Summer is synonymous with young love, at least in my book, or BOOKS in this case! While I was on “hiatus” (or blog-be-broke time out), I read a veritable plethora of young adult romances that screamed “Summertime” to me! So in the spirit of getting these reviews done and out, I’m doing double duty. And since I was on such a summer-lovin’ kick, there will be more of these posts.
The Summer After You and Meby Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Sourcebooks, Fire on May 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.
Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
The Summer After You and Me is a good, solid four stars in my opinion. This was a super quick read for me (or am I getting faster?) that I read in one day, which is unusual for me. And yes, Virginia, there IS a love triangle but don’t be turned away by that. All ends well (again, just my opinion here) and so totally the way I would have wanted it written.
I loved the story, too, not only b/c she took the time to write a “love letter” to the NJ shoreline that was ravaged by superstorm Sandy, but b/c of little elements she captured accurately, like surfing. As a transplanted West Coast surfer, she had me yearning to duck dive my way out to the line up. And yes, I am aware that I just wrote the longest run on sentence – it’s part of my charm.
The story starts on Memorial Day weekend, literally the start of the summer after superstorm Sandy tore up New Jersey. The entire Jersey shore is coping with loss, change, and starting over. Lucy is coping with seeing her next door neighbor, Connor, after over six months. As the reader, we’re given tiny clues that something happened between Lucy and Connor the previous summer. We just don’t know what it was; whether it was good or bad. We do know Lucy just can’t get Connor out of her mind, despite his girlfriend and her boyfriend.
I think this is a romance a lot of people are either loving or hating. I see it as typical teenagers trying to make sense of the chaotic world around them. I always take into consideration the maturity level of the characters. I know in my mind that life is not perfect; that all love stories are NOT rosy, perfect, and without flaws. I definitely loved the reality of the character’s flaws in this story. And then I remember, this isn’t real, this is just a book. It’s entertainment for a day or two.
For Connor and Lucy, what started out as possibly a fairy tale romance went completely south due to the meddling of family and friends. In the end, are your friends more important than YOU or do you follow what you know in your gut is real and can make you happy? Do you take that leap?
Or does everything fall where it should have always been? Hmmm, chicken, egg, or the journey? Deep thought of the day, peeps. Again, it is just a book 🙂
The Start of Me and Youby Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury on March 31st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
I received this book for free from Baker & Taylor in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?
Ahhhhh, The Start of Me and You… I think this will be one of my favorite books of the year. I love nerds!!! I mean, who doesn’t love a girl who isn’t quite comfortable in her skin, who is still trying to figure out her role in life and who she wants to be. I think that’s why I LOVE YA. It takes me back to a time when I was trying to figure who I wanted to be. The many YA books on the shelves let me “try on” so many different personalities, if only for 300 pages or so. Paige is a character I could have lived in for months!
Ms. Lord perfectly captured the awkwardness of high school crushes, love, and loss. Paige had just started dating her first boyfriend, Kyle, when he drowned. So for the next year, she was known as the girl whose boyfriend had died. To break out of that stigma, Paige set out to change-up her routine. She decided she was going to go after her long time crush, Ryan. And she was going to join a school club. It’s at this club that she gets to know Max, Ryan’s cousin, who has just moved to the area. Can Max be her “in” with Ryan? Or is Max becoming something else? Hmmmm…
Happy happy, joy, joy. This book is just full of happiness, quirkiness, a little bit of tension, some “oh no!”, and a whole lot of friendship. Seriously, this story is virtually an angst-free zone. This is just straight forward GOOD young adult literature. I passed this ARC all over our library and made sure the YA librarian had a copy ordered.
My only thing was that this is a bit of a longer book that I’m used to reading. But oh my gosh, I freaking read this book in a matter of days – so unusual for me and longer books. I was intimidated by the size of the ARC but I am so glad I picked it up because DAMN, this was a sweet love story! I was even teary eyed for about 10 pages at the end. Which I read multiple times.
I wish I could read the ending again right now but sadly, the ARC is floating around the library system. sigh I just want to be Paige for a while again….