Book Review: "Spring Breakdown" by Melody Carlson

The six teenaged Carter girls travel to Florida for a "quiet" spring break. But when Eliza's ex-boyfriend rents a condo nearby, the vacation is anything but quiet. Hoping to win Harry back, Eliza's partying spins out of control---and she goes missing! Is she safe, or has the quicksand of her wild behavior consumed her?

I swear these Carter House girls live the life I wished I had when I was in high school. Not having to live with parents, hanging out with awesome friends, going on trips all the time. I totally would relive my high school years again if I could be in their shoes. This time the DJ and the other girls are invited to join DJ's grandmother in Florida for spring break to do a photo shoot. What should have been a nice vacation getaway, ends up being a nervous disaster thanks to one Miss Eliza "I think I know better than anyone else". Eliza seems to have taken Taylor's place as resident party girl now that Taylor has gone to rehab and turned over a new leaf.

I found it interesting that Kriti pretty much disappears in this story. I have always felt that her character is way underused and really would like to see a book where she is the focus of the story. DJ's grandmother appears to be getting better throughout the series, but she still has some ways to go. I really like how DJ and Taylor are now good friends. It was antagonizing to see Taylor treat DJ horribly from the first few books and now they've become quite close.

Some readers might complain there there is an abundance of underage drinking, not only in this book but in the entire series. Well, sadly that is reality. There are MANY high school students who are able to obtain alcohol and do drink it on a regular basis. There are many parents and other adult figures who supply the alcohol or turn a blind eye to teenage drinking. Eliza's situation here, while it may be a bit extreme, shows a perfect example of what could happen to teens who disregard rules and think they know better than anyone. I applaud Melody for putting that in the book as it may be a wake up call to those out there who lived to brink of destruction like Eliza did.

As this is book 7 in the series, it is HIGHLY recommended that you read the other books in the series before picking this one up. Otherwise you will be completely confused, the other books MUST be read in order to fully appreciate the story and characters. Once again this was another great YA addition from Melody Carlson and I know I'll be looking forward to reading the next (and what I think is the last) book in the Carter House Girls series.

Something I wanted to note: The original title of this book was supposed to be Bikini Breakdown. I wonder if the title was changed due to trying to appease conservative readers since many Christians are against the wearing of bikinis? Just something I found very interesting.

Spring Breakdown by Melody Carlson is published by Zondervan (2010)

This review copy was provided for a blog tour with FIRST Wild Card Tours

Read the first chapter here:


  1. This sounds really good - I havent read any of these books (the 7th one you said?) I was just having a discussion about books that are considered "edgy inspirational" and I think these would qualify. These books hit on the real issues that are facing all ages today - Christians as well.

    Great review and I will be looking into this series.

  2. Do those girls have the life you wished you had, or the life you thought you might have wanted--no adult forcing his/her will on you? So many of the problems these girls face wouldn't be there if they had loving, in-charge adults in their lives. I've enjoyed reading some of these books, but I'm starting to feel sorry for those girls.


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