Book Review: Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood

Posted July 3, 2017 in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: Hippy Chick
Publisher: Pan Publishing
Release date: July 2007
Genre:  Adult contemporary romance
No.pages: 357

My rating: 3 star rating


Come on in, the water’s lovely . . .

Ibiza: paradise for the clubbers, hedonists and sun-seekers, but for Honey Ballantyne it is the only home she has ever known. With the responsibility of running a hotel on her shoulders, and two hippy-dippy parents whose idea of a hard day’s work is a yoga class without their clothes on, Honey feels trapped.

When her first love, Edouard, returns to the island from London and truths about her parents start to unravel, Honey is forced to realize that before she can make decisions about her future she must reconcile herself with the past . . .

From the author of ‘Six Reasons to Stay a Virgin’.


My Review

Hippy Chick was a fun and easy read. I normally read fantasy and sci-fi and stay well away from romance, so this was a big departure for me. It was okay, but it didn’t hook me.

Honey Ballantyne is the daughter of a free-spirited couple who owns a hotel on Ibiza. They prefer to lounge around, mingle with guests and enjoy the party lifestyle, so Honey has to take responsibility for running the place. At the beginning of the book, she feels heavily burdened with this and has an ‘all work and no play’ kind of lifestyle. When her old friend Edouard shows up on the island, he tries to get her to let her hair down a little and it’s obvious that he would like to be more than just friends. There was a lot of ‘will they, won’t they?’ kind of drama most of the way through, which did get a little boring for me.

The storyline about Honey’s past and her father’s secrets was more interesting than the romance and I did want to find out what the big mystery was. When the revelation came, however, it was a bit of a let-down and I found the way the characters handled it seemed unrealistic. There should have been a bigger explosion of drama, but instead, everyone just accepted it quite happily and the climax kind of fizzled away at the end and everything wrapped up just like that.

I didn’t particularly warm to any of the characters. Honey was likeable enough, but she was a bit of a Mary-Sue, with other characters constantly telling her how beautiful and exotic she was, as in this extract:

‘Don’t think it’s a criticism, please,’ Julia said. ‘It’s a compliment, you look gorgeous. British girls spend their lives trying to look like you.’
Honey shook her head. ‘You can’t say that.’
‘Oh, she can, because it’s true,’ Beth agreed. ‘It’s the way you’re put together, look at you and look at me.’ As she spoke she looked down at her own very white legs, freshly shaved, the pink nail polish on her toes peeping out of flowerly flip-flops, and sighed. […] ‘If I put some little plaits in my hair like you’ve done, I’d look like a fool.’

And this one:

‘Yes, I want to look like her. Honey’s gorgeous and so is her hotel. And please don’t you pretend that you don’t think so too and that you haven’t been dying to meet her.’

Edouard came across as boring and pretentious-not my type at all. Honey’s parents seemed a little pathetic and I felt faintly embarrassed for them every time they appeared in a scene.

The main things I liked about the book were the descriptions of island life-the scenes where Honey and Edouard rode horses into the sea and camped on a beach under the stars did transport me to a sunny paradise and make me feel relaxed.

Overall, Hippy Chick was a pleasant read but wasn’t really for me. It would be perfect as a holiday read to flick through while lounging on a deck chair by the pool or on the beach and would probably appeal more to people who enjoy reading contemporary romance.

Have you read Hippy Chick? If so, what did you think? If not, does it sound like something you’d want to read? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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