Author: Lisi Harrison
Poppy/Little, Brown 2008
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended for: Tweens, 11-13
Dylan Marvil is prepared for a summer of great change as she and her mom Merri-Lee (the host of famed TV talkshow The Daily Grind) pack their bags with designer summer apparel, board the show's private airplane, and jet off to Honolulu, Hawaii in time for the Aloha Tennis Open. While her mom sees the trip to interview hotheaded super-famous teen star Svetlana Slootskyia, Dylan takes the vacation as an opportunity to become the new her: fabulous, thin, and to possibly discover a new crush to erase all memories of being dumped by-not just one, but two-Briarwood hotties last year. Lucky for her, Dylan manages to find a tennis-crazy, Svetlana-loving grand slam cutie. Too bad that the only way to get him is to put down her fork, get off of the massage table, and learn the art of tennis (even if it means wearing frumpy white outfits!)...But then Dylan realizes that the ever-grouchy Svetlana holds the key to Dylan's summer romance. If only Dylan can convince Svetlana to teach her how to play like a pro. Luckily, Dylan has a few trick á la Massie up her sleeve, but will Svetlana keep her promise?
From start to finish, I found Dylan to be a whopping A+ novel. Lisi Harrison excellently describes each scene vividly and with amazing amounts of color and detail. I must admit, I enjoyed Dylan much more than I did the first book in the collection, Massie. Something about this one makes it much more enjoyable than the previous. Maybe it's how I felt like I was experiencing the whole rollicking story, or how well-developed the characters were. Maybe it was the thoroughly engrossing plot or the near-perfect ending that made it so hard to put it down. I think what made this novel so special was Dylan's character. We don't hear much about her in the regular Clique series (Harrison focuses more on the two main characters, Massie Block and Claire Lyons), and her character is also so fun and realistic. I felt like I could really relate to her throughout this fast-paced summer read. If you're bored and sitting on the couch in need of some exotic and tropical adventure, then all you have to do is pick up Dylan and you'll be submerged into an exciting whirlpool of summer romance, kick-butt athletes, Hawaiian sun, self-image, and secrets...