PUBLISHER: St. Martins Griffin
DATE PUBLISHED: 17th May 2016
Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
I will provide small individual reviews for each of the short stories and then an overall review of the anthology.
Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo
This is the story of Gracie and her summer romances. Over the summer months Gracie meets a boy who mysteriously disappears once summer is over. Over the years feelings develop and a shocking truth comes to light about this boy and Gracie must make a life changing decision. This was a sweet story with fantastical elements that I found quick and interesting to read. The long time frame in the frame of such a short story led to limited time to expand much upon these characters, which I felt would have added an extra layer to this story.
The End of Love by Nina LaCour
In this short story the main character is Flora who is auditing a summer school geometry class to get away from life. Whilst doing this Flora encounters three long lost friends who are attending the class. The summer culminates in a camping trip where emotions and futures are explored. This book has diverse elements in the form of a same sex relationship and the plot moved along moderately. Overall, it was a cute story based in the summer time.
Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray
Kevin, Dave and Dani have all taken jobs at a local Cinema (Cinegore). On the last night a rare horror film is shown and all hell breaks loose, literally. The plot of this story moved very quickly and the plot was highly entertaining. The element of romance between Kevin and Dani was cute and reminded me of a cute summery romance.
Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block
This cute short story follows a girl simply known as I over the summer between high school and college. A whirlwind summer romance begins between I and A, a boy who she met in a club. All the characters in this story are known by their first initial, which is different. This allowed the reader to concentrate more on the plot of the story. A realistic story of the transition between teenage life and adult.
In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins
Marigold is moving and her ex-boyfriend, North, broke it off because he could not do the long distance thing. Marigold cannot accept this and seeks out North to invite him to move with her. Marigold finds North coordinating a tour bus. Marigold gets on the bus in order to talk to North. I found this concept really light-hearted and adorable. Marigold and North were interesting characters and the story itself was well set out.
Souvenirs by Tim Federle
Matty and Keith dated over the summer time but Keith set a break-up date for the conclusion of their relationship. The story follows Matty as he reminisces on their relationship and is summer whilst working at a theme park. This was a lovely little story with diverse elements that worked well within this anthology.
Inertia by Veronica Roth
Inertia is a futuristic short story about Claire who goes to the hospital to see her ex-best friend, Matt, who has gotten into a car accident and is on his death bed. His last wish was for her to visit. In the visit Matt and Claire share memories through a futuristic device. The concept of this story is quite unique and I really liked the overall story. In such a short amount of time these two characters really made an impact on me.
Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron
Lena and Arlo work at a resort over the summer break. Whilst this is not a love story, the many characters at this resort are explored within this short story and some may even develop feelings. This was a really cute story and I loved the different interpersonal relationships between all the different characters.
Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert
Rashida’s cousin Audrey is moving away and Rashida is not happy. The story takes place over the Going Away Party for Audrey. Rashida meets Pierre and finds him annoying and wants nothing to do with him. Over the night Rashida and Pierre keep bumping into each other and a connection begins to grow. This story took me a little while to get into but I really enjoyed it by the end.
Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare
Lulu is the daughter of the owner of a dark carnival. Lucas is the stepson of Lana’s Uncle Walter. When Uncle Walton comes to the dark carnival to give the place a much needed face lift something is not quite right, and Lena can’t quite put her finger on it. This was a dark summer romance and I liked the change of pace. Not to mention Cassandra Clare could write pretty much anything and I would enjoy it.
A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith
Annie works at a summer camp and is in charge of the 6-year-olds. One of her kids is Noah, a young boy with Autism. Annie really wants to connect with Noah but is finding it incredibly difficult. However, Noah instantly connects with Griffin, Annie’s maybe-boyfriend. I loved that this story explored Autism, which I have not read much about.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman
Mark is stuck in a time loop, repeating August 4th over and over again. None else seems to notice. That is until Mark meets Margret at the pool. This is an interesting summer concept that I really liked reading about.
Keep Calm and Read On,