Sunday 16 March 2014

Choose your own Ever After — How to get to Rio

Choose your own Ever After — How to get to Rio by Julie Fison (Hardie Grant Egmont)
PB $14.95 RRP
ISBN 9781742977744
Reviewed by Nean McKenzie

A different spin on the idea of choosing your own adventure, is a series aimed at 10 to 14 year old girls, where the reader gets to make decisions about her 'ever after'. Based around the character's relationships with girl friends, cute boys and family, this story plays out various scenarios based on choices the reader makes as she goes along. Will the main character Kitty ditch her 'besties' and go to the beach with the popular Persephone and buy lots of bikinis? Well, in this book, the reader can decide, as she is in control.

Kitty MacLean is a secondary school student about to go on holidays, either camping with her friends Izzy and Mia or staying in a beach house near Rio, the boy she has a crush on. It is forty pages before the first choice, and each outcome has a similar number of pages dedicated to it before the next decision. So unlike some choose your own adventure books, where a choice is made at the end of every chapter, this is a little slower moving.

In contrast to some choose your own adventure books, no choices result in the death of the main character, which is probably just as well! In fact, having read through all of the endings, they're all pretty good. If Kitty doesn't end up with Rio,  she has some hope of ending up with him. It's not at all moralistic — for example even when Kitty lies about spraining her ankle and then does sprain her ankle, she is taken to the doctor by, you guessed it, Rio!

The idea of empowering girls to be in control of their own destinies is an admirable one. There's a lot of well written dialogue in this book which is quite fun and natural. The characters, who were likeable, did lack some substance but this could be due to restrictions of the 'choose your own ever after' format. Choose your own Ever After — How to get to Rio is a light, easy read, aimed at a very particular age group and sex, hopefully encouraging them to read some more.  


  1. The Choose Your Own Adventure format has never really gone away,I've seen some with a football theme, though the original series was very popular for a while, then fizzled out. This sort of book is fun for a while, though limited. Still, it does appeal to reluctant readers! :-)

  2. And hopefully getting those reluctant readers hooked on books!


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