Thursday 11 July 2013

New England Rocks by Christina Courtenay

First impressions, how wrong can you get?

When Rain Mackenzie is expelled from her British boarding school, she can’t believe her bad luck. Not only is she forced to move to New England, USA, she’s also sent to the local high school, as a punishment.

Rain makes it her mission to dislike everything about Northbrooke High, but what she doesn’t bank on is meeting Jesse Devlin…

Jesse is the hottest guy Rain’s ever seen and he plays guitar in an awesome rock band!

There’s just one small problem …  Jesse already has a girlfriend, little miss perfect Amber Lawrence, who looks set to cause trouble as Rain and Jesse grow closer.

But, what does it matter? New England sucks anyway, and Rain doesn’t plan on sticking around …

Does she?

I do like to indulge in the occasional Young Adult novel and this is the first novel I have read by Christina Coutenay and it was honestly great!

We first meet Rain when she is expelled from her Boarding School in England and I thought, oh no another young troublemaker. Her parents, who are obviously furious with her send her to Northbrook High in New England USA, where she is to spend a term, until they find her another school in England.

Rain is determined not to make any effort at this school and doesn't bother making friends, but she didn't plan on meeting the gorgeous Jesse Delvin! But despite his gorgeousness, Rain says she's had it with guys- they are nothing but trouble- but maybe Jesse is different?

Rain is just the kind of girl I would have loved to have been at sixth form. She's gorgeous, confident and doesn't particularly care what anyone else thinks. 

Jesse is also the kind of guy I would have loved to date- even now! He is caring, kind and cool- he's even in a band! The only thing that annoyed me about Jesse was that for some stupid reason he is dating the ever annoying Amber. Amber is your stereotypical popular US high school girl- always worrying about her weight and what she looks like- and is quick to bitch about people she doesn't like or feels threatened by. Throughout the novel you just hope that Jesse sees sense and dumps her!

This was a really great, easy read and all the characters in this story were really well thought out and the storyline wasn't something that I have come across before, so was absorbed from the start. It's really nice sometimes to have a light read, as it can be quite refreshing and really enjoyable.

The USA/UK culture differences in the novel was really well written. I think that there is a misconception that the UK and the USA are really similar, but we really aren't. Even though we speak the same language- we still have different slang and meanings for things. I actually learnt a bit from this, e.g. I didn't know Americans did not use the word bugger- lol!

The dialogue was also really well written and definitely age appropriate. Even though I am sadly not a young adult anymore, it was still really nice to read and I actually had fun reading it. There is just the right amount of romance and drama to keep you hooked and I am really looking forward to the next one.

This was a great first YA novel from Christina and am so thrilled that it is going to be a series about teenagers that move from the UK and end up at Northbrook High.

New England Rocks is out in paperback now.


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