Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway (Coca Cola Pajamas, signed book, swag, and other prizes!): Love and Cola Wars by Heidi Loney



1. SUMMER LOVE - Justin Timberlake
2. MANEATER – Nelly Fortado
3. LADY IN RED (LATIN VERSION) – Junior Gonzalez
4. COULD I HAVE THIS KISS FORVEVER – Enrique Iglesias and Whitney Houston
5. NEED TO KNOW - Marc Antony
7. A SUMMER SONG - Chad and Jeremy (Coco and Vincente)
11. SHE’S ALL I’VE EVER HAD - Ricky Martin
12. 1, 2, 3 - Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

This young adult novel takes place in an alternate Toronto, Canada. Basically, everything has been sold, bought, and stamped by a big name corporation. Set in a contemporary, big company owned city, Coco and Vincente are on opposing corporation sides. Meeting on a beach, their attraction is fairly instant and totally forbidden. Parallel with Romeo and Juliet, thankfully this novel lacks a deadly ending, but it full of the same familial conflict.

Vincente is Pepsi and Coco is… Coca Cola! She’s popular, rich, and a nice chick. Vincente is a handsome, from the wrong side, and has a thing for fencing. After a variety of close encounters and fist fighting, fencing duals, and generally hatred between Pepsi and Cola, Vincente finds Coco at her father’s huge yearly bash. Her father is trying to pair Coco with a sleazy guy, which Vincente mistakes for a real suitor. Vincente and buddy are tossed out of the party and drunk; Vincente drunk calls/texts Coco and ends up hooking up with a sleazy version of Coco’s suitor. Just when the reader thinks they might drown in teen angst and misunderstanding, the two love birds find a way through fencing duals, bloody fist fights, lies, and teenage hormones and jealously to be together.

This was a satirical (as the book blurb will tell readers) young adult romance. Easy to read and pick up later, it’s an ideal beach read for the younger set who need a tamer romance which a nod toward the possibly franchised future.



Looking down over the pool, he saw a beautiful young woman standing in profile, her long, dark hair cascading over light coffee-coloured shoulders. His jaw became slack and open. All of the moisture in his mouth suddenly dried up. He felt anxious, with an urge to flee, but he couldn’t move. His legs seemed fused to the deck with cement. He was staring at the girl when she turned and caught his eye. It was Coco.
She’s here, he thought. Thank you, Marcos. Thank you for dragging me. She didn’t look away, but kept his gaze for a moment before returning to her conversation. Was she playing it cool, he wondered?
The Latin band in the gazebo was playing an instrumental version of Marc Antony’s ‘Need to Know’. Vincente ditched the drinks, dropped the hood from his head and walked down the stairs of the deck. He forgot about Marcos as he walked towards Coco. She saw him across the pool.
Music and the cacophony of the crowd were all around him. Coco excused herself from her companion and came around to his side of the pool. They didn’t take their eyes off one another, and surprisingly, considering how close to the lip they walked, neither of them fell into the pool. Then he was right in front of her, looking into her golden eyes.
“Vincente, I’m so glad to see you.” She beamed. “I never got your number, and then my dad was giving me a hard time. Hey, what happened to your eye?”
She examined it closely, lightly touching the butterfly strip across his eyebrow. Vincente was terribly embarrassed.
“Ugh, I got into a fight last week, just after we met,” Vincente said.
“Someone from school?”
“Just a guy.”
“Okay, tough guy,” she said. “Hey, how did you find out about the party?”
“Marcos got wind of it. This is my first year at the Coke BBQ. You seem to have been to this thing before?”
“Every year, actually. My father is the one that throws it.”
And now Vincente knew the truth.
“Oh, sorry. That’s really embarrassing,” he said.
Vincente thought that maybe he should have enlightened her, but he didn’t want to ruin the moment. He could tell her later, he thought.
Coco laughed. “No worries. Hey, do you want to dance?
“Sure, but I’m not that good.”
“That’s okay. I can lead.”
Coco took Vincente’s hand and led him down to the temporary dance floor in front of the gazebo. Her father had had it laid out just for this occasion. Above the dance floor, the decorating team had strung numerous strands of twinkly lights between two trees. People were sitting and keeping warm at two fire pits surrounded by logs.
Coco found a spot that was clear of the other dancers on the floor. Vincente put one hand on Coco’s slim hips and his other hand on her shoulder. Adjusting his hand, she moved it slightly higher onto her waist. He felt like an idiot for being so awkward. Beginning to sway to the music, she pulled him in a little bit closer.
“You see, it’s not that difficult,” she said.
Coco’s skin was so soft to the touch and she smelled amazing, like the sweet fragrance of wild roses. Being near her was potent.
“You’re right. I just need to get the hang of it, I guess.”
The beautiful sky and moon that now rose, the cool night air, and the beauty of Coco enveloped Vincente. The chill created goose pimples on Coco’s flesh.
“Are you cold?” he asked.
“No, you seem to be warm enough for the two of us,” she said.
“You smell great,” he said, immediately regretting it. But then she said, “So do you.”
He held her close, this almost stranger, feeling guilty for not revealing his true self to her. When the song ended, Coco suggested they sit by the fire and warm up. Like a gentleman, he offered his hoodie, and she accepted.

Heidi Loney is a Toronto based Young Adult Author. Her dystopian novel, Ravenous (Ancestry, Book 1), is currently available in both Kobo and Kindle e-book formats. Heidi’s satirical Upper MG/YA novel, Love and Cola Wars is now available on Kindle and Kobo. She is currently writing Ancestor (Ancestry, Book 2) to be released later in 2014. Before becoming a novelist, Heidi studied theatre and worked as a costumer for 15 years in many of Toronto’s theatres.
Heidi’s other passion is politics, and you can find her tongue-in-cheek posts on Toronto city politics blog,
Heidi lives in the city with her husband Jack and two (mostly) darling children.

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Coke Jammies Giveaway
The giveaway (Canada and US) will be a set of Coca Cola Pajamas, red and blue Avon nail polish, and a signed copy of Love and Cola Wars with a bookmark.

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