Friday, 26 April 2013

Books Read: Dorothy Koomson - The Ice Cream Girls

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...

I originally read The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson several years ago but when I saw that there was going to be a TV drama based on the book I had decided to re-read the book before watching the series... the very next day I received a copy of the book to review from Sphere.  

Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were two young impressionable teenage girls who fell for the charms of an older man, supply teacher Marcus.  The girls didn't know each other until they were introduced by Marcus, they both thought that they were his only girlfriend but soon find themselves being manipulated and controlled by him.  

Finally both girls realise independently how damaging his influence is and want to bring an end to their abusive relationships with Marcus but instead they find themselves in the midst of drama.  A crime which sees Poppy sentenced to years in prison, for which she insists she is innocent, whilst Serena is acquitted of all charges and free to get on with her life.  

Years later when Poppy is released from prison she sets out to try and clear her name by tracking down Serena to get her to admit to being the real culprit. In the interim years Serena has married and is now living in Brighton with her husband Evan and two children but she's never told them anything about her past and the fact that she was one of the two 'Ice Cream Girls' as she and Poppy were dubbed by the media due to one of the photos that Marcus had staged of them.  So when she discovers that Poppy has been released from prison she worries that her comfortable life will come tumbling down...

Even reading this book a second time round it's hard to read about young 16 year old vulnerable girls being drawn into such damaging relationships, it's clear to see that Dorothy must have done a lot of research into abusive relationships as it was all so believable. 
I didn't manage to read the book before the first episode but at least I managed to finish it before tonight's episode and the only comment I will make about the TV show is that they've clearly used creative license as not quite true to the book but still enjoyable to watch.   As I've already read Dorothy's latest book, The Rose Petal Beach, it looks like I'll have a bit of wait to read my next book from her.


  1. I love this books.What an interesting story!

  2. These are words I have never uttered, but *deep breath*, 'I've only watched the TV programme'! :O
    I'm really enjoying it, I know people say it differs from the book, but anyway, I'm going to give it a go too.
    Great review, Shaz :)