The Clasp by Sloane Crosley These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Summer Reading: That's What Friends Are For Edition

Monday, August 18, 2014

WHAT'S THE DEAL? Reagan has had a tough year and finally hits breaking point when her boyfriend turns out to be not so great after all. So, when her best friend, superstar country singer Lilah Montgomery, asks her to come along on her summer tour, Reagan jumps at the chance. However, they are soon joined by Lilah's good friend, and ex-boybander, Matt Finch and Reagan's plans for a summer with her best friend fly out the window. 

ANY GOOD? I liked this book a lot. It was really warm and sweet and relaxing - a proper summer read. I appreciated that there were only a few characters, and it was quite long by YA contemporary standard I think, so you really get a chance to know Reagan, Lilah, and Matt. The friendship theme really held the book together, which helped add to the sweetness. It was a road trip novel I guess but a different take on it considering they were on a music tour. There wasn't any sightseeing or motels, which was refreshing. Don't get me wrong, I love road trip stories, but it was nice to encounter a different kind of road trip. 

Reagan was a great main character - a 'bad girl' but not in a terribly cliched way. I loved her journey and her growth by the end. Dee and Matt helped bring some humanity to the Taylor Swift's and Nick Jonas's of the world. Everyone thinks it would be great to have such a life - freedom, money, fame - but at what expense? Not being able to go into the gas station to pick up snacks? Sacrificing your own happiness to protect the your loved ones? Having the rumours that might ordinarily circulate around your school suddenly available to everyone everywhere via magazines and blogs? The way these issues were tackled added another dimension to the book. 

What really stood out for me was Emery Lord's GORGEOUS writing. The book was, quite simply, really well written. I also loved that there was a proper ending. I much prefer a proper ending that isn't just a few pages tacked on at the end. Oh! I almost forgot to add that I really enjoyed the lyrics to all the songs. Usually I skim lyrics and such like but I could actually hear the songs, which was pretty cool. I'm rubbish at writing lyrics (you should see my GCSE Music song based on Briseis and Achilles, the lyrics of which are remarkably similar to Remember Me from Troy...) but I like to compose so it was another nice addition to this multi layered/multi faceted story. 

Overall, Open Road Summer was a lovely summer read. The cover perfectly depicts the tone of this hazy tale of love and friendship. 

ADD TO BASKET? If you enjoyed Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols or if you like authors such as Sarah Dessen and Sarah Ockler.

WHAT'S THE DEAL? Emily's best friend Sloane has disappeared on her just as summer begins. In her place, Sloane has left Emily a list of tasks to complete in her absence. This wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that Emily isn't the outgoing one, that's Sloane's job. Will Emily find the courage to tackle the list?  

ANY GOOD? Since You've Been Gone wasn't what I thought it would be. I don't know if I just hadn't read the blurb properly but for some reason I thought it was another road trip novel. Then again, perhaps I had it confused with Open Road Summer. Overall, I wasn't that taken with it to be honest. It skewed a bit younger than I anticipated. The pacing was quite slow - even though Emily had all the tasks to complete - and the chapters were quite long. Also, the flipping backwards and forwards in time got a little bit confusing. 

I didn't connect with Emily too much but I liked the running scenes best - that's when she really came into her own. I liked Frank too - it was nice to see a 'Nice Guy' rather than 'The Bad Boy' covered in tattoos. Sidenote: What's with the tattoo thing? I thought we'd gotten past the whole tattoos = dangerous type of thinking? I think this mostly applies to NA but I have seen it in YA too. Anyway, back to Since You've Been Gone, I liked Emily's family too. So, basically, the characters were interesting but I just wasn't so keen on the plot. 

Overall, it was okaaaay - especially for a summer read. I was a bit disappointed because I LOVED Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and quite liked Second Chance Summer. Actually, Since You've Been Gone is more similar to Second Chance than Amy & Roger, so if you liked that one perhaps give it a go. 

ADD TO BASKET? If you like scavenger hunt type stories or Jenny Han books.

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting!