2021 · books · ya

Book Review: No Experience Required and The Main Attraction by Janet Quin-Harkin

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book series in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Title: No Experience Required; The Main Attraction (Heartbreak Cafe, #1-#2)

Author: Janet Quin-Harkin

Series Description:

It’s 1989. Life’s easy for DEBORAH LESLEY: she’s up-market, drives her own flash car to school, and looks pretty good too. She’s never had a job, either; but now her parents have split up, and she needs the money.

JOE GARBARINI is cool. He likes motorbikes, girls, and fun. He doesn’t have time for much — he’s running Heartbreak Café when he’s not at school.

The Heartbreak Café is a noisy hangout on the north Californian coast. Joe’s worked there for years, and knows what it takes. He’s sure Debbie won’t last a month — but Debbie’s determined to put up with his wisecracks and prove him wrong.

Debbie, Joe and the rest of the gang are all at the Heartbreak Café. Meet them in this sparkling series from bestselling author Janet Quin-Harkin


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Meet Heartbreak Cafe, a noisy and somewhat tacky bar that serves burgers and milkshakes. Surely, not a place were our main character Debbie usually goes. She’s more into sushi bars and fancy places. But after her parent’s divorce, suddenly money is cut off and she must start earning her own money. So she starts working in Heartbreak Cafe, run by a mean, narcissistic boss Joe who doesn’t really like her that much. But as the time passes, she realizes the cafe is maybe just what she needed.

This book was first published in 1989 and it really shows (so please if you decide to read this, keep that in mind), because some of the thoughts are really old-fashioned and not likely for the age we live in. But, I feel like this would’ve been a perfect series to me if I’d have picked it up maybe 10 years ago. But still, it was very fun to read it.

Debbie is the stereotypical preppy, spoiled, rich brat who hasn’t done a day of work in her life, and although I usually hate stereotypes in books, I like how her character has grown throughout the books. Debbie is a junior in high school, but at some times she did seem pretty childish but I think it’s interesting just because it shows how much the writing has changed in the past 30 years.

The first book was really fun and interesting, the kind of book that you read in one sitting, just because it’s light and funny, not packed with difficult mathematics so it’s perfect for when you’re feeling down.

The second book was far more enjoyable to me. Not just because all the characters kind of grow on you but the stereotypes also start falling apart. Debbie is definitely made to be the main character and she radiates that energy, but I definitely want to see the growth and focus on Debbie’s friend group and other side characters.

The character I really liked was Debbie’s mom, who had just gotten divorced and is trying to pursue her education. Debbie thinks she’s a bit selfish but I think it’s inspirational because it shows that no matter how old you are, you should pursue your dreams (even if they don’t work out in the end).

The ending of the second book was very satisfying and I was so glad it turned out that way. I am definitely continuing on with the series, as they are a perfect thing to read when you’re trying to recover from heavy books. This series is a true 4 star read and it has everything that a funny and light teen romance series should have.

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