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Thursday, October 23, 2014


The Summer of Shambles by Ebony McKenna 
(Ondine #1) 
Publication date: June 21 2013
Genres: Comedy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult


Dive into this wonderfully witty young adult series from author Ebony McKenna, set in the far off European country of Brugel.

15-year-old Ondine is struggling to fit in at Psychic Summercamp and doubts she possesses any of her family’s magical abilities. She resolves to leave, determined to follow her own path and be a normal teenager. Whatever normal is in a place like Brugel.

On the way home Ondine is shocked when her pet ferret Shambles starts talking – in a cheeky Scottish accent no less! He is in fact a young man trapped in a witch’s curse. When he briefly transforms into his human self, Ondine is smitten. If only she can break the spell for good, Shambles can be handsomely human on a full-time basis.

During the summer, these two misfits uncover a plot to assassinate a member of the royal family and discover a secret treasure that has remained hidden for decades. This attracts the attention of the arrogant Lord Vincent, and Ondine can’t help being drawn in by his bad-boy charm.

With so many demands on Ondine’s attentions – and affections – normal has never seemed so far away.

The Summer of Shambles is the first in the four-part ONDINE series. Fans of The Princess Bride or the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series will love this delightfully quirky fairytale.


I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book is such a refreshing read for me. The Summer of Shambles reminds me of my teenage years. 

The story revolves around Ondine and her umm... companion slash friend, Shambles. The timeline is a bit odd because it felt as if they were in the medieval times as well as the modern times. Maybe it really is a combination of the two. The plot follows Ondine's adventures inside and outside of her family's pub. Her family is an odd bunch, but they ARE family, so they work together as one.

Ondine is a teenager who wants what most girls her age want. She wants freedom, acceptance and well.. also admiration. She's a funny girl with such determination when she set her mind to it. There's a down side to all of her positive attitude though. Just like many teens, she also finds it hard to follow her parents' instructions. She thinks that they are overprotective and that they want to control their lives (hers and her two other sisters'). In this book, she learns the value of listening to elders.. among many other things. 

Shambles on the other hand, did something in the past that created a bad consequence for him in the present. I'd like to think that he already learned his lesson from that. At present, he's witty, charming and very, very smart. I like him because he says what's on his mind. He doesn't really beat around the bushes plus, he's kinda cute. :) 

I like their banters and I like how they are with each other and the people around them. These characters are closely knit, so as a reader, I feel that they are closely knit. I like Ondine's parents because even though they are imperfect, they only want what's best for their 3 children (who are all girls, by the way). In the midst of all the magic that surrounds this book, Ondine's parents carries an anchor for reality. 

For a first in a series, this one's actually good. I look forward to reading the next one! :) 



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Ebony McKenna lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and son.
She has worked as a journalist, market researcher, website editor, and company director. 
As a teenager, she lived in a family-run restaurant. This provided the inspiration for Ondine's family, as Ebony has also waitressed, prepared food and yep, she washed dishes. So many dishes.
Now she writes novels for a living, so her hands are dry. Except for when her characters are making her laugh too much and she has to wipe tears away so she can see the keyboard.

She's always loved trivia nights and the Eurovision Song Contest, and wishes she'd put money on Conchita Wurst winning this year. 

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  1. Great review! This sounds like a fun read and I like how well developed the relationships all sound. Glad you liked it it sounds like something I'd enjoy too! :)

    1. Thanks, Giselle! The family will blow your mind, but you'll love them! ;)