This review is spoiler free.
‘Get as many selfies with famous people in the background as poss.
Win the jackpot on the 2p machines.
Sample chips from every chippie in town.
Learn to love mushy peas.
Smash the patriarchy.’
Series: Bookshop Girl
Published: 2018, by Hot Key Books.
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Fiction
Contains: No warnings.
‘Life’s a Beach’ is the sequel to the lighthearted novel ‘Bookshop Girl’, following the adventures of young bookseller, Paige Turner. After saving the Bennett’s Bookstore, Paige and Holly’s lives return to normality. Yet, their luck continues to soar when they’re given the opportunity to work at the Skegton Book Festival, where the country’s top writers are amongst those attending. Paige and Holly are more than happy to do any odd job thrown their way, even a diva of an author named Minnie can’t get them down.
I adore this series. So, naturally, I knew I’d enjoy this instalment in Paige Turner’s life. However, it managed to exceed my extremely high expectations. Reading this sequel was like returning home after a long journey, putting your feet up and sharing tea and biscuits with Paige as she catches you up on everything you’ve missed while you’ve been away.
Paige Turner is simply a delight to read about. Her character is one of my most lovable in Young Adult literature right now; she’s funny, determined and it feels like a warm hug when you’re following her narrative. Everyone deserves their own little Paige in their life. It was a joy to watch her develop, her character blossoming beautifully in this instalment. Yes, she’s still awkward and face-palm worthy at times, but her maturity and driven nature shines through. She’s fun to read about and relatable enough to understand her decisions throughout the course of the story.
Holly’s character was a close second favourite of mine, her character being a more put together version of Paige. She’s grounded, understanding and generally someone you’re glad the protagonist has nearby; their friendship is so healthy.
In this instalment, we’re greeted with a few new characters as Paige and Holly travel down to Skegton-On-Sea. Robbie’s character was so much fun, revealing a more smitten side to Paige as their relationship develops, while Minnie’s character brightened up the pages even more. She was a brilliant addition to the sweet shop assortment of characters, providing us with feminism and humour; the perfect combination.
The writing itself was beautifully Chloe Coles, being simple yet dripping with character. Paige’s narration had colloquial terminology, allowing us to feel even closer to the character and her adventures on holiday. Plus, the sketchbook illustrations were a beautiful bonus; for a story where the protagonist discovers the importance of being herself and opening up to others, this inclusion was perfect to get us even closer to the character.
Overall, I adored this book, possibly even more so than the first. Paige infects you with her fun-loving nature, so much that you just can’t stop grinning long after you’ve ran out of pages to read.