You’d think Polly Martin would have all the answers when it comes to love—after all, her grandmother is the famous syndicated advice columnist Miss Swoon. But after a junior year full of dating disasters, Polly has sworn off boys. This summer, she’s going to focus on herself for once. So Polly is happy when she finds out Grandma is moving in—think of all the great advice she’ll get.
But Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy sexagenarian! How can Polly stop herself from falling for Xander Cooper, the suddenly-hot skateboarder who keeps showing up while she’s working at Wild Waves water park, when Grandma is picking up guys at the bookstore and flirting with the dishwasher repairman?
No advice column can prepare Polly for what happens when she goes on a group camping trip with three too many ex-boyfriends and the tempting Xander. Polly is forced to face her feelings and figure out if she can be in love—and still be herself.
Swoon At Your Own Risk was a fun and cute read. This was my first book by Sydney Salter, but it will definitely not be my last. I went into the book headfirst, not knowing what to expect. I finished it in a couple of days and my reaction was: loved it! Swoon At Your Own Risk was witty and enjoyable, with deeper messages embedded in the pages. Polly learned a lot about herself and others throughout the novel and by the end of the book she’d changed a lot. I really liked all the characters. Polly was a fun narrator, and readers could relate to her. It was interesting hearing about all the different boyfriends she’d had throughout the year, and this was where one of the lessons played out, learning about how she’d changed her life to suit the boy she was dating. Joining student council for Hayden, Nature Club for Gareth… and how this probably wasn't the best idea. The character names were all interesting and unique as well- Polly, Jane, Sawyer, Sonnet, Kipper… These were some of the best character names I've seen in awhile :) Also, r
In addition, I loved reading Sonnet’s blog entries, Xander’s poems, and Miss Swoon’s columns at the end of each chapter. Each one would bring a smile to my face. Miss Swoon was a cool character, and I liked the advice she gave, although she didn’t always follow through with it herself. Also, Xander was an excellent character. He was perfect for Polly and I would have to hold myself back each time she pushed him away, scared of having her heart broken yet again.
Polly’s best friend Jane didn’t play a big part in the book until closer to the end. She invites Polly on a camping trip. There were quite a few twists in the plot that occurred on the trip and a scary encounter on a boat (I don’t want to include any spoilers!) that changed the course of the story! The sub-plots in this novel were cleverly tied in with the main plot and they added a lot to the novel (Her dad troubles, Hamburger Heaven, Miss Swoon, etc)
In the end, Swoon At Your Own Risk is definitely worth picking up come April and it’s going to be out in paperback which makes it that much better! The title will also make better sense once you read the novel. It’s such a perfect title for the book. Hint: it’s a play on “Swim at your own risk”- which does come up in the book! With a positive underlying message and a strong female lead, Swoon At Your Own Risk is funny, emotional, and an overall great read. I’m definitely going to pick up a copy of Salter's other novel, My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters soon.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars