Friday, June 9, 2017

Summer Contemporary Reads

I've been all about the summer contemporary reads this past week or so. I went through a big fantasy phase, but now I just want to read stories that take place on beaches or cottages or just anyplace warm. Maybe it's because where I live it's only JUST started to feel like summer. We suffer from Sprinter (Spring/Winter that just won't quit) around here.

Sometimes the setting in a book can feel like a character. In the books I've been reading lately, I definitely feel like this is true. The settings have made me want to just pack up and go somewhere new. If only, right?
Emery Lord is one of my favourite authors. This story takes place at a summer camp, which was amazing. Lucy is a Christian who finds herself questioning her beliefs after her mom's cancer comes back. Her family runs a Christian summer camp, but her mom wants her to spend her summer at the camp across the lake. That camp is for kids who have been through hardships and who don't have easy lives, so Lucy feels like she can't relate.
I loved this book. I loved Lucy and all of the other characters, except her stuffy boyfriend who was way too perfect. I really appreciated the relationship Lucy had with her parents. Too often in YA, the parent-teen relationship is full of angst, which can be true to life, but I liked reading about a good relationship full of respect.
I mentioned that Lucy is a Christian and questions her beliefs, but this is not a religious book at all. It's a book about growing up, friendship, and experiences. The summer camp setting was one of my favourites and I'd like to read more stories that take place at a camp.

I happened to find this on Goodreads while I was browsing and knew I had to pick it up. Jimmy is killed in a fire, and his wife, Jackie, and son, Charlie, are left to pick up the pieces. Jackie decides to spend the summer in her childhood house with her mom, Annie. Annie has been separated from her husband, Buster, for over ten years.
This book was full of fun characters. Annie was the type of grandmother we all want to have; lovable and quite quirky. I thought she was hilarious, even if she was a bit off base at times. Charlie was a sweetheart and my heart absolutely broke for him and everything he had to go through.
This takes place in the Lowcountry, which is one of my favourite settings. I've never been, but books that take place there always leave me wanting to pack up and go. White beaches, churning seas, and lighthouses. Ooh, I have a love of lighthouses.

I've been hearing about this book for ages, and someone posted on Twitter that the ebook was on sale for $1.99, so I grabbed it and started it right away. I read this so quickly! I did not want to put it down, but there's a tiny human who depends on me so I ended up reading this in two sittings. Anna is a 30 year old teacher who is hired to help sixteen year old T.J catch up on his studies after he misses most of the school year dealing with cancer. They're going to spend the summer on an island with T.J's family, but on the way, their pilot has a fatal heart attack and they crash land in the middle of the ocean. What a premise, right?
This book takes place over a few years and I loved reading about the evolution of Anna and T.J's relationship. They're able to meet most of the basic needs, but what about their physical and emotional needs? They find themselves depending on each other for absolutely everything.
This book was honestly so good. I need to read more books about being stranded on an island because the setting was so interesting. I don't even want to say too much because I think it's just better to read it, so seriously, go read it.

I'm currently reading this one and really enjoying it. I'm about 79% done, and it's proving to be a classic Sarah Dessen novel. I've been reading Sarah Dessen for more than ten years now, and I will continue to read whatever she writes as she's one of my absolute favourite authors. I love the setting of her books. Some take place in the fictional town of Lakeview, and others take place on a fictional island of Colby. Dessen's characters are always relatable (even as a thirty year old), and never fail to make me nostalgic. I can't say too much about this one yet, as I'm not done, but I'm having a lot of fun reading it. Louna lives with her mom and helps her with her wedding planning business, while trying to deal with the aftermath of her great love, Ethan. The story of what happened between the two is told slowly, but it really works. Ambrose is hired by her mom for the summer, and Louna finds herself in a dating bet with him. Ambrose is full of life and can be a bit much, but you know his heart is in the right place. I'm excited to finish this one up tonight and see what happens.

I'm forever looking for new recommendations, so I would appreciate any summer contemporary recs you may have. Up next I think I'm going to read Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han, but that could always change if someone recs something even more enticing.

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