The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson


The Ice Cream Girls was loaned to me by my work colleague, Linda. She thought I might have liked this after I had read My Best Friend’s Girl, which is by the same author (which Linda had also loaned to me).

This is the description from Amazon.co.uk

“As teenagers, Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the only witnesses to a tragic event. Amid heated public debate, the two seemingly glamorous teens were dubbed ‘The Ice Cream Girls’ by the press and were dealt with by the courts. Years later, having led very different lives, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while Serena wants no one in her present to find out about her past. But some secrets will not stay buried – and if theirs is revealed, everything will become a living hell all over again …Gripping, thought-provoking and heart-warming, The Ice Cream Girls will make you wonder if you can ever truly know the people you love.”

Poppy & Serena are teenage schoolgirls who are corrupted and manipulated by their sadistic teacher, Marcus. He abuses them physically, mentally & sexually, often pitting them against each other. Their abuse only ends when Marcus is murdered & Poppy is found guilty and jailed for 20 years. On her release she seeks out Serena, determined to get her to admit that it was her, and not Poppy, who returned to ‘finish off’ Marcus that fateful night all those years ago.

I’m not really sure how I felt about The Ice Cream Girls. I enjoyed bits & pieces of it – it was ok, but like My Best Friend’s Girl it had some massively gaping holes in the plot-line. Like:

  1. Why did Poppy & Serena’s parents never notice the multiple injuries that they suffered at Marcus’ hands? They had broken bones & stitches, for crying out loud! Even though Marcus took the girls to different hospitals every time they needed medical attention, why was nothing flagged up in their medical history? They used the NHS, so they would have had to give their names, addresses, their home Dr’s, etc & is it believable that people wouldn’t have asked questions about a young teenager turning up in the Emergency room – alone – needing treatment for unexplained injuries? Also, I think that if I had a 15-year-old daughter who all of a sudden is coming home with broken bones, I’d be demanding answers!
  2. Why did Poppy’s defence team not delve deeper into Marcus’ past? His wife alleged that he was a paedophile & that he had slept with his students when they were fighting for custody of their son, so finding this information out should have been easy! The woman had a restraining order on Marcus – this too should have been easy to find out about – in fact, it probably would have come to light not long after he was found dead (or at least it would have if this had happened in the real world!)
  3. Why was the media allowed to discuss the case, thereby influencing the judges’ decision?
  4. How is it that Serena’s husband had no clue about who she was? I mean, come on – the woman made ZERO attempt to conceal her identity & by the accounts in the book was one of the most discussed, disliked people in the UK, so how come her husband had no inkling about who she was? Did he grow up in a vacuum?
  5. Why did Poppy’s & Serena’s parents not believe them & fight for them?

Holes – holes – holes. This book is full of holes!

Now, that said, I didn’t hate The Ice Cream Girls, but it wasn’t a very good book (sorry Linda!). As I have said, I have also read My Best Friend’s Girl, by the same author, which was marginally better. So, 2 Dorothy Koomson books read, one ok, the other I wouldn’t really recommend……..something tells me I won’t be reading any other books by this author!

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Filed under postaweek2011, Relaxing reading

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