Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Viguie, a book review
The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debby Viguie is a teen novel set in the fictional theme park world of The Zone. The Zone, similar to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, is set close to the Los Angeles area. Candace Thompson is the center of the longer series; she is a young teen who is finding out who she is and what she wants to do.
Debbie is married to Dr. Scott, friend of ImagiNERDs everywhere. Dr. Scott is also the Dr. Geek of Dr. Geek’s Lab. I was fortunate enough to serve on two panels at DragonCon with Scott and Debbie and she gave me a copy of the book to review.
Any theme park-related book piques my interest. The Summer of Cotton Candy isn’t the first time I’ve reviewed a teen book or a teen romance, (here and here) sort of, for ImagiNERDing; yes, this book is geared towards the young teen girl who loves theme parks and struggles with entering a much larger world.
So, the Zone was a theme park started by a sport star and offers multiple areas with different themes. Debbie brings the theme park to life. She creates attractions that fit the area and feel like they could be real.
About The Summer of Cotton Candy
Candace’s parents force her to get a summer job. The nerve! This causes a lot of ripples, especially with her summer plans with her very wealthy BFF, Tamara. How is she going to hang out with Tamara if she has to work all the time?
Because Candace applied to the Zone so late, she’s got a choice between two jobs and the one she chooses is selling cotton candy. Of course, her name tag gets messed up and it says Candy. Yes, Candy selling cotton candy; it leads to several interesting situations.
So, I mentioned it is a teen romance and Candy does see a face character that melts her heart. She also runs into other people that work in the Zone that challenge her ideas of friendship. Surprising, one guy wasn’t the love interest. I really felt the book was heading that way and it never did.
Debbie has a great style and all of her characters felt realistic. She paints a very cool theme park with some interesting and unique rides. A few of the rides sounded quite terrifying—in a good way. If I have anything negative to say, it’s just that there is some religion brought into the book, but it wasn’t overwhelming and was never preachy. It’s a very quick read and a perfect beach book.
A larger lesson is learned by several characters about looking past what’s on the outside and getting to know the person. It wasn’t heavy-handed and it was delivered in a very sweet way.
I enjoyed the book, even though I wasn’t the target audience. Teens and tweens that are interested in theme parks will love this book. Teen girls dealing with boys, friendships and new people will find a friend in Candy. The Summer of Cotton Candy is a fun read and I’m glad that Debbie offered me a copy.
Title: The Summer of Cotton Candy
Author: Deb Viguie
Release Date: May 11, 2008