Book Review: Tapas and Tears by Chris Higgins

Tapas and Tears by Chris Higgins was published by Hodder Children’s Books on 4th February 2010. The book is 272 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

Shy Jaime never really wanted to go on the exchange trip to Spain but after constant nagging from her mother, she was pretty much forced into it. Reluctantly agreeing, Jaime comes up with a list of things that her host house/ family must have and she doesn’t think she is being unreasonable at all asking for an en suite. When Jaime actually gets to Spain though and meets the girl she will be spending the two weeks with, she is in for one hell of a shock. For someone who is names after the Virgin Mary, Jaime’s new ‘friend’ is far from sweet and innocent.

Concepcion Inmaculada, nicknamed Concha, is scary, outgoing, loud and completely boy mad. She has a mind of her own and doesn’t let anyone get in her way, even Jaime, who is going to have to come out of her shell and quick if she is going to get through the next two weeks!

What I thought
This isn’t a book which I would have normally picked for myself. This is a case where I would have judged it by its cover and because it looks quite young, I think I would have bypassed it, had I seen it in a shop. However, I was determined to give it a go. You never know when you might be nicely surprised.

Poor Jaime. I did feel sorry for the girl. After not really wanting to go on an exchange trip in the first place, she then gets stuck with the girl from hell and someone who she cant even really talk to. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jaime doesn’t get to spend too much time with her own friends so is quite isolated with Concha, her father and grandmother. If that had been me in her situation, I would have been ringing my mum and demanding a flight back home immediately. I really don’t think that I could have stuck it out for more than a couple of days. Jaime does start off really shy and with a lot of self confidence issues so it was nice to see her progress throughout the book and change quite a lot. Spain did a lot of good things for her character and really brought her out of her shell.

I really don’t think I was supposed to but I LOVED Concha. Ok so she was completely insane and a bit of a head case but that’s what I really liked about her. Not being afraid to speak her mind or go for exactly what she wants are two really good traits to have I think and although she didn’t always go about things the right way, Concha at least knew who she was. The things that Concha did in both Spain and England were a little out there but her antics made for some really funny scenes and gave the book a whole different feel at times. Without her, the book would have been extremely dull and I don’t think I would have liked it at all.

The things that the girls get up to over the course of the book are what really made it for me. When in Spain, Concha does her best to annoy and embarrass Jaime at every chance she gets and I loved seeing the different things that she would come up with or ‘accidentally’ forget to tell her or do. Then, when Concha comes over to England, Jaime has the opportunity to get her own back for all of the bad things she had to put up with and although this didn’t exactly go the way I thought, it was still entertaining. The secondary characters, both English and Spanish, also help to make the book funnier and for the plot to have a lot more going on.

I didn’t completely love this book but it was still quite an entertaining read. That being said, it will appeal to a lot of teenage girls who are looking for something light-hearted and fun to read and considering the length, it is quite a quick and easy one at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. I have often seen this book and passed it over because it looks a little too young for me. I probably would have picked this up when I was 11 or 12 but I don't know if Id like it as much now! Its good to know that it is a good book though! :)


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