Tapas and Tears


By Chris Higgins

Fourteen-year-old Jaime doesn't want to go on the Easter holiday exchange trip to Spain. She's shy and awkward and she doesn't like the idea of staying with a complete stranger. But when her mother persuades her to go, Jaime consoles herself with the fact that the girl she's paired with is called Concepcion Immaculada, and a girl with a name like that must be some kind of saint. Unfortunately Concha - Concepcion Immaculada's nickname - is a rebellious, boy-crazy (and possibly crazy) loner, and Jaime's stuck with her for two weeks. As if that wasn't bad enough, the gorgeous boy that Concha's madly in love with seems to be interested in Jaime. Slowly, Jaime learns to cope with everything life throws at her. The story moves at a fast pace and is full of drama. The characters are interesting and realistic. Family problems are dealt with sensitively. There is an ever-twisting and dramatic plot, an emphasis on the importance of friendship and mutual understanding and a secondary theme about sporting activity and how it can help people gain confidence and inner strength. Real teenage girl appeal.

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