I wish my thoughts on The Summer of Cotton Candy were as sweet as cotton candy itself.
In The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Viguie, Candy Thompson’s father forces her to take a summer job at The Zone, a local amusement park, to become more responsible. Even though standing out in the sun selling cotton candy to unruly customers isn’t fun, checking out her cute coworkers is definitely a perk. However, long hours threaten Candy’s ability to attend church and hang out with her best friend, Tamara. Will Candy’s summer be sweet like cotton candy or just turn out sour?
I felt myself constantly putting this book down and not wanting to pick it back up. I think the major factor that prevented me from enjoying this book would be the main character Candy and her best friend Tamara. Candy frequently threw temper tantrums at her employers, but expected everyone else to treat her with the utmost respect. She acted superior to her crush, who never finished high school, and never listened to veteran employees. Then, she wondered why people were annoyed with her and why she sometimes even got suspended from working at the park. At seventeen, I expected Candy to act a little more mature. Her behavior often made it difficult to sympathize with her.
Candy’s best friend, Tamara also made it difficult to get through this book. Tamara was a spoiled brat who resented Candy working. She thought she could get Candy to follow her around all summer just by throwing money at her. Even when Candy and Tamara made up, neither did anything redeemable and their friendship came across as unhealthy in many ways.
I also had a problem with the romance plot within this book. Candy and her love interest literally have zero chemistry. You can tell from what they value that their relationship could never last past a first date. I thought Candy was much better suited for another character in the book. Their relationship actually grew and I thought Candy would ditch the first guy. Much to my disappointment, the better guy was just thrown at Tamara towards the end of the book.
The only part of this book that I really enjoyed was the amusement park atmosphere. Even though I’m pretty sure many of the rides couldn’t actually function in real life, the park was described really well and had a nice theme. Apparently this book is in a series and all the books take place in the park, so it would be interesting to see how the park changes throughout the seasons. Unfortunately, my feelings towards many of the characters may prevent me from picking up the next book in the series.
In this book, I expected Candy to grow and to have fun while reading it. Much to my dismay, none of these things ever happened. I rate The Summer of Cotton Candy as two out of five stars.