{Review} The Other Summer Girl by Sarah D. Towne

June 11, 2014 New Adult, Reviews, Young Adult 12 ★★★½

{Review} The Other Summer Girl by Sarah D. TowneThe Other Summer Girl by Sarah D. Towne
Pages: 271
Published by Createspace Independent Pub on January 24, 2014
Source: ecopy from Author

In this coming-of-age novel, Melanie Collier is learning how to survive the college experience with few friends and a loner tendency. 

She never imagined herself going to such a large university because it seemed just too impossible - too many people and too far from home. 

Melanie's freshman year is full of social anxieties, the discovery of Creative Writing courses, and the chance meeting with a charming yet secretive Australian tennis player, Lleyton Harris. The culmination of which have drawn Melanie out of her shell and helped her open up to her new life at Indiana University. 

Melanie becomes mildly addicted to the blossoming relationship with Lleyton, and she hopes that their banter and love of music can survive the summer. 

The Other Summer Girl is the first book in the Melanie Collier Series. Stay tuned for The Fall of Us coming out late summer 2014. 

My Thoughts

The Other Summer Girl is listed as a new adult contemporary romance. I would categorize it more as a Young Adult realistic fiction. There was romance, and it certainly took up a lot of the book, at least in the main characters eyes, but I think a much bigger focus of the book was watching Melanie adjust to college life during her freshman year. The Other Summer Girl is a difficult book for me to review, and I am going to attempt to explain why.

On one hand The Other Summer Girl is excellent. Sarah D. Towne’s writing has this incredibly engaging and honest voice. I felt like I was sitting down talking to someone explain their freshman year of college. It felt so real. This book does an excellent job portraying the college experience for so many people. From dorm life to sororities to roommate issues, to parties. Everything was just like I remembered it. From a realistic fiction standpoint, The Other Summer Girl is fantastic. But… (yes, you knew that was coming)

The romance was just not what I was expecting. Melanie is so inexperienced when it comes to guys, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it made her become all about Lleyton. It seemed like every moment of every day was Lleyton, Lleyton, Lleyton. Which would have been fine if I thought he was this amazing guy. But he just gave me an uneasy feeling every time I saw him. I wanted so badly to believe that he is this great guy, but all of these things kept happening that would make me just not trust him. I trusted that he liked Melanie, but I just didn’t trust that she was the only one he “liked”. And because Mel was just so young and fresh faced with everything, I just wanted to protect her from scummy guys.

But then again, I would remind myself that even though Lleyton might be a scumbag (or maybe not, but even if I thought he was.) that he was oh so very realistic. Not every book can be all sunshine and butterflies when it comes to romance. Not every guy is going to be into grand gestures, and sappy romance. Lleyton was like countless college guys. Some could even say that he didn’t do a thing wrong. He was just “hanging out” with Melanie. He didn’t put labels on anything, but you could tell that Melanie thought it was more than that.

Once I finished the book, I sat back and thought about it. Even though I disliked Lleyton most of the time, my realistic side won out. Sarah D. Towne wrote a great realistic fiction book. Not every romantic contemporary ends with the love of your life HEA, especially during your freshman year in college. But if you look at the book from the perspective of Melanie’s coming of age college experiences, this honestly can’t be beaten. It is just so earnest, that you can’t help me moved by it. Am I going to continue the series? Heck yes! I want to know exactly what is going on with Lleyton, and what it means for Melanie. Plus, I want Melanie to grow a bit of a backbone and I feel like we were just starting to see that side of her at the end of this book. If you are looking for something that reads like a peak into a girl’s diaries, The Other Summer Girl is the book for you.



About Sarah D. Towne

Sarah D. Towne is a twenty-something Literature teacher, tutor, and writer living in the Midwest. She loves writing about all of the random, wonderful, and beautiful things that happen in the late-teens and twenties.

Towne earned her MFA in Creative Writing from a small Midwestern university where she wrote the first few chapters of The Other Summer Girl. The idea for the book started off as a two-page short story she wrote for an undergraduate creative writing class. The sequel will be out in Fall 2014.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

12 Responses to “{Review} The Other Summer Girl by Sarah D. Towne”

  1. kindlemom1

    I can see this would be a hard one to review, so hard when you want what is best for the main character and they are making some pretty bad decisions or not bad but at least ones that maybe aren’t all wise.

    This does sound like it was a pretty realistic read with the college life and first loves.

  2. Andrea @ The Bookish Babe

    I’m thinking I would like this a lot. It’s good that you pointed out that it’s not really a romance, which can help other readers’ expectations. Thanks for the review, Michelle!

  3. Nicole Hewitt

    Great review! Sometimes books don’t go the way we want them to, but we can acknowledge that the journey is truthful. This book obviously has you thinking, which is a great thing!

  4. Kirsty-Marie

    Oh, sounds great and very realistic. Sounds like Melanie has a naivety to her that probably would have annoyed me. I mean, I get it, but I don’t know anyone who were that naive about guys (myself included), especially in College. I know it’s different then and everything, but I guess she basically revolved herself around him? That’s a disaster waiting to happen. Overall, it’s sounds good though, and maybe the romance isn’t as bad as it sounds so I’m trusting your realistic side ;).

    • Michelle @ Book Briefs

      You seem to have the same drawbacks as me Kristy-Marie, so I am thinking that you will feel the same back and forth that I did between being annoyed and appreciating it.

      Thanks for stopping by 😉

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