Sunday, December 21, 2008

Review: Summer Boys by Hailey Abbott

Total: Three stars

{From back cover}

First boy. First love. First time.*

Ella: Peter was watching me all night - I could feel it. I wish he'd make a move already. Too bad he's my sister's boyfriend.

Beth: Suddenly George is looking really good in his swim trunks. I don't know what I'm thinking - he's my best friend. Do I want more?

Jamie: Last summer, Ethan and I fell for each other - big-time. My feelings for him haven't changed. But why is he pushing me away?

It's summer. It's hot. It's time to hook up.

Behind the Grade:

As the summary would imply, this book is chock full of moral ambiguity and bad decision-making. That being said, it was another cute, fast, and light read - the perfect pick-me-up in the dead of a Canadian winter.

Or an American winter or whatever.

A lot of the problems were easy to relate to - the whole 'summer love or true love' thing, however, got on my nerves. Frankly, I don't see the whole big problem with having a "summer boy" (someone you only date/hook-up/whatever with for just the summer months and subsequently leave when it's time to go back home). Do you?

I mean, these girls are sixteen, seventeen. I'm not saying they should be sexing up any random 'hottie' they meet on the beach, but come on? Who really finds true love as a teenager? And even if you do/did, what are the chances you'll still be together in five, ten, fifteen years? There's nothing wrong with having fun.

Besides that long, drawn-out complaint:

- it was pretty good
- the characters had distinct personalities, but Beth was often ignored and could've been developed further
- I can't help but loathe self-loathing Jamie
- pretty good writing, like usual, but plot and characterization doesn't merit a four

I ran out and got the sequel, Next Summer, as soon as I finished. Hopefully it's better than this - has anyone read this series? I noticed, from the back, that Jamie seems to be gone... (YAY!)

* {SPOILER ALERT} Whose first time is it? Jamie's, from last summer? Ella's, avec Peter, although she does state she had sex prior, could this be some crazy metaphorical virginity? (Like, she lost self-respect or something?) I don't think it's Beth's, HELP!?


Steph said...

Actually I know plenty of people who fell in love as teenagers and are still together, many years later. So I wouldn't knock it as a possibility :P


Just Blinded Book Reviews said...

I've seen this one at bookstores and my library but I never felt the need to pick it up and read it; though, maybe now I will.

My mom actually got married the day before she turned eighteen and twenty-five years later she's still married to my dad. So it isn't impossible.

Maddie said...

Gabbi, ilu. I stand by my theory that Teenagers Cannot Fall in Love.
(i think teenagerpeoples love somebody, however.)

Gabbi said...

I love my friends, I love my family, but I'm admittedly too immature to love a boy.

(Your comment made me smile, Mads. Thanks!)

Anonymous said...

I agree, I know of a few people who've fallen in love as teenagers and lasted through their whole marriage. I read the rest of the series, and without spoiling it for anyone :) I think it's a really good story about teenagers and love, and and parts are really realistic.
oh and definitely read the rest of them!

imani said...

I don't care what people say this book was great. half of the people that left a comment probaly didn't even read the book ,so they should not say anything.The only thing was that they were intimate at such a young age.Otherwise the characters Beth, Jamie,and Ella really maed me feel as if i were in their shoes. 5 stars,{*****}