Five Summers by Una LaMarche
3 out of 5 stars
I always wanted to go to summer camp. My favorite movie is still The Parent Trap (original, natch). I love Camp Nowhere too. The Baby-Sitters Club super special where they go to Camp Mohawk is one of my favorites. So you'd think I'd be all over this book about four best friends and their adventures at summer camp. I kind of was, but not as much as I'd hoped. Honestly, I don't even remember a lot about it, which is kind of sad.
The 4 girls haven't been all together in 3 years and are excited to reunite for a weekend at camp. Your "summer self" is sometimes different from your "rest of the year self" and these girls are no exception. They each have secrets about themselves that they don't want to let out. So of course, they all get exposed. There's romance and fighting, friendships come and go, plenty of cute boys, and an epic "capture the flag" game. A lot of reviewers compared this to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I'm sorry, it just doesn't live up to that group of BFF's for me.
Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin
3 out of 5 stars
I'll be spending this summer in the Hamptons. Rory is excited for her summer job, "errand girl" to a rich family (the Rules), but it doesn't turn out quite how she imagined. She doesn't fit in with these people and they never let her forget it. Especially Isabel, daughter and queen of the Hamptons. The book alternates between the two girls and I actually really ended up liking Isabel in the end. There's a lot more to her than just the party girl.
Of course, no summer vacation would be the same without a little romance. Each girl falls for a guy who might not be right for them, but when has that ever stopped us? As the summer goes on, the heat and secrets build up until it all explodes in their faces. I enjoyed this book, but it was just missing something to make it a favorite. And I'm not even really sure what that would be lol. There is a sequel, but I don't know if I'll bother reading it.
How My Summer Went up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
3.5 out of 5 stars
This was a cute book with a premise I hadn't really seen before. Rosie is a Jersey girl with a temper and when she "accidentally" sets her ex-boyfriend's car on fire, she has to pay the consequences. Big time: like restraining order and court dates. Her parents decide the best thing would be to get her out of town for awhile to give things time to cool down and not make the situation worse. So Rosie is shipped off on a cross-country trip with neighbor boy Matty and two of his best friends, nerdling brothers Logan and Spencer.
I wasn't always the kind of girl who wakes up on the first day of summer vacation to find herself on the receiving end of a temporary restraining order.
What can I say? First I lost my heart. Then I lost my mind.
You'd think a story with one girl + three guys in a small car for a week would mean lots of steamy scenes and love
"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
Beach Blondes by Katherine Applegate
4 out of 5 stars
This is actually 3 books in one and was a mega impulse buy for me one day at Half Price Books. Normally, the cheesy cover would have thrown me off but I am so glad I gave it a chance. I wasn't expecting so many feels with a silly summer book. Because this is way more than just "fun in the sun" and summer romances. (Although it does have that too!)
Summer Smith (yep, her name really is Summer) is hating life right now...it's February in Minnesota and her boots are full of cold, wet slush. There was no sun. There never had been a sun. It was made up by science teachers. So when her mom asks her if she wants to spend the summer in Florida at her aunt's mega-mansion, she jumps on it. Who wouldn't? On the plane ride there, the weird old lady next to her offers to read her tarot cards and tells Summer that she "will meet three young men, each very different, each very important in her life." Summer is a little weirded out but forgets all about it when she steps into the sunshine.
Diana is Summer's cousin and doesn't want to have anything to do with her relative, but when her mom goes off on a book tour (she writes romance books and has big hair lol) for a week, Diana is stuck entertaining Summer. Well, she's supposed to anyway. Doesn't mean she will. Diana's got lots of issues and her mom thought having perky Summer there would help lift her out of her funk. It doesn't.
Marquez is a local girl who takes Summer under her wing when Diana won't. Marquez wants to get out of their little town as soon as she can and pushes away from everyone who doesn't. She denies her artistic side for the practical "grownup" side that she thinks will help her succeed. Even when that means losing the guy she loves.
The book follows all 3 girls throughout the summer, weaving their individual stories together into one of friendship and healing. Each girl has something in their past that comes back to haunt them and of course, there's a guy for each girl. I can't wait to get the next books in this series (a standalone spring break story and another summer anthology).
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
4.5 out of 5 stars
I wish I owned this book, so I could highlight all my favorite parts and reread it over and over again. Also, I really want my sister to read it eventually but she's the "nonreader" so it'll take a while. :) It's perfect for her though: a roadtrip with country music and hot cowboys!
Reagan and Dee are best friends. Dee is also a rising star in country music who goes by Lilah to her fans. She's going on tour for the summer and Reagan is coming along to get away from a bad-for-her boy and major breakup. (Also, a real break...her wrist.) Dee is fresh from her breakup with childhood sweetheart, Jimmy, who can't handle the spotlight he would be in with Lilah. The girls' friendship is pretty perfect and adorable. Dee is light where Reagan is dark and they bring out the best traits in each other and always have the other's back.
Until Matt Finch arrives. Matt joins the tour as Lilah's opening act and is quickly forced to act as her boyfriend due to publicity stunts, but it's Reagan's heart that he really wants. Prickly Reagan isn't falling for the sweet boy act though and resents him for horning in on her summer of BFF fun. It takes a lot to bring her around but when he finally does, it's something worth waiting for.
And then there's the music. Such an integral part of the story. It's kind of like reading the movie Pure Country. Have you seen it? If not, you are missing out and should go find it immediately!! And then you'll want to download the soundtrack. Trust me. Okay, now I want to go listen to it too lol.