Author: Sydney Salter
Publication Date: April 5, 2010
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.With her past endeavors with boys, Polly realizes she needs a break from boys. But throw in grammy Miss Swoon, hot skater dude Xander, and a trip with her exes, what's a girl to do? Only the granddaughter of Miss Swoon can tell! Ready, set, SPLASH!
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.
Swoon at Your Own Risk is a fun, exuberant read full of growth and self-discovery. Although sometimes cliché and obvious, Swoon at Your Own Risk provokes a light, flowing nostalgia of summertime for the readers. Polly's situations are always laugh-out-loud hilarious and entertaining, keeping the novel bright and flowing.
The best main aspect in Swoon at Your Own Risk is Polly. At first, Polly seems unlikeable, selfish, and annoying, but as she deals with her issues and situations, she transforms into a funny, spunky, and fun character. The diverse spectrum of characters surrounding Polly brings Swoon at Your Own Risk to life and each and every character is special in their own way. Xander's part in Polly's life is extremely predictable, but that doesn't take away much from the plot. He's a cute, sensitive, and deep character. Xander is different from other YA love interests because he shows a more creative and different side of guys.
The tone of Swoon at Your Own Risk is established straight away with Polly's narration. In the beginning, readers may become a little frustrated with Polly's first-person narrative, but that's part of how she grows as a person. As the book progresses, readers will see subtle changes in Polly and her way of thinking, and this ultimately makes her a more down-to-earth character. Her previous experiences with boyfriends makes her fear of taking that leap of faith with Xander and later on, she may or may not overcome it.
Cheery, meaningful, and fun, Swoon at Your Own Risk takes you on a relaxing swim of realization, laughs, and of course, boys! It's perfect to remind you of summer and summer romances...but with a twist of Miss Swoon! A =)
The Bottom Line: Fun, fun, fun!
My reaction/enjoyment: 9/10
Total Score: 93/100 (A)