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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

SACBIP Reviews Dark Poppy’s Demise

I found another review of Dark Poppy’s Demise, but beware: this one contains quite a few spoilers.

The heart-throbs of Junior High in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. The guy Jenna wanted as her boy has got hooked by someone else, so she follows up a drop-dead gorgeous guy “met” via the Internet. Neither her best friend Anisa nor her sensible brother Ian can do anything to influence the love-smitten maiden. We (as readers) know that disaster lies ahead but Jenna (using her Facebook code name Dark Poppy) builds up the romance verbally. They meet. He looks gorgeous and drives a smashing car. Heavier and heavier love scenes, as homework and school attendance suffer. By this time we have roamed around the Cape scene: Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cavendish Square, Kalk Bay, until the anticipated climax high up in Tamboerskloof. Now the romance turns into a horror comic. Truly nasty – but what else could besotted Jenna expect?

The story loses pace and flags a bit in the middle. We never know where the charming Robert gets his spare cash from. But the teenage hopes and dreams are well written, and the climax is both terrifying and sadly realistic. For teenagers wanting to wallow in mis-directed emotion.

-Jay Heale

Read this review and others here.


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