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:
Check out these reviews from people that loved The Summer After You and Me
Lori @ Pure Imagination gave it 4 stars!
Brittany @ This is the story of my (reading) life gave it 5 stars!
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Sorry you didn’t like all the characters, that can make finishing a struggle, even if you did like the main character.
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Yea I do have a tough time with books when I cant mesh with the characters. This was an extreme case for me.
I totally understand what you mean. Honestly Liam and Kiki bugged the hell out of me too. He was a shtty (excuse my language) brother and Kiki was the worst friend ever. I didn’t even want to talk about them in my review beyond generalizing they had a fallout. But in a sense, I could also see how Lucy not telling Kiki what happened “hurt” her and led to everything but it was a bit much to see her basically kick her out of her life 🙁 No excuses for Liam though. He was overall just a really bad brother. Sorry, I’m rambling haha. In the end I’m still happy with how it all turned out~ 😀
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Im glad you ended up liking it Eileen. I could understand that they were upset that she didn’t come to them, (which is why I wasn’t super annoyed with Meghan) but everything they did after that kind of took away any remaining sympathy I had for them. But to each their own.
Karina @ Watcha Reading
That’s funny, I just read another review of this just recently. I’m not really into contemporaries especially ones that take place during the summer. I also heard that that big storm that was made to seem like a big thing was sort of brushed off as not that big. The only thing I’m really drawn to is that cover. But thanks for the awesome review!
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Yea the storm was there throughout the story, but not as much more than a memory and rehashing.
Thanks for stopping by Karina 🙂
Oh Michelle we had much of the same issues!
I think for me I wanted Superstorm Sandy to have played a bigger role in this book. I wanted to get a better sense of the destruction it caused to Jersey Shore and what the people were doing to get through it. But I also had major issues with Lucy’s friends and family. I loved her as a character and while she had her flaws they weren’t enough for me to dislike her. It was her HORRIBLE brother that had me angry 90% of the time reading and her terrible friends. They were absolutely atrocious. They treated her so poorly I just wanted Lucy to dump them all *shakes head*. I really wanted to like this one but it just didn’t work for me.
Michelle @ Book Briefs
I’m glad that I am not the only one that felt this way. Because even in the book Lucy was admitting that she messed up, and I was like no! They have treated you like crap. Don’t put up with that. oh well.
I read her other book and really enjoyed it. It’s too bad this one didn’t work for you. Were you not suppose to like the characters? I mean, if it’s on purpose I think I can deal with it. I don’t know, I might have to try it still but I won’t rush out to get it just yet.
Michelle @ Book Briefs
You know, I was thinking the same thing while I was reading. When I got to 55% I almost put the book down for good, but I convinced myself to keep reading because I just kept telling myself that something was going to happen with these characters. Something would be revealed to show that they were being mean girls or they would apologize and make up for it. But it never did. They end had some surprising turn of events, but not in the way I was hoping. But a lot of people really enjoyed this one, so I say give it a shot if it looks good to you!
The writing was solid, so I will certainly check out the author’s other book.
Thanks for stopping by Candace 🙂
omg yes, this book was a disappointment even though it sounded so good.. i hated how her friends were (i liked Meghan too though) and her brother! UGH.. that tickets for the birthday scene had me gasping.. i hated how they sided with the guy even though HE was in the wrong. I actually didn’t read the excerpts at the beginning of each chapter because they weren’t interesting to me. I gave it 3 stars… but yea, i was expecting so much more. I didn’t like how everything was resolved too.. oh and the love interest? not interesting at all
– Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf
That is so hard when characters ruin the tale for you. Bummer as this sounded like a great beach read.
I think I am going to have to give this one a miss. I don’t mind contemporary romances but they do have to be pretty good to impress me, so maybe this one is not compatible. The idea of it being after a hurricane is intriguing but the idea of so many annoying characters really puts me off >>