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Twenty-five Memories of Viggo MacDuff

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"A heartfelt story of teen identity and first love." - Award-winning author Tansy Rayner Roberts

On Christmas Day, Connie Chase opens the twenty-fifth door on her advent calendar, eating the last chocolate as she tries to swallow the memory of her former love, Viggo MacDuff. His dazzling green eyes are everywhere; from the Christmas tree to the promise of eternal love in a sprig of mistletoe, Connie sees only her hopeless gaze reflected back at her, trapped inside an all-too-shiny bauble. When she finds that even Christmas festivities can’t erase the pain of her first heartbreak, she begins to tell her love story to her best friend Jed.

Unwrapping each piece as they go on adventures together, Connie realises how she let her internal struggles control her, accepting behaviour that she believed she deserved. Connie explores both friendships and romantic relationships, discovering the strength of her voice and the power of her individuality as she reveals her most vulnerable self.

200 pages, Paperback

Published November 30, 2017

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Kate Gordon

26 books112 followers

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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for Shreeya Sharma.
83 reviews76 followers
November 28, 2019
Thank you, Odyssey Books for a free digital copy of this book.

Twenty-Five Memories of Viggo MacDuff is the story of Connie Chase, trying to ease the pain of her her breakup with her perfect boyfriend of one year, Viggo MacDuff. Even the chocolates from the Christmas advent calendar didn't help. Connie's best friend, Jed, wants to cheer her up, and his plan is to have her share memories of Viggo. He also plans to take her out on small adventures like a trip to their favourite Chinese restaurant, a place Viggo looked down on, eating slime lemons, and dyeing her hair. Connie shares twenty-five precious memories she holds of her relationship, while Jed takes her on one fun-filled adventure after another. As she narrates her memories, she begins to realise that the people around her didn't think her boyfriend to be as perfect as she thought. And thus begins the greatest adventure of all, Connie Chase's quest for self awareness and self acceptance.

This is a beautifully written book which has explored some very importance themes like individuality, friendship, toxic relationships, and self respect in such a nuanced way. The writing is simple and engaging. The Doctor Who references made me fall in love with it even more!

This is such a delightful book and I know what I'll be gifting my cousins this year! I highly recommend it to readers of all ages. This book will leave you with a warm, satisfied feeling.
Profile Image for Astri.
114 reviews16 followers
November 7, 2019
I was fortunate enough to receive a digital copy of this book from Odyssey Books and will give an honest review. Thank you Odyssey Books!

Kate Gordon's Twenty-five Memories of Viggo MacDuff tells the story of Connie Chase's first love and heartbreak, and how she tries to forget the devastating pain it caused her by eating chocolates on her advent calendar on Christmas Day. She then tells her love story to her best friend, Jed, as they go on adventures together. With each memory told, Connie might soon realise that her first love is not as perfect as it seems.

I read this book in one sitting and enjoyed it so much. Friendships, relationships, and internal strength were explored in a beautiful and touching way, bound to make you feel emotional - I know I was! Kate Gordon has written a stunning story on how both friendships and relationships should be and how we should learn to accept our individuality. Although this is a teen book, I think adult readers will love it and even learn some life and relationship lessons along the way. Connie's story has definitely become one of my favorites this year. All in all, I absolutely love this book and highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Vicky | A City Girl's Thoughts.
143 reviews7 followers
August 22, 2020
Thank you, Odyssey Books, for providing me with a free copy in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

An excellent story about self-awareness and trauma, this story about domestic violence is written in an easy way for teenagers to understand. TRIGGER WARNING: abuse (verbal and physical).
Profile Image for Joanna.
125 reviews22 followers
June 18, 2020

*A copy of this book was given to me by Odyssey Books in exchange for an honest review.

It has been a while since I've received this book so when I read it, I've forgotten the summary and just went straight into it without knowing or expecting anything.

Initially, I was not into the writing of the first chapter. I remember feeling negative about the way Connie's monologue was written however it provided a good backstory for the title - Twenty-Five Memories of Viggo MacDuff. I slowly got used to it around the second chapter and found the storytelling quite pleasant. Now that I think about it, perhaps I'm not used to reading a first-person type of story so it felt strange to me.

"I nodded, even though I didn’t agree with Viggo at all. I love poetry and symbolism and playing around with language. I love the beauty of a well-crafted sentence; I admire the skill needed to choose the perfect combination of words. And metaphors and similes and analogies? When they’re done well, they are … exciting."

Twenty-Five Memories of Viggo MacDuff, Kate Gordon
Connie Chase had her heart-broken by the perfect Viggo MacDuff. He was the one Connie brought back to her parents, thinking that they'd be glad and proud that she met someone who was prim, proper and intelligent. She was head-over-heels for him, and willing to change herself to be how he'd like her to be.

It was a full 180 for Connie Chase. She said goodbye to her Vans, band t-shirts, 90s music and comic books and was introduced into a world of classical music, dresses, make up and whatever Viggo MacDuff liked.

Honestly, I thought it was going to be about some girl complaining and crying over her ex but really, it's about finding herself again. And it is heartwarming. Especially during the formation of MOADM (Memories of a Different Me). The name itself nearly moved me to tears and was what solidified the 4 star rating.

I really liked the relationships in the story and am glad that Connie had such a wonderful group of people around her that helped her through her breakup. I also liked how her perception of the uberclones changed in the end. It ended on a high note and I'm glad it did, especially after what Connie had gone through.

The story was told through short chapters, which was refreshing. It made the book easy to read, and actually enjoyable since there wasn't too much happening in each chapter. I would think that this is a book that could be enjoyed when you're in a reading slump. It is paced well, with good character relationships and is a short read.

I would have to say that this was my favourite read so far this year. I would've finished it in two days if I didn't have the self-control. It was truly pleasant to read this.

Profile Image for Jordan.
116 reviews52 followers
December 26, 2019
𝐓𝐰𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐲-𝐅𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐌𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐕𝐢𝐠𝐠𝐨 𝐌𝐚𝐜𝐃𝐮𝐟𝐟 𝐛𝐲 𝐊𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐆𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐨𝐧
{review copy courtesy of @odysseybookshop }

𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 ... lovers of Christmas reads and YA Romance

𝘖𝘯 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘮𝘢𝘴 𝘋𝘢𝘺, 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘺-𝘧𝘪𝘧𝘵𝘩 𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘳, eating the last chocolate as she tries to swallow the memory of her ex-boyfriend, Viggo MacDuff. When she finds that even Christmas festivities can’t erase the pain of her first heartbreak, she begins to tell her love story to her best friend Jed.
Unwrapping each piece as they go on adventures together, Connie realises how she let her internal struggles control her, accepting behaviour that she believed she deserved. Connie explores both friendships and romantic relationships, discovering the strength of her voice and the power of her individuality as she reveals her most vulnerable self.

Ok I’m not typically a romance or Christmas story reader. But this book managed to pack a very important lesson and character growth in just 200 pages, all wrapped up in a sweet Christmas love story.
Going past the usual angst, Gordon have a dose of reality to this story, one I think is critical to be included in books for her target audience.
I wish I could say more, because I was very excited about was done here, but I would be giving all the spoilers if I did so.
Highly recommend this for teen readers.
Content warning for toxic relationships, but not inappropriate for teen readers.
International readers will probably struggle with the Aussie terms, and music, food and town references- but it was quite sweet and nostalgic for me!

𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘸𝘸.𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘦.𝘤𝘰𝘮

46 reviews4 followers
December 18, 2019
I found this book utterly engrossing and completely unexpected!

I had to read this in one sitting because there was no way I wanted to put this book down. A teen breakup, with Connie pining after the "perfect" Viggo sounds like a fairly typical YA relationship story, but it really is anything but.

Connie is left heartbroken after a year-long relationship with Viggo MacDuff ends. To deal with her heartbreak and move on, Connie allows herself 25 memories (one for every long-gone advent calendar chocolate) of the relationship. Her best friend Jed is there to help her through it and point out that her relationship wasn't all that perfect.

The conclusion of this books creeps into being as you read, and I loved that this book is a perfect conversation starter about not changing yourself for a relationship, people who love you will love you for who you are, not who you could be. Having said that, it isn't preachy in the slightest, the journey of discovery and realisation you go on alongside Connie is astonishing and heartbreaking.

I feel like if I go on raving about this book I'll let slip a spoiler so I'll conclude with: this is an amazing book and the kind that makes me love YA fiction!
Profile Image for Rob.
4 reviews10 followers
January 14, 2020
This book took me by surprise. When I was given a chance to review a copy, I looked at the synopsis and page count and thought it would simply be a silly romcom, but in the end, I was pleasantly surprised! There is a lot of depth in these pages, including examinations of resiliency in the face of a potentially toxic relationship. Connie Chase is both typical and atypical as a heroine, falling for "the perfect guy" almost immediately, but also recognizing (eventually) the signs of a negative relationship dynamic and taking steps to get free. There is a lot to love here, and teens will enjoy both the brevity and the delightfully fresh narrative.
Profile Image for Bookwig Reviews .
53 reviews3 followers
January 28, 2020
I've enjoyed reading this book, although I had to repeatedly remind myself that Viggo was a fictional character. I, literally, wanted to punish that jerk myself.

The characters are well written, especially the titular character. The other main character, Connie was like the usual, submissive girl character who can't seem to stand up for herself because she's head over heels for a boy. The concept for this book is not unique, but it is well-written. Gordon's writing style is simple and crisp. There are 53 chapters, but all of them are short. Don't worry. Do give it a read.
Profile Image for Kaylynn Johnsen.
1,264 reviews7 followers
April 5, 2020
Kate Gordon strikes just the right balance.
Starting out as a sweet, funny end of romance story it takes a turn for the serious with tones of manipulation and abuse. But the balance is perfect. Cathartic. A must-read.
Profile Image for Katharine (Ventureadlaxre).
1,522 reviews46 followers
December 26, 2017
A bit triggering and close to home for me in various parts. Such a strong and geeky book by a fabulous author. Think I need to go have a cry now though.
Profile Image for Felicity.
66 reviews4 followers
January 12, 2018
A book for my daughter

Okay, my daughter's only five now so it'll be a while, but when she's older - somewhere between 10 and 15 - this is one of the books she needs to read.
Profile Image for Julian Barr.
Author 8 books11 followers
December 15, 2017
A delightfully nerdy story of first love. I read it in a single sitting. It's a Christmas treat that put the biggest smile on my face!
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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