2021 · books · ya

Book Review: At Your Service and Catch of the Day 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: At Your Service; Catch of the Day (Heartbreak Cafe, #3-#4)

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.

I don’t know about you but I’m really feeling this series so far. It’s so quick and fun and I’m flying through this. It reminds me a bit of Georgia Nicolson series, only this is the American version of that.

I love how carefree all the books are and that each one of them is like a sitcom episode were it doesn’t end up with a plot twist and just simply continues on with the next adventure.

In the third book we finally tackled the infamous Wendy, Joe’s girlfriend who is the epitome of Regina George. I don’t usually like those types of characters because I feel like they’re made that mean and shallow to make the main character look better but I do understand that this is a YA book so it’s kind of inevitable.

Also, my favorite character Pam has finally got herself a boy! I was really cheering for them but it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to. Still, I’m hoping Pam will get her justice in the following books.

Not gonna lie, I found Debbie a bit annoying in the beginning of the series, however, as the story progresses, she’s really growing on me and I realize it’s just her character. Although I usually like ‘bad guy’ troupe in books, I must admit Joe is not really my favorite but I’m hoping that will change in the future.

I love how each book deals with different side-characters and gives all of them show time. I really liked the fourth book and the story of Art and Rosarita and their ‘forbidden’ love. I’m so sad it didn’t turn out to be such a happy story in the end but I feel like this isn’t the end of Art and Rosarita.

The character I’m also looking forward to seeing more of is Ashley because I feel like, although she’s so fun and flirty, always dressed up and looking for fun, her character didn’t progress past that. I don’t like how mean some people (and by that I mean Joe) are to her and I’m hoping that will change in the next book. Justice for Ashley!

Also, the long awaited Debbie and Joe thing finally happened and I’m happy for it. I’m really interested in how their relationship will go, although I don’t really ship him with Debbie.

I cannot stress this enough, but you should know that this was written in the 90s so it’s very different from today’s books. It’s full of stuff I don’t really agree with, as well as some stereotypes so I do read this with a grain of salt and analyse it as a fun YA book (written in the 90s) and not a literary masterpiece. All in all, it’s a quick and fun read and I’m excited for last 2 books!

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