My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve been a little bit disappointed in the world of books for the tween-teen girl recently. I think it’s partially due to the fact that several of them (none of the worst ones have been reviewed btw) have just felt so … cheap. Like writing for this age group is an easy and simple and blase thing to do!
(Just to clarify: it’s not.)
And so I was genuinely surprised when I actually enjoyed Peppermint Kiss. The first in a series set around a beauty parlour called Rainbow Beauty, it is spectacularly girly but also kind of lovely at the same time. McKain balances the book really nicely and gives it shade and emotion which help to throw the brightness into a more realistic context. And it’s good. It’s a good book. It’s well written, sympathetically put together with the supporting characters fleshed out and the lead characters full of a roundness that I have been BEGGING for over the past few books I’ve read.
I liked this, a lot. Admittedly a lot was due to the location of it involving where I went to University, and that only added to the believability of the plot. If there’s anywhere in the world that this plot would work in real life, it’s Totnes.
Or maybe Stroud.
Anyway, it’s a fun Cathy Cassidy-esque family coming-of-age type story with a love interest, a gay builder type and an unusual lead character who, despite her great and obvious skills in beauty, remains within reality throughout. Peppermint Kiss is definitely worth a look for this age group (I’d say about nine/ten upwards – there’s a few complex sentences but it remains hugely readable).