(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).
(This review may contain spoilers).
Although I haven’t read the first book in this series, I did really enjoy reading this. It was a children’s book, technically, but I thought it did still deal with some very real issues really well.
It was really good to see how Sam viewed her family and situation. I enjoyed seeing her relationship with her brother and sister… and how she worried and cared about her parents.
It was nice to see how Sam and John befriended Tracy. I enjoyed seeing the dogs… and I also felt really sad about Tracy’s relationship with her father. It was nice to see that Sam was really active, despite the difficulties Downs Syndrome did mean for her.
It was good to see Sam and her older sister, though I would have liked to see a bit more of their interactions. Some of John’s antics did make me smile and I felt that I could relate really well to Sam and her imagination… especially when it came to her thoughts about the fairies and the secret island.
I especially liked being able to get glimpses into Sam’s thoughts through her journal entries. I thought those offered a bit more insight into her personality and what she thought about her vacation.
I felt this book was short and fairly easy to read. It managed to draw me in especially well and I thought that the main characters were likable… even though John seemed very much more interested in Tracy’s game consoles than in being friends with her. At the same time, though, it was good to see that he did try to help out… and he was part of the friendship.
I did like the idea of the secret island. That was the sort of thing I’d personally enjoy finding… and the appearance of the squirrel did make me giggle. And, of course, putting food in a cardboard box wasn’t a good idea.
I did really like being able to learn more about what Sam liked doing and her different hobbies, as well as her more creative side with the drawing. I really did like the family aspects and it would have been nice to see more of Tracy and her father.
I would read the other book/s in this series in the future. I’d like to see more of Sam and her family.