Recent Reads, 20/40: All the Summer Girls


I’ve made it to the halfway mark! I am super proud of myself.
Last year, I was beyond 20 books at this point, but it was around this time that I really started to slow down and get frustrated with work stuff, allowing myself little time to do anything but be moody.

Book 20 is the 5th book Katie and I decided to read in our book club (ya know, our two person book club).
This book is definitely not something that will give us tons to mull over and to talk about, but it’s nice to read something that isn’t cumbersome, like Life After Life, that month-sucking book.

All the Summer Girls, by Meg Donahue, is that your typical beach read fluff. It has the romantic drama and the friendship drama and all other kinds of drama. But Donahue added a mix a bit of intrigue and trauma as well. Our three characters, Kate, Vanessa, and Dani, haven’t been the same since the death of Colin, Kate’s twin brother, several summers earlier at Avalon beach in NJ. Suddenly, the place they spent long vacations at every year is tainted with the terrible memory. We learn that everyone has guilt towards the death, feeling responsible in their own ways, but we don’t know why or what they did until the characters slowly start to tell each other.

One thing that bummed me out about the book is that, since every character is struggling through some sort of personal issue along with their issues towards Colin, the beach is like a backdrop that doesn’t shine. From the cover of the book to the title, it screams “READ ME WHILE YOU’RE SUNBATHING ON THE SHORE!” But the summer home they spent so much time in, the beach and boardwalk they lived on, don’t shine. I was definitely bummed, especially after being transported so well in We Were Liars. I want to mentally see that beach house, and it just wasn’t there.

I did like the fact that each chapter focused on a different character (The order is Kate, Vanessa, Dani). The book is written in a third-person POV, so it’s interesting to separate the chapters without them actually narrating the story.
I think it was smart to write the alternating chapters so that we could see just what these girls are going through.

To sum it up, it was a quick read that would definitely fly by if you have time on the beach.
Still, I feel like there are more summer-y summer reads.

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