Book review: This Way To Paradise by Cathy Hopkins

Fifteen Year-old India is tired of moving around with her globe trotting parents, so when their finances take a turn for the worse and they’re forced to move into her aunt’s home in London, she’s looking forward to just staying in one place for a while and being a normal girl. Especially when she spots the local talent AKA mysterious and moody Joe. But when her Father is offered a job touring Europe with an Orchestra, India once again finds herself in an airport, this time she’s off to Greece! But without the rest of her family, and only her party mad cousin for company she’s never felt so alone.
I’ve never read any of Cathy Hopkins previous books before, although I do know they’re very popular with younger teen girls. I was looking forward to the humour and fun she’s renowned for and wasn’t disappointed. I really liked the fun, sassy and easy writing style but was also surprised to find it had some quite serious themes which I wasn’t expecting.

I liked India, she’s a relatable character with the same anxieties as many teens: parent difficulties, boy troubles and feelings of insecurity/not knowing who she is. I also really liked the dynamics between India and her older cousin Kate, party girl extraordinaire, and how self conscious she made India feel. I think we’ve ALL known a Kate, who we look up to, idolise and yearn to be like. I have to say though I found the adults in this book annoying beyond belief, particularly India’s parents. It’s a kind of role reversal where India is the grounded and sensible one, and the parents lack any sense of real responsibility. Her father’s attitude to his unemployment particularly wound me up…he comes off as on overgrown spoilt brat!

I expected this book to be aimed more at younger tweens/teens but was surprised at some of the content involving boys and alcohol. However I did think it was pretty realistic and not overly shocking, just not what i was expecting and I’d say it’s suitable for ages 12+. The setting was gorgeous, with Greece being beautifully depicted. Set in a holistic retreat, it has a spiritual edge to it too which I also really liked, and the romance got my full approval too. Joe is perfect moody bad boy swoon material.

This Way To Paradise was a nice, easy read, perfect for the beach or poolside. It’s funny with a slightly more serious edge than I was expecting, and romantic. But overall it’s a girls journey to discovering who she is and where she belongs, and an enjoyable one at that.

Published by Piccadilly 2007. Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review.

2 thoughts on “Book review: This Way To Paradise by Cathy Hopkins

  1. I used to love Cathy Hopkins when I was younger! She definitely knows how to write for teens. I don't think I've read this book (though I'm pretty sure I read one of the ones in this series), but it like a great summer read. Thanks for the review! 🙂


  2. I think I read a couple of Cathy Hopkins when I was younger but haven't read any since. This one sounds like a great fun read though so I may have to see if I can find a copy!


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