Zoe and Chloe: Out to Lunch by Sue Limb
|Zoe and Chloe: Out to Lunch by Sue Limb|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: Out to Lunch is an easy going, fun read that will likely please fans of teen fiction, but probably won't be read again and again.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: June 2008|
|Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
Zoe and Chloe want to go on a fabulous holiday to Newquay with all their friends, but before they can soak up the sun they have to convince their parents to let them go, and earn enough money to pay for it. Zoe's Mum is not happy about the idea and will take some serious convincing, but that won't be a problem if they can't get jobs.
Toby and Fergus, their best mates, have been super organised and got jobs already, and there aren't many left, but gorgeous Oliver Wyatt gets them work on a farm. Zoe is thrilled to be spending time with Oliver, but Chloe isn't too happy about slaving away over a field of veg. Until she meets dreamy Brendan…
Meanwhile Tamsin, Zoe's older sister, is in a relationship with a married man. Tam thinks everything with Ed is amazing, but Zoe thinks it's a recipe for disaster. Then the abominable 'Beast' Hawkins starts acting strange, and Zoe wonders if her feelings of hatred towards him are about to be turned on their head.
Is there more to Beast Hawkins than meets the eye? Will Tamsin's affair with Ed end in tears? Will Oliver and Brendan fall for Zoe and Chloe among the vegetables of Old Hall Farm? And will they ever have their fabulous holiday to Newquay? I think my biggest issue with this book was that the answer to all these questions was: 'Do I really care?'
As you can probably gather, this is fairly brainless teen fiction. Out to Lunch is the second book featuring Zoe and Chloe. It chronicles their misadventures as they bungle their way through the summer holidays, trying to sort out their holiday to Newquay. They get into all the predictable teenage troubles – fighting with each other, fighting with their parents, getting their hearts broken, falling for the wrong people etc.
There are some great books of teen fiction – Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson series springs to mind – but Out to Lunch isn't even close to the same league. While the plot is fairly average, predictable but not completely dull, an over zealous use of apostrophes and an aversion to the word 'said', make the prose a little difficult to endure.
That said, my sixteen year old cousin is queuing to read it and loves everything Sue Limb has ever written, so I guess it's just a matter of taste. If it were possible to give two ratings, I would give this book five stars and one star – five stars for delivering exactly what its intended audience wants, one star because I am not a part of that audience, and for me and anyone else who isn't, this book is infuriating.
As I said, this is brainless teen fiction - the characters are pretty flat, and there's nothing stunning or original about it, but if you're after a holiday read, or something to while away a train journey and you are tweenage and above, this is probably just what you are looking for. Anyone outside those parameters would probably not make it past the first chapter. I know I wouldn't have, if the duty to give a fair review had not compelled me on.
If teen fiction is your thing you might enjoy My So-called Life: The Tragically Normal Diary of Rachel Riley by Joanna Nadin.
My thanks to the publishers for sending this book.
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