Aurelia in Year 7 has submitted a brilliant review to a writing competition organised by NABSS (The National Association of British Schools in Spain). We were blown away by the quality of Aurelia's writing. The winner will be announced early March. Watch this space!
This Summer’s Secrets by Emily Barr
This Summer’s Secrets by Emily Barr is set in a small, coastal town in Cornwall, a beautiful seaside area in the southwest of England. Famed for its beaches, holidays and wildlife, it is the perfect choice for a story set in the summer and evokes many nostalgic childhood holiday memories for the reader. I found that it was a quick read despite its length, but that might have been due to the fact that the author had me gripped from the very first page.
The protagonist is 16-year-old Senara, who feels that her life is mundane and uninteresting, contrary to everyone else’s. At the same time Clem, who is a girl Senara’s age, has ventured down to Cornwall from London for the summer and is staying in their luxurious family holiday home. Unpopular with the local residents, Clem and her family must start to make amends with the community, rekindle friendships and fix broken promises. After a chance meeting at the beach, the two girls spend most of their summer together, despite being polar opposites. Introvert Senara’s world is turned upside down when she’s introduced to lavish pool parties in salubrious villas. Meanwhile, extrovert Clem tries her best to redeem herself after insulting the locals, shockingly calling them peasants! Whilst starting out as apparent strangers, it transpires that their connections run deeper than they ever could have imagined. The reader is then taken on a journey of rivalries, unexpected friendships and romance, as long-forgotten secrets are dug up.
In this novel, the author seamlessly flips between years as the novel progresses to reveal otherwise forgotten events and secrets. This increased my enjoyment of the book and piqued my intrigue, as I was never in the same year for more than a few chapters. It was an ingenious method for presenting clues and descriptions relating to the older characters and their pasts to provide context for the present day.
I would encourage anyone to read this novel; it was an absolute page turner, but I would especially recommend it for children of 12+.
By Aurelia (Year 7, The English International College, Marbella)