Tuesday, 19 January 2016

ALANA: WHY I LOVE THE CHOCOLATE BOX GIRLS...

Reader Alana recently wrote me a fabulous letter about how much she loved my CHOCOLATE BOX GIRLS series... I thought I'd share!


Alana says:
I first discovered Cathy's books at my school's book fair - a few friends were talking about CHERRY CRUSH and how much they loved the series. I decided to buy it and as soon as I began to read, fell instantly in love with the story. Cherry is a passionate, interesting character and I related to her on so many levels. I loved her wild imagination and her struggle to fit in - I could see it all unfolding so clearly in my mind.

Because I am a twin also, I loved the next book, MARSHMALLOW SKYE. I understood why she felt second best. Being a twin is hard work - you do often feel like you have to conform to others' standards and be more like your twin because everyone is always comparing you to her. Skye is so unique and original, I'd never want her to be anything but her amazing self and she made me realise that I don't need to be anything but my own self either. I loved seeing her grow and discover who she really wanted to be.

I was deeply moved by SUMMER'S DREAM - Summer wanted her dream so badly. Watching her crumble under the pressure was horrible. It was like watching a glass of water fall to the ground in slow motion and and there was nothing you could do to stop it. I love how Cathy's book can tackle very serious topics and yet retain a light and hopeful tone... a friend of mine had an eating disorder, and this book helped me to understand a little more about how she might be feeling. I also loved the character Alfie - he was so sweet and so funny and I loved that he did so many cute little things for Summer.

It was great to switch viewpoints and see the sisters from the youngest sister's viewpoint in the book COCO CARAMEL. She is sassy and has her priorities right - any mistakes she makes happen only because she is trying to help others. She can see what is wrong with the world around her and is willing to make a stand. She loves her family but knows they have their faults and is not afraid to point them out. Coco is proof that you can make a difference in the world, no matter how small you are or how much power you may or may not have.

SWEET HONEY... well, I don't even know where to begin with Honey. Out of all of the sisters, she is the most fascinating and interesting. I really wanted to see where the story would take her, and I finally got to see her thoughts and feelings and understand why she acted the way she did. I loved watching her character develop and change, and see her coming to understand her mum, her dad, Cherry and Paddy far more clearly as the book progressed. She changed dramatically in her outlook and it was great to see her in a new light. It took me back to when I first read CHERRY CRUSH and discussed it with my friends... we hated Honey. This book changed that, and I saw that everyone has a reason for their actions and that although people can do bad things when they are angry, it is not always their fault. I don't think anyone can blame Honey for what she did, and I am glad she learnt from it!

The last book, FORTUNE COOKIE, was a great wrap-up to the series. We met a totally new character, Jake, the sisters' secret half-brother, and saw the end of the story from a totally fresh viewpoint again. Honey and Cherry finally made their peace and everything came to a beautiful ending - I won't spoil the story by explaining just how! I have just loved the series, it has taught me so much. Cathy's books are quick and easy to read and bring up serious issues that are very relevant to teens today. The stories have inspired me to think of my own and I hope to follow in Cathy's footsteps and be a writer one day. I'd love to inspire others the way Cathy Cassidy has inspired me!

Cathy says:
Thank you Alana... letters like yours make all the hard work worthwhile! Do YOU love a particular CC book or series? Maybe you'd like to write about it for DREAMCATCHER! Email me via the 'email Cathy' link over on cathycassidy.com to let me know! Or just COMMENT BELOW to have your say...

7 comments:

  1. I adore ALL the books in the Chocolate Box Girls series. The first book I read by Cathy Cassidy and was in the Chocolate Box Girls series was Marshmallow Skye. I was only seven when I read Skye's story therefore I didn't understand the book as well as I would now but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It was only when I discovered Coco Caramel on a school library trip that I properly had an interest for Cathy Cassidy's books and fell instantly in love. I absolutely love Coco's determinded and eccentric personality. I know how it's like to be the youngest in the family therefore I totally understood the issues Coco had the face. And just like Coco, I have a strong passion for animals (especially horses and ponies). Then I went on to read Sweet Honey right after I'd read Coco Caramel. And just like Coco, I instantly fell in love with Honey's character and her side to everything. I love Honey's independence and the way she dealt with growing up. It kinds of reminds me how I was- trying to find my feet. I went back down in the series to Summer's Dream and adore Summer's character and her story even though it involved many tragic events and changes. I have a VERY strong passion for dance and I work really hard just like Summer. To imagine all of that to slide out of my fingers would be death. Later on last year, I brought the hardback version of Fortune Cookie and read the entire book in a day because I was so drawn.Like most Chocolate Box Girls fans, I am really sad that Fortune Cookie was the FINAL book of the series. Despite that, Jake's story was a very interesting and attention-drawing ending to such an action-packed, dramatic book series. The final Chocolate Box book that I had read was Cherry's Crush (the very first book) and The Chocolate Box Secrets. I savoured every page of each book. I've completed many craft projects in The Chocolate Box Secrets and grown to like Cherry's character-both of us have a very similar love for writing-besides dancing, writing is the only thing I'm good at.

    Overall I've loved EVERY book in the series and I hope people who have just discovered Cathy's books also feel the same.

    #sweetreats xxx

    weblink: www.bakingboutiquebirds.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. I love the chocolate box girls too-it's my favourite series of books ever!

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  3. I absolutely LOVE this series. As a keen reader from age 8/9, I picked up "Summer's Dream" just as a summer holiday read. I read it all within a week, I couldn't put it down. It was so enticing.I went straight back to the shop and brought "Marshmellow Skye" and "Cherry Crush". Both books are AMAZING and within three weeks I read both. I read Coco Caramel and thought that Coco was a sweet, determined, serious person. She looks after animals well. And we can all connect with her, I'm an animal lover :D. "Sweet Honey" came out after all these books. I read "Bittersweet" first so I could make sense who Shay was. I was 11 when I read them both and loved them because Honey finds who she actually is. Now aged 12, and reading "Fortune Cookie" which I the last in the series , I had to admit, I'm sad. "Fortune Cookie" is enjoyable, heartwarming and a book for anyone ( ALL my friends at school are reading it now !) x

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  4. I love Cherry Crush because it shows what it is like to try and fit in, to be an outsider, and showed me I need to be myself.

    Marshmallow Skye is amazing because Skye is so unique and original and kind, and it shows what it is like to be in someone else's shadow constantly and what it is like to have an out of the bounds crush.

    Summer's Dream was so inspiring, and it was interesting to show that having a talent that makes you stand out is not all fun and games....

    I love Coco Caramel because Coco is so determined and doesn't let anything get in her way. She has a big passion (for animals) and it shows you can change the world, no matter what other people think.

    In Sweet Honey, it was fun and interesting to see things from Honey's point of view, and good to see she finally finds her soulmate- Ash.

    Fortune Cookie was a brilliant ending, and made a fresh change from a girl's point of view. Cherry and Honey also made up..yay(:
    I love it so much I' doing a fanfic for y writing club at school, set from Cherry's viewpoint again(:

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  5. I am hopelessly addicted to the chocolate box girls series ! I normally read adventure books like Harry Potter or the Hunger Games but as soon as I finished Sweet Honey (which was the first book in the series I had read) I was dying for more. Cathy Cassidy is a brilliant storyteller - the chocolate box girls has a super interesting plot line and it's got a beautiful setting too. I'm so sad that Fortune Cookie is the last book! In my head I follow all the characters as they grow older and I imagine their futures (I'm terrible at writing).

    Thank you Cathy Cassidy! This series has really inspired me! xxx

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  6. well all the books are amazing. I love life is sweet and I love how you get to see a different side of the story in each book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. My name is Anael, and i have read every book in the CHOCOLATE BOX GIRLS series except Cherry Crush. I am planning to reserve it from my library. Alana wrote a very good, long letter, and I am so happy there are many fans just like me out there! If you LOVED AND ADORED the series, you should try to read all the Jacqueline Wilson series! It also tackles usual problems too! I liked SUMMER"S DREAM because it showed me how effective hard work can be- in the bad way and also in the very good way! I am about to do my SATS and I can't wait to see my score-I will try my very best! I also loved MARSHMALLOW SKYE firstly because i SIMPLY ADORE books which are based on old family legends because it sucks me right in and gets me thinking that maybe i have a very unique relative! I loved Coco Caramel because i feel like i am Coco in a way, as we both love animals and want to save them! I love sweet honey because she really changed- i disliked her when i read about hr from some other sisters pint of view, but after reading it, i feel like she changed in a very good way. Lastly , i love fortune cookie and life is sweet!





    HOPE TO READ GINGER SNAPS!!!

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