Friday, 24 October 2014

Review: First World Problems by Leigh Ann Kopans

Title: First World Problems
Author: Leigh Ann Kopans
Author Info: Website|Blog|Facebook|Twitter
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Solving For Ex #2
Source: Purchased by myself
Publication Date: 23rd July 2014

Tell Me About It
Sofia Cole has always been able to get anything she wants through begging, flirting, and shameless manipulation of everyone around her.

Sofia doesn't think that Dad sending her on a gap service year to Guyana to address how "spoiled" she is will change any of that.

Sofia just might be proven wrong.

Sofia's had a really rough year - busted for cheating at prep school, dumped - dumped! - for the first time ever, and her new non-profit working stepmother is turning out to be an uppity bitch.

She deserves to treat herself. But when she throws herself a birthday party with 20 of her closest friends in Paris and (accidentally!) maxes out her dad's credit card in the process, he’s had enough of her attitude. As punishment, he switches her planned gap year touring Europe to one doing community service work with the evil stepmother’s relief organization in Guyana.

The rural village of Dabu needs help in every area from education to getting safe drinking water. But Sofia’s more concerned about her roommate Callum, the gardening expert, who calls Sofia "Princess" and scoffs at her distaste for sweaty, muddy, iguana-eating, outhouse-using life in Guyana.

Eventually, life on the equator, her work in the village, and especially Callum - with his brooding eyes and bewitching New Zealand accent - start to grow on Sofia. Life is rough in Guyana, but it’s roughest on the girls, whose families are too poor to send only the most promising boys in school. They’re trapped in a cycle that will keep them from ever making a better life for themselves, or for the village. Worse, Callum doesn’t seem to think any of the changes Sofia envisions are actually necessary.

Determined to change the girls’ futures, she comes up with a strategy to help them and, ultimately, the village. But what starts out as a plan to convince Callum and her father that she’s fallen in love with Guyana, turns into the realization that maybe she’s falling for Callum, too. And that by changing these girls’ lives, she might also be changing her own.
My Thoughts
I think it will be good for you, Sofia, to see how most of the world lives. To understand exactly how privileged your situation is.
On a normal day this suggestion would probably not sound so bad, after all you would get to travel and see how others live. But if you had just maxed out your credit card throwing yourself a party, spending half a million dollars, these words are probably the very last things you wanted to hear. Unfortunately for Sofia, these words don't mean a travelling holiday, they mean a gap year in Guyana working in a minute village, helping the villagers out, her plans to go to Paris most definitely put on hold.

Those of us who read Solving For Ex will remember Sofia and know that working is the last thing in the world she would ever want to do. When I began reading First World Problems I found it hard to actually like Sofia, I even tweeted to Leigh Ann about it, Sofia really comes across as an extremely spoilt person, and her attitude towards others matched her lifestyle perfectly. However, having such awful feelings for her in the beginning, made it easier to really see her throughout the book, and see the changes she makes as a person. One of the first instances where I did actually feel sorry for her was her first real meal there. She eats with abandon, never really feeling so hungry before, and really enjoys what she is eating until she is told what it is.......iguana, this little dude below.

I would have had the exact same reaction as she did if I was told I had just eaten iguana.

First World Problems is a book that really makes you feel things, that gets you emotionally invested in not only the protagonists, or the secondary characters, but every single character that you meet. Leigh Ann has done a great job of ensuring you become emotionally invested in the characters and their situation, but also making a not so great location sound picturesque and quaint....if you ignore the hard work, and the monkey poo ;)

First World Problems really opens you eyes to what you have got and how lucky we are to actually have the luxuries of internet, computers etc, but it also draws you in with the romance, friendships, and occasional humorous writing.

Some things that I liked about First World Problems were the ending, we actually got an epilogue that takes place a few years later, so we get to see what happened after the story ends and what is being done. I also loved the images that were placed throughout the pages, they added a little extra touch to the story and allowed us to see what was being talked about or being planned.

First World Problems was a page turner from start to finish, and as usual I look forward to reading more of Leigh Ann's work.

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