[I received a copy of this book from its publisher Dancing Cat Books (an imprint of Cormorant Books) for a blog tour. This does not affect my opinion of the novel.]
I’ve been itching to travel lately but since I already went to Vancouver this year, I doubt I’ll be able to go anywhere else soon. So, when Dancing Cat Books invited me to be a part of their blog tour for Bye-Bye, Evil Eye by Deborah Kerbel, I jumped at the chance as the first half of the novel is set in Greece. (The second half of the book is set in Toronto!)
Bye-Bye, Evil Eye is a young adult novel that follows 13-year-old Dani as she vacations in Greece with her best friend Kat. Dani is “pretty, rich, and popular” and, at times, a bit vain. She’s committed to finding her shy best friend Kat a boy to kiss for the first time while in Greece, and everything seems to be going well. That is, until she’s cursed. Bad things keep happening to her and it only gets worse. Now, she has to figure out a way to undo the curse or risk bringing danger to her friends and family.
I had fun reading Bye-Bye, Evil Eye. My travel bug was tempered as I followed Dani and Kat to Greece’s beaches, lying in the sun and checking out the cute boys. It definitely made Toronto’s cold, rainy weather a little more bearable. Dani and Kat’s friendship was entirely believable, so I enjoyed reading about them and tagging along on their vacation. I also found myself quite invested in finding out who cast the curse on Dani. Thanks to my English degree, I’m the type of reader who has to analyze everything and dissect the implications of certain plots. Thus, it really mattered to me who the spell-caster was.
**SPOILER ALERT – please skip the next two paragraphs if you do not want to know who was the one behind Dani’s misfortunes.**
It turns out that Kat’s mom, who was with the girls on their vacation, was meddling with Dani’s stuff – poisoning her food, vandalizing her car, etc – because Dani was getting too close to a boy named Nick who was in an arranged marriage of sorts with Kat. In the end, Kat expresses that she does not want to marry Nick at all, and Kat’s mom learns the hard way that love can’t be forced.
Initially, I wasn’t sure about the ending, but after thinking about it for a while I think it was ultimately about the mother-daughter relationship and how sometimes, what a mother thinks is best isn’t always right. I do think that Mrs. P learns a lesson by the end of the book and I am hopefully that she will become more open and accepting of her daughter’s wishes moving forward. I think this ended up being a great way to end the novel and the mystery of the “evil eye” curse!
**SPOILER SECTION ENDS**
Overall, Bye-Bye, Evil Eye was an entertaining adventure. It was a quick, light read and assuaged my desire to travel (for now!). If you want a book to make you feel like you’re on a warm vacation but also has a bit of drama to it, Bye-Bye, Evil Eye may be the book for you!
Verdict: A quick, fun book. I’m satisfied with the way I’ve interpreted the book, but I was initially unsure.
Read if: You’ve ever wanted to go on a vacation in Greece, like reading about young friendships, want to read a book that is more complex than it initially lets on.