ARC Review: Sunkissed (The Ladybirds #3) by Jenny McLachlan


Series:  The Ladybirds #3
Author: Jenny McLachlan
Published August 13th 2015 by Bloomsbury Children's 

Goodreads Synopsis
Following on from Flirty Dancing and Love Bomb, Jenny McLachlan's next book is perfect summer holiday reading for fans of Geek Girl and Louise Rennison.

Kat can't believe her family are sending her to Sweden for the summer. But without her friends, or even a phone signal, can Kat make it on her own?

In a land of saunas, nudity and summer sun, Kat soon realises she has nowhere to hide. It's time to embrace who she really is, underneath what she's been thinking people want her to be. Especially if she's going to win the heart of mega fit Swede Leo! Can Kat find her inner strength and prove she's got what it takes?

Kat soon finds that when you're surrounded by phosphorescence and wonder it's easy to sparkle. Or maybe that's what happens when you fall in love . Or maybe you only shine when you're true to yourself.

See my reviews for the previous books:
Flirty Dancing (#1)
Love Bomb (#2)

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Sunkissed just may be my favourite book in this series so far. For some reason, up until now, I wasn't a fan of Kat, but that opinion totally changed whilst reading this. With each instalment of The Ladybirds, we fall even more in love with the characters, and I absolutely can't wait to read Pearl's books now that I've realised how fab she can be.

In Sunkissed, Kat is sent to stay with an auntie in Sweden during the summer as punishment for hiding in a cupboard with her sister's ex-boyfriend. Even when she thought she'd be spending a month in Stockholm, where she could shop, use her phone, and have electricity, Kat was not happy. Now imagine how even less happy she was to discover her month in Sweden would be spent on an isolated island, with one shop, one cafe, and not many more people. And, to top it all off, the cabin she was staying in had no electricity, and there was no phone service across the island. Whilst there, and struggling to deal with all these issues, Kat soon makes friends with the local hottie, Leo, and discovers her love of sport, at the same time.

As with the other books in this series, romance is not the sole plot point; each of the Ladybird girls discovers themselves and blossom into wonderful teenagers, though sometimes wacky and weird, that today's teenagers should aspire to be. Here, Kat discovers that she is not as different from her family as she expected, and that she actually enjoys sports/exercise as much as her family do. She also becomes a lot closer to her Swedish aunt, Frida, and embraces her Swedish heritage. BTW, how did I not know her mother was Swedish - I was completely shocked by that.

Another surprising part of this book was just how much I loved Pearl, after not being a fan in Flirty Dancing and Love Bomb. She was a true friend to Kat when she needed one, and her time away from her other British friends, helped her become a truly loveable character. I can't believe how McLachlan has changed my opinion of a character so much. I was upset that Bea and Betty, and their BFs Ollie and Bill, weren't a larger part of this book, but that was understandable, what with the majority of the story taking place in a foreign country.

Though romance wasn't the main part of this story, the relationship between Leo and Kat was adorable from the very first moment. They start from being only civil to the cutest couple ever, though not without their angst, as is the norm with most contemporary novels. The very last chapter of this book had me smiling uncontrollably, for numerous reasons, not least of which was Kat and Leo.

All in all, each instalment of The Ladybirds is even better than the last. I am in awe of McLachlan's ability to write such loveable characters, and such an enjoyable book that it took me less than four hours to read from cover to cover. This series is quickly becoming an all time favourite of mine, and a wonderful addition to the UKYA contemporary genre. I would definitely recommend this, though these books do fall in the lower range of the YA spectrum.

Dates Read:
July 26, 2015

4 Stars 

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