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He's so attached to Ondine, in fact, she feels guilty about leaving him behind. She's convinced her mother wouldn't want a ferret at their hotel, so she tells herself if she brings Shambles along, she can find him a good home with someone else. In the midst of her trip home, though, Shambles suddenly begins talking to her in a thick Scottish accent, and Ondine wonders if she's gone crazy.

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Shambles assures her she hasn't. He can talk because he used to be a Scottish laird named Hamish until he angered a witch. She put a spell on him that changed him into a ferret and has also preserved him, in a non-aging state, for scores of years. And thus begins the hilarious adventures of Ondine's "Summer of Shambles. The author has written it in a fairy-tale, omniscient voice with a witty, intrusive narrator who reminds me of a combination of the narrator in Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice and the voiceover narrator of the classic movie, A Christmas Story.

Ondine's quirky relatives are a big part of the fun, especially her mother, and the villain is very well suited to a fairy tale. He is outrageously outspoken, and a hilarious mixture of man and ferret in his living habits. His eternal pursuit of sausage is one of the cutest plot devices for getting Shambles in trouble throughout the book, and his distinctive take on life expressed in a steady stream of Scottish colloquial expressions had me constantly chuckling. Finally, like all good romantic comedies, this book has a satisfying, upbeat ending.

The author of Ondine is from Australia, and this book was originally published in Great Britain. According to the author's website, she is busy writing a sequel so we have more of the wonderful world of Shambles and Ondine to look forward to. Hopefully the American release won't be delayed too long because I can't wait! We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Make sure to accept our cookies in order to get the best experience out of this website. If you would like to read more about this check out the Privacy Policy page.

My Shopping Bag 0 Item You have just added: I absolutely enjoyed reading both of them. The first book explores Ondine's meeting with Shambles the Ferret who is actually a boy who is cursed by a witch. She tries to break the curse while taking care of her family's hotel. The story is really exciting and fun. So many times I laughed when there were really funny scenes between Ondine and her family, Ondine and Shambles a.

Not only that, there are romantic scenes in this book which makes it so adorable! Yep, you heard me right. They are so adorable, cute and their relationship makes me feel all gooey inside. Ondine is such a fun character to read about. I love her a lot in both books. I also love her family. Her father is totally an awesome dad. Hey, I want a father like Ondine's father too! And her mum, super awesome. The characters are so fun to read about!

Need a fun, light read with sweet and heart-melting romance? With fun and hilarious characters, you'll come to love Ferrets more than you know! Thank you Ebony for the review copies! View all 25 comments. The Summer of Shambles was a riot of quirky fun. Full of energy and vivacious characters, it was everything that I could wish for in a light summertime read. I was first drawn to the book because of the gorgeous cover which is such a great reflection of what the reader can expect to find inside. Ondine is just an average teen off for a summer at psychic summer camp when her life suddenly turns topsy turvy by an impudent talking ferret who just happens to be a boy named Hamish, cursed to live as The Summer of Shambles was a riot of quirky fun.

Ondine is just an average teen off for a summer at psychic summer camp when her life suddenly turns topsy turvy by an impudent talking ferret who just happens to be a boy named Hamish, cursed to live as a ferret by a witch he annoyed. Hamish's antics kept me entertained. The writing highlights his thick scottish brogue which, in my head, I read his character with Hagrid's voice from Harry Potter.

This made seeing him as a love interest a little difficult, but no less entertaining for me! The author said David Tennant from Dr. Who was the voice that inspired Shambles accent. I'm sure he's more relationship-able than Hagrid, but it was incredible fun to imagine that gruff voice coming from a ferret! This book was just so entertaining to read! The Summer of Shambles is absolutely original but with a classic fairy tale feel.

One of the high points of the writing was the snarky footnotes scattered throughout. While this could have been a distraction, it ended up being an enjoyable element that helped to set the tone and added to the world building. Of course there was the romance which was sweet and pretty well done. I liked both of these characters so much that I couldn't help but root for them! Hamish kind of steals the show, but Ondine herself is a feisty lass that is every bit a match for that roguish ferret.

Ultimately, The Summer of Shambles is pure brain candy.

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The dialog is amusing and easy to follow, the pacing is energetic, and the overall tone is lighthearted and playful. There's romance, accents, witchery, magic curses, footnotes, and a nefarious plot to uncover. In short, a perfect summertime read. I think this would appeal particularly to middle grade to younger YA readers.

I would also recommend this to anyone who likes to enjoy a feelgood story in between books with heavier themes. I absolutely adored this book! It had everything i needed in a fairy tale. The characters are so full of life and exciting. Hamish is an honorable character and swoon worthy. D You can't help but love watching Ondi and Hamish's relationship bloom.

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I was completely captivated by the world Ebony created. They way she woven the whole story together was just brilliant. The Summer of Shambles is full of friendship, family, and light romance. I look forward to read the next book! The next book in the series is Ondine: Fairy tale like Ondine is a quirky, magical, humorous romance about a 15 year old girl who is befriended by a ferret Shambles.

The story of Ondine and Hamish continues in Ondine-The Autumn Palace, which on first glance moves more into the mushy areas of romance rather than magic but it still has the humorous footnotes so I am sure I will enjoy it! The Summer of Shambles was such a fun read!

The Summer of Shambles

Definitely perfect for the approaching summer, so I recommend getting a copy now so you can relax while reading it in the sun. Ondine was a great protagonist, and I really liked her. She was a quirky girl who could be both dense and also very clever and I loved the things she came up with, and how she got embarrassed in front of certain people. She could be a bit selfish at times, but she always tried to fix her mistakes in the end.


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I loved the way she interacted with Shambles as a ferret ; he was the only one that could hear her and a lot of their conversations were so funny! Shambles the man or Hamish, shall I say was an entirely different story, however. And from then on things between them both changed and I loved the way their relationship grew. Shambles was a character I loved, both as a ferret and a human. He was funny and also a little bit outrageous, but you could tell as the book went on that he really began to care about Ondine, and I respected the decision he made at the end.

One thing I really loved about Ondine was the setting! It was set in a fictional European country called Brugel and there was something Even though the book was set in present day, I felt like it could have been an old fairy tale because Brugel was just so cool and old-fashioned. Obviously the magical powers certain characters possessed helped create this atmosphere, along with the talking ferret and various other wacky things. Another thing I loved was the footnotes. I am happy to say, however, that these footnotes were awesome.

From the first chapter I knew I was going to appreciate them — one of the first things we were told was that Brugel was a country in Europe — that sadly had never won the Eurovision Song Contest. I mean, the Eurovision Song Contest is laughable at most times anyway, but it was just so funny! And most of the other footnotes were the same — I definitely enjoyed reading them. Original, cute, fairytale romantic comedy Fifteen-year-old Ondine de Groot lives at her family's business, a combination hotel and pub in the imaginary Eastern European country of Brugel.

Ondine has worked for years alongside her mother, father and two older sisters cleaning rooms, serving customers and scrubbing dirty dishes. But at the start of the story her mother has sent her to the other side of Brugel to Psychic Summercamp for several weeks in order to develop her extra-sensory skills. Thou Original, cute, fairytale romantic comedy Fifteen-year-old Ondine de Groot lives at her family's business, a combination hotel and pub in the imaginary Eastern European country of Brugel.

Though these are accepted as a normal and desirable part of life in Brugel, Ondine doesn't believe she has any such talents, in spite of her mother's insistence that Ondine must be psychic because it runs in the family. Bored and homesick after only a week at camp, Ondine decides to sneak out of camp and run away to her home. Her only hesitation before leaving is what to do with Shambles. He's an adorable ferret who showed up not long before, "face-deep in her secret stash of Brugelwurst sausage," and he's been following her like a lap dog ever since. He's so attached to Ondine, in fact, she feels guilty about leaving him behind.

She's convinced her mother wouldn't want a ferret at their hotel, so she tells herself if she brings Shambles along, she can find him a good home with someone else. In the midst of her trip home, though, Shambles suddenly begins talking to her in a thick Scottish accent, and Ondine wonders if she's gone crazy. Shambles assures her she hasn't.

He can talk because he used to be a Scottish laird named Hamish until he angered a witch. She put a spell on him that changed him into a ferret and has also preserved him, in a non-aging state, for scores of years. And thus begins the hilarious adventures of Ondine's "Summer of Shambles. The author has written it in a fairy-tale, omniscient voice with a witty, intrusive narrator who reminds me of a combination of the narrator in Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice and the voiceover narrator of the classic movie, A Christmas Story.

Ondine's quirky relatives are a big part of the fun, especially her mother, and the villain is very well suited to a fairy tale. He is outrageously outspoken, and a hilarious mixture of man and ferret in his living habits. His eternal pursuit of sausage is one of the cutest plot devices for getting Shambles in trouble throughout the book, and his distinctive take on life expressed in a steady stream of Scottish colloquial expressions had me constantly chuckling.

Finally, like all good romantic comedies, this book has a satisfying, upbeat ending. The author of Ondine is from Australia, and this book was originally published in Great Britain. According to the author's website, she is busy writing a sequel so we have more of the wonderful world of Shambles and Ondine to look forward to. Hopefully the American release won't be delayed too long because I can't wait!

I rate this book as follows: Oct 24, Becky rated it really liked it Shelves: Summer of Shambles is an adorably fun read! If The Princess Bride and Ella Enchanted the book versions--not that the movie versions weren't each fun in their own way put their diabolically funny heads together and decided to create their own unique version of a Mini Me, something very much like this book would be the result.

And really, you can't go wrong with a book that has a talking ferret. Or takes place in a tiny and imaginary European country named Brugel. Which is the only country in the world with a hexagonal flag, according to Brugelwiki. As the book opens, Ondine has slept through her astral projection exam. More certain than ever of her immanent failure, and since Psychic Summercamp apparently all psychics and mediums can trace their DNA to the foothills of Brugel, but Ondine is convinced she definitely isn't one of their number wasn't exactly how she wanted to spend her summer vacation anyway, she grabs her suitcase and her ferret and runs away home.

Ondine has just arrived at the train station when she makes a startling discovery--Shambles, the ferret who found her at summer camp and became her constant companion, can talk! In a deep Scottish and manly accent, nonetheless--although apparently Ondine's the only one who can understand him. He's a little too excited to find out that Ondine lives in a pub, for reasons that become clear when she learns his true identity. More than a half century earlier, Hamish McPhee, the Laird of Glen Logan, offended a witch--a witch who, coincidentally, happens to be Ondine's great-aunt.

She soon finds out--and the answer is very nice. Will Hamish manage to stay human?

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How did the jewels get under the pub's floorboards? Who is trying to shut the pub down, and why? Is Vincent a bad boy gone good, or is he just bad? Is Ondine actually psychic? Will Ondine's father survive if all three of his daughters manage to find love in a single summer? Read The Summer of Shambles to find out--you won't be sorry you did! Ohman, this book was so absolutely quirkily and wittily fantastic. It starts off when Onine De Groot, native of the fantasy country of Brugel, accompanied by Shambles the ferret she just recently met, runs away from psychic summer camp and returns to her home, which just so happens to be in a bar.

With a psychotically overprotective father. On her way home, she discovers that Shambles can actually talk. Because he's not a ferret, but a cursed prince. What follows is a laugh out loud hilariou Ohman, this book was so absolutely quirkily and wittily fantastic. What follows is a laugh out loud hilarious retelling of the classic fairy tale, with Ondine the princess and Shambles the frog don't tell Shambles I compared him to a frog, though - I'm sure he would be mightily offended.

Shambles, with his Scottish accent and expressions thank goodness there were footnoted translations, otherwise I would have been helplessly lost and his quick-witted humour, absolutely made this book. His interactions with Ondine and the rest of her family had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. Ondine herself was funny, and she was very much your typical teenage girl.

Her "falling in love" and "imagining hot guys" reminded me so much of my high school years that it made all those other books seem like they've got teenagers all wrong. Which at times made her ridiculous and annoying but was also slightly refreshing. We never really got to know her family too well, but what we did see added nicely to the image I had formed of Ondine, and their interactions especially with her father and mother were sometimes nearly as funny as the scenes with Shambles.

My biggest problem with this book? I would really like to know what Ebony McKenna has against vegetarians. There were so many references in here that made it seem like she thinks that vegetarians are unhealthy wusses. Which is ridiculous, because healthy vegetarians are by far healthier than meat eaters. And how is it wussy to choose a lifestyle that doesn't promote torture? It was weird, and it bothered me on more than one occasion. I also had trouble understanding the whole "falling in love" part of the book. Of course it had to be there, but I didn't really feel like it was developed as well as it could havae been.

It just seemed to happen, and in a way, didn't make sense to me. Oh, and we never really got to see what makes Brugel so awesomely different.

Review: Ondine: Summer of Shambles by Ebony McKenna

I wanted to know more about Brugel. Still, Ondine was an absolute pleasure to read, and if you've got an hour or two in which you want a good laugh without having to think, I absolutely recommend picking up a copy of this book! This is definitely a book for anyone who a enjoys humor the 'footnotes' are hilarious and some of the remarks made by the characters are so spot on its uncanny b magic and c romance. I can't remember where I first heard about Ondine, but I'm certainly very glad I did. There's something very appealing about the novel and as I set out to figure out what exactly I was reminded of some of my favorites.

The Princess Bride for one; the book is peppered with 'footno Prelim review: The Princess Bride for one; the book is peppered with 'footnotes' that explain Shambles' heavy Scottish accent, but also they illuminate aspects of 'Brugel' life that may seem odd. Turns of phrase, history things, why everything seems to be more medieval than you'd expect.

These were often hilarious insights into how the author must think and served to make Brugel feel more like a real place instead of a fictional European country. McKenna's style also reminded me of Gail Carson Levine and Vivian Vande Velde, a sort of tongue in cheek humor about the absurdities of the mundane. Shambles or Hamish was a rascal, and that might be putting it lightly. As mischievous as ferrets tend to be, but doubly so for being a young man to boot, he's slightly bawdy, but good at heart.

The novel moves along at a fast clip; we go from Ondine escaping Psychic Summercamp, to Shambles relating his life story, finding out a murder plot, romance, family secrets and villainous acts with little breath between. The book remained engaging however between Shambles' banter with Ondine and the general craziness of Ondine's family not to mention Old Col, her great-aunt.

There's a lesson to be learned at times--caution about first appearances, insensitivity towards others, filial obligation--but I never felt as if it was overdone or heavy-handed. Luckily you can order it from Book Depository with free shipping. There's a second book in the offing for , which if the ending is any indication, will involve more intrigue and banter! The Summer of Shambles is a modern day fable with a narrator and all. It even starts with the line "This is a great story, and like a good many great stories before it, it begins with a teenage girl.

It sets the mood with one sentence and throws out any possible delusions you might have about it. The thought did cross my mind that this may be a bit too young for my liking, but that wasn't the case. Ondine goes through the motions of physically wanting to be c Ondine: Ondine goes through the motions of physically wanting to be close to teenage boys and discovering what that means.

So this perfectly aimed at girls for the year age group. Ondine is a 15 year old girl who may have psychic powers but is stuck working most of her spare time in her family's restaurant. Honestly, she puts up with a lot from them which I probably wouldn't be able to handle but the story is set in the sort of place that requires you to have more respect and understanding for your family.

Shambles the ferret would be so cute in real life. His speech is a little hard to follow and that's where the smartly placed footnotes come in to play. As Shambles is Scottish, he has unfamiliar sayings which are explained in the notes down the bottom. Other things are referred to there also, and they aren't irritating or a waste of space and I often found myself laughing at them. I enjoyed the fold out of the story almost to the end which didn't really satisfy my want of a happy ending. Maybe I'm just a pessimist. I'm sure the next book will clear that up anyway.

Are you a bit of a fan of fables aimed at an older age group? If so, then look no further. This should be right up your alley. Very pretty design but the girl isn't the one described in the book imo. The Summer of Shambles 2. With warm wit and believable imagination, Ebony McKenna scores a ten with her debut romantic fantasy Ondine: The book opens with Ondine de Groot leaving summer psychic camp two weeks early, dreading how to tell her parents she's failing her studies. She also must figure out how to explain something else--that she's befriended a ferret, nickname Shambles, who not only can talk but is an enchanted Scottish laird.

Ondine wisely decides not to mention that she's falling just the t With warm wit and believable imagination, Ebony McKenna scores a ten with her debut romantic fantasy Ondine: Ondine wisely decides not to mention that she's falling just the teensiest bit OK, head over heels in love with him.

Oh, and one more complication: It was Ondine's great aunt who put the spell on Hamish McPhee. Sheesh, as if being an overprotected 15 year old isn't bad enough! To prove to Auntie Col he is worthy of being a man again, Hamish tries to help Ondine and her family run their pub, not an easy task when you look like a weasel and customers threaten to call the health inspector when they see you. While taking refuge underneath a table, Hamish overhears a plot to assassinate the country's leader. Ondine and her da tell the duke what they've learned but don't understand why he and his son now are threatening to close down their establishment--until the de Groot family discovers, hidden in their pub, a box filled with jewels, money and documents that point to a scandal in the duke's family.

As Hamish's good deeds start to have a positive effect on Auntie Col's spell he is able to transform, for a few hours at a time, into his human form. As Col explains, "You've had a glimpse of the man you once were and can be again. The rest is up to you. What a "Shambles" this should be! The Summer of Shambles is a humourous and quirky spin on a traditional fairytale. Ondine is the youngest of three sisters and she has been sent to Psychic summercamp. The story begins with Ondine's decision to run away home and take the ferret she has befriended at camp with her.

In the first chapter, I found Ondine's voice quite stilted and a little prim for a teenage character. However, by the second chapter her voice became more believeable and her character highly likeable.


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Her relationship with her parents and sisters was both realistic and endearing. Shambles, the ferret, is a cheeky yet charming character. His voice gave the novel its humour and his actions helped the plot to speed along. The scottish accent was well communicated and at times frankly hilarious. I couldn't stop myself laughing out loud at some of his kooky expressions.

Every scene that he appeared in was a joy to read. Of course, this is a fairytale and no such story would be complete without a sweet and passionate love developing between the girl and the ferret. We must not also forget the winning ingredient of the witch that cursed poor Shambles in the first place. Vincent was perhaps a little too cliched but as he played a minor role, I can forgive this. Overall, I absolutely enjoyed reading Ondine. Shambles sold the whole story with his wit and charm. This is by no means a serious book but it is a great fun and quirky read which will have you laughing out loud.

Dec 04, Cecile Sune rated it liked it Shelves: On the train back home, she discovers that Shambles can talk with a Scottish accent.

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He explains that he used to be a man called Hamish McPhee, and that he was turned into a ferret by an angry witch. Ondine soon understands that the witch in question is her aunt Col. While Ondine tries to find a way to turn Shambles back to his human form, a plot to kill the Duke is discovered, and a lost treasure is found.

The Summer of Shambles is the first book in the Ondine series.