After the humiliating events on the 4th of July, Gemma’s trying to handle the fact that Hallie knew who she was all along, and she was the one who stole Teddy from her. Gemma vows revenge, but things get more complicated than she planned. Ford, Gemma’s long-time crush, has arrived in the Hamptons cuter than ever. Josh is refusing to speak to her after she lied to him, and Teddy is playing champion to his beloved Marsh Warbler (in Gemma’s backyard, no less).
Gemma and Hallie find themselves locked in an escalating revenge cycle. Just when Gemma thinks she has the upper hand, the biggest bombshell of all is dropped. And it’s one that threatens to change her life forever.
Title: Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold (Broken Hearts & Revenge #2)
Author: Katie Finn
Publication date: May 5, 2015
This review contains spoilers for Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend, the first book in this series.
Second book, same as the first. Gemma continues to be a horrible person, but now she’s joined by Hallie, Horrible Person #2. Hallie, it turns out (spoiler for the first book), knew all along who Gemma-pretending-to-be-Sophie was. She also knows a lot more, and now she’s out for revenge. I can kind of see where she’s coming from — Gemma did derail her mother’s writing career, among other things, after all — but there comes a point where you just have to look at yourself and what you’re doing and say, ENOUGH.
Hallie doesn’t know where that point is. Neither does Gemma.
In front of me were two girls who looked around ten. I watched as they passed a magazine back and forth on the twoel they were sharing, both of them laughing. I wanted to tell them to enjoy it while it lasted. Before long they’d be turning on each other and tricking each other into questionable haircuts, and one would be trying to get the other arrested.
No, Gemma, that’s not NORMAL. That’s YOU.
Gemma does show some growth, in that she seems to know she’s not be 100% in the right, but she doesn’t show enough maturity to call an end to the whole thing and get over it and confess the truth to the adults in her life. If she did that, Hallie wouldn’t be able to hurt her.
Of course, then there would be no book.
I said in my review of Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend that Josh is:
a nice guy who probably deserves a better girl than Gemma.
Josh is basically a non-issue in Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold. He’s around, but Gemma’s focus is elsewhere. So much for true love. Gemma’s best friend Sophie, who arrived in the Hamptons at the end of the first book, sticks around for the whole book, and her ex-boyfriend Teddy pops in and out too. Rounding out the cast are the teenage children of Gemma’s Hamptons host Ford and Gwyneth and Gemma’s coworkers Darcy and Reid. Reid is friends with Hallie and Josh (I think) so I’m sure he was present in the first book, but I have no memory of him. He could have been left out and I wouldn’t have noticed. There are some funny job-related parts of the story, but they didn’t have to be with Reid. They could have been with anyone.
Gwyneth is making a movie/documentary and asks everyone to wear mini-cameras, and you can probably tell where that’s going. It’s predictable and I was able to guess what was going to happen there pretty much every step of the way. Subtlety is not this book’s strong point.
There are also various adults, but they’re mostly minor characters and go back and forth to Los Angeles so often that they’re not even around much. Gemma’s dad is a terrible father, by the way. Maybe it should be no surprise the way she turned out, with the parents she has.
Despite its problems, will I be back for the third book?
Absolutely. I have to find out how it all turns out!
(I hope there’s a nice recap at the beginning of the next book, like there was for this one. 2017 is a long time to wait and I am never going to remember what happened in this book.)