Title: The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons #1) by Debbie Viguié
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Christian
Published by: Zondervan (May 11th, 2008)
Most people think The Zone is an amusement park, but Candy Thompson knows it’s really a slave labor camp. What else would you call a summer job that requires a sixteen-year-old girl to set aside her whole social life for the privilege of standing out in the hot sun selling cotton candy? Still, there are perks—particularly the mysterious hunk in the Lone Ranger costume. Behind that mask are the most amazing eyes Candy has ever seen. Who is that masked man? But someone else is just as interested. And romantic competition isn’t the only problem. Besides being hard work, The Zone is eating up major time. How is Candy supposed to stay involved in church? Worse yet, will she lose her best friend, Tamara, who resents how Candy’s job limits their time together? This is NOT the summer Candy hoped for! But as she is about to discover, the summer of cotton candy will be the greatest summer of her life.
What I Thought
I originally read this book a couple years ago, back when it was the summer before my senior year in high school. I absolutely loved this book, and the entire series. I found myself relating SO much to Candance and where she was in her life. So, because I loved it so much, I thought I’d give it a reread, to see if I still loved it!
Honestly, I still really enjoyed this book. It is filled with such fun characters, and really, the whole premise in general is so fun and well done. The Summer of Cotton Candy just has that classic YA, summer novel feel. I love that this novel is set at an amusement park, and not only that, but also how detailed and creative The Zone really is. It is clear that the author really thought this out, and I don’t think that is something I really appreciated the first time I read this book.
Like I said, the characters in this novel were so fun. I loved reading about all the escapades Candace ended up getting herself into. I also really appreciated that Candace and her friends actually acted and talked like regular teenagers. It made it very relatable, and I can understand why I loved this book so much when I was a teenager.
I will say, I wasn’t a huge fan of the love interest. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember how this series ends, but I’m hoping Candace ends up with a certain someone else, instead!
Another thing I really appreciated about The Summer of Cotton Candy was the faith content. It was not too in-your-face about it that I think even non-Christians would enjoy this book. Also, at the same time however, Candace always stuck to her convictions and made her relationship with God a priority, which I really loved.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I admit, I don’t think I loved it quite as much as I did when I was 17, but really, I think that’s just because I’m in a different phase of life now. One of the reasons I originally loved this book was that Candace didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. Going into my senior year, I didn’t either (half the time I still don’t, lol), so I was able to relate to how vulnerable Candace was about that. I really did enjoy this book, however. The Summer of Cotton Candy is so fun and summer-y, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, but especially teens looking for a light-hearted and relatable read!