Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on May 5, 2015
Genres: contemporary, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: eARC from Publisher
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 by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is a young adult contemporary romance about a seaside town on the jersey shore. I really liked that the story takes place after the vicious hurricane Sandy because I thought it added a lot of depth to the story. There were some parts of The Summer After You and Me that I really liked, but overall this book was not a hit for me. And those of you that are familiar with my reading preferences will know what a bummer that was for me because I love contemporary romances so much. First, I am going to talk about the things that I did like about The Summer After You and Me and then I will talk about what didn’t work for me.
I loved that Lucy wants to be a marine biologist and how much time she spends studying and helping the marine life at her beaches. I thought that aspect of the book was beautifully done. And I love that 1) she was doing a junior thesis in high school and 2) I loved the topic of her thesis “What’s Love Got to Do with It? The Dating and Mating Habits of North American Sea Life.” Each chapter started with a mini excerpt from her thesis and they were each about a different marine animal. I loved that, because they were really fun to read and I learned a few facts along the way. Lucy was trying to prove that monogamy wasn’t necessary in marine life, and then try and parallel that to humans. I also liked Lucy herself. I thought she was a girl with her head on straight and she was a sweetheart. And I LOVE the cover of the book. It is just so pretty.
It was everyone else that I had a problem with. Lucy’s twin brother was a jerk wad for almost the entire book. And her friends were awful. I can’t believe some of the things they did. The only one that I remotely liked was Meghan because she at least checked in with Lucy after everything at prom went down. Why everyone took the guys side is beyond me. I would have been pissed if I were Lucy too. That is just unacceptable. And then to have everyone turn their back on Lucy was plain crazy. It actually was crazy. The longer it went on, the more annoyed at everyone I got. I liked Conner, but I had no idea why everyone, and I do mean everyone was so against him. I understood her brother’s dislike of him and Andrew’s but no one else. Even her parents hated visitors. He was there every summer, the whole summer long. You would think that if he wasn’t just a week end-er people would take the time to get to know him and not just hate him on sight. I didn’t get it.
The Summer After You and Me had so much potential for me. With the marine biology set up and a likeable main character Lucy, and a good love interest, this book should have been a slam dunk, but the friends and brother killed it for me. I just couldn’t get past how awful they were to Lucy. Normally I can see that situations are not black and white and that each side has merit, but I was totally on Lucy’s side on this one. What happened at prom was not her fault at all, and I don’t blame her for wanting to get out of there. I would be hurt and betrayed too. And then her friends just wouldn’t let it go that Lucy left. No thank you. I am over them. It was a shame, but Kiki and Lucy’s brother Liam made it so I couldn’t fully enjoy The Summer After You and Me. I hope other people don’t have that issue and that they are able to enjoy this summery romance. I will absolutely try another book by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski because the writing and scene setting was great, I just couldn’t click with some of these characters. But I can tell from the bones of the book that she is a talented author.
But don’t just take my word for it:
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