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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Summer Lovin' Blog Tour Reviews

The Summer of No Regrets
by Katherine Grace Bond

Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: E-galley
Source: Publisher
Pages: 304
Buy: Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into the lap of a guy she's never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he's Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly eaten by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie's fantasy to be true.

As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can't be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents' death, her father's sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, she isn't sure of anything. What is the truth? More importantly, can she accept it?
While He Was Away
by Karen Schreck

Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks FireAge Group: Young AdultFormat: E-galley
Source: Publisher
Pages: 256
Buy: Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
"This is just something I have to do, okay?" I hear David say. "The right thing." 


He cradles my face in his hands. He kisses me hard. Then he lets go of me. His eyes dart from me to whatever's next.  
All she wants is for him to stay. She's been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn't have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there's no denying it anymore. He's gone. 

When Penna Weaver's boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she's left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing. 

She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?


It’s hard to tell with the weather being moodier than Mad-Eye, but summer’s quickly approaching, and with it comes the new crop of books to read while relaxing in the sunshine.  Two new ones that will hit the shelves in May are The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond and While He Was Away by Karen Schreck.  While both stories share the backdrop of summer in a small town and deeper themes than your average beach read, I enjoyed them both for different reasons.


The connection started for me at about page 2 in The Summer of No Regrets, despite the slightly bizarre plot.  It’s about Brigitta’s struggle to maintain her identity, hide her secret gossip magazine collection and blog, cope with the death of her much beloved grandparents, and deal with her father’s New Age shaman ways all while covertly raising two cougar cubs in a treehouse with a new boy in town who may or may not be bad boy movie star Trent Yves?  I believe the word you’re looking for is, “Wha?”  However, there was something about Brigitta’s fierce heart that kept things just this side of sincere.  It’s because of this sincerity that I was able to buy whatever Bond threw my way.  I believed Brigitta’s na├»ve confusion with Luke/Trent/Neighbor Boy; I believed she was still battling her year-long grief over losing her grandparents; and I especially believed her frustration and sadness over losing her father spiritually to a “religion” she didn’t understand or even truly believe.  The topic of religion came up quite a bit, from the various attendees at The Center run by Brigitta’s family to the more traditional fare from her grandparents.  It was honest without being preachy.  There may be budding romance and crazy capers, but this is no light summer read.

While He Was Away took much longer to attract me.  I really didn’t enjoy Penna that much at first.  She was far too wrapped up in her relationship with soon-to-deploy David that I didn’t hear her true voice until he was gone (not that I blame David, as he was just as wrapped up in her).  It wasn’t until David left that Penna started to sound less whiny and more like a protagonist worth following.  The romance all but disappeared once David left, and the mystery of Penna’s long-lost grandmother took center stage.  The storylines jumped around a little too much, concentrating solely on the search for Justine before unceremoniously moving to David’s personality changes rather than weaving the pieces together a bit more fluidly, though Schreck’s style was particularly fluid and lovely.  That said, Penna’s fight to bring her family together while being apart from the person she loves grew on me eventually, though I never felt completely connected to the characters.

These are the kinds of warm weather books I love to see: wonderfully written coming-of-age stories with themes that delve into the deeper side of relationships.  If you’re looking for something contemporary that’s about more than boy meets girl, I would recommend picking up both The Summer of No Regrets and While He Was Away.

1 comment:

  1. It’s about Brigitta’s struggle to maintain her identity, hide her secret gossip magazine collection and blog, cope with the death of her much beloved grandparents, and deal with her father’s New Age shaman ways all while covertly raising two cougar cubs in a treehouse with a new boy in town who may or may not be bad boy movie star Trent Yves? I believe the word you’re looking for is, “Wha?”

    Oh, Jessica, where were you when my editor was pitching this book to the marketing team? That's the best one-line synopsis I've heard yet!

    ReplyDelete