the New England thing was disappointing. The Fall foliage is mentioned towards the end of the novel but other than that the book could have been set in Anywhere, USA. No covered bridges, clapperboard houses, trips to the Cape or mentions of Harvard.

Overall, New England Rocks didn't quite work for me.   

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