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Summer Sisters
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If you are aged between 25 and 30, you are probably one of the 65 million readers worldwide who grew up reading Judy Blume. She was a rare author who dared to write about girls and boys and sex. Now she has written an adult book for all those teenage readers who have grown up. The irony, however, is that Summer Sisters is not dissimilar in style or content to Blume's teenage novels. The blurb promotes it as `an unforgettable story of family, love and the one friend you never forget', but this is not entirely true. Summer Sisters is unremarkable in most ways and, arguably, forgettable. The plot is uninspiring and familiar: rich girl befriends poor girl; rich girl has broken family and a life devoid of love and hence is poor; poor girl - while wanting to be like rich girl - has loving family and hence is rich. And yet, despite its vacuousness, Summer Sisters is a highly readable page turner. Like a soapie, it is simultaneously ridiculous and riveting. Perhaps the publishers of Summer Sisters are right to advertise it as `the ultimate summer read', as it has all the components - froth, bubble and escapism. Michelle Atkins is contract and copyright coordinator/primary editor at Nelson ITP. C. 1998 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

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