The Summer of Shambles
by Ebony McKenna
Kindle Edition 304 Pages
Published 2013 by Egmont, Hardie Grant, Bookbaby
Genre – MG-YA Fantasy, fairy tale, romance
Rating 4 of 5 stars
The Summer of Shambles was a riot of quirky fun. Full of energy and vivacious characters, it was everything that I could wish for in a light summertime read. I was first drawn to the book because of the fabulous cover which is such a great reflection of what the reader can expect to find inside.
Ondine is just an average teen off for a summer at psychic summer camp when her life suddenly turns topsy turvy by an impudent talking ferret who just happens to be a boy named Hamish, cursed to live as a ferret by a witch he annoyed. Hamish's antics kept me entertained. The writing highlights his thick Scottish brogue which, in my head, I read his character with Hagrid's voice (from Harry Potter). This made seeing him as a love interest a little difficult, but no less entertaining for me! The author said David Tennant from Dr. Who was the voice that inspired Shambles accent. I'm sure he's more relationship-able than Hagrid, but it was incredible fun to imagine that gruff voice coming from a ferret!
This book was just so entertaining to read! The Summer of Shambles is absolutely original but with a classic fairy tale feel. One of the high points of the writing was the snarky footnotes scattered throughout. While this could have been a distraction, it ended up being an enjoyable element that helped to set the tone and added to the world building.
Of course there was the romance which was sweet and pretty well done. I liked both of these characters so much that I couldn't help but root for them! Hamish kind of steals the show, but Ondine herself is a feisty lass that is every bit a match for that roguish ferret.
Ultimately, The Summer of Shambles is pure brain candy. The dialog is amusing and easy to follow, the pacing is energetic, and the overall tone is lighthearted and playful. There's romance, accents, witchery, magic curses, footnotes, and a nefarious plot to uncover. In short, a perfect summertime read. I think this would appeal particularly to middle grade to younger YA readers. I would also recommend this to anyone who likes to enjoy a feel-good story in between books with heavier themes.
Rating 4 of 5 stars
Be sure to stop by The Happy Booker on Monday 7/22 when the author, Ebony McKenna will tell us about her top 10 fictional crushes and you’ll have an opportunity to win a copy of The Summer of Shambles!
I received a Kindle copy of The Summer of Shambles from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.