Friday, October 2, 2015

Five Summers

Author: Una LaMarche
Info: Razorbill, copyright 2013, 384 pages

Four best friends, five summers of camp memories

Emma, Skylar, Jo, and Maddie have all come back to camp for a weekend of tipsy canoe trips to the island, midnight skinny dipping in the lake, and an epic game of capture the flag—boys versus girls. But the weekend isn't quite as sunwashed as they'd imagined as the memories come flooding back...

The summer we were nine: Emma was branded “Skylar’s friend Emma” by the infamous Adam Loring...
The summer we were ten: Maddie realized she was too far into her lies to think about telling the truth...
The summer we were eleven: Johanna totally freaked out during her first game of Spin the Bottle...
The summer we were twelve: Skylar’s love letters from her boyfriend back home were exciting to all of us—except Skylar...
Our last summer together: Emma and Adam almost kissed. Jo found out Maddie’s secret. Skylar did something unthinkable... and whether we knew it then or not, five summers of friendship began to fall apart.

~Goodreads Description

Was in the mood for a lighthearted teen contemporary fiction title with maybe a little bit of romance.  I've been listening to a lot of heavy, rather depressing, adult titles and just needed a change of pace.  So I thought I'd give Five Summers a whirl.

It was okay.  It definitely wasn't anything new or fancy, and in typically Emily fashion, I about to compare it to a slew of movies...because that's just ow I roll.  Close your eyes, and imagine Now & Then, smashed together with Little Darlings, and Camp Takota.  You might not have seen the last one.  It was a fun find on Netflix.

So here's what we've got.  We've got four girls who met at summer camp.  Four girls who become best friends and are struggling with how to maintain a friendship with the summer ends.  We have four girls with four different possibilities, four different secrets, and four different understandings of love.

Summer camp.  Boys.  Alcohol.  Love triangles and enough angst to kind of make you yawn.

Here's my problem with this particular book (and it's going to include some spoilers so read accordingly), but the last summer the girls are all together actually participating at camp, they are thirteen.  It is revealed, later in the book during a camp reunion when the girls are 17, that Skylar slept with Adam that last summer.  WHAT?!  There's a problem with that!

Now I work with teenagers. And it's a sad reality that teens are having sex at a much younger age, but  thirteen is a middle schooler!  Thirteen is a baby!  Thirteen cries out serious psychological and emotional trauma.  And this was never addressed.

I'm a big fan of the summer - camp - friends kind of story, so I was able to suspend belief a bit to finish the story, and that's why it's "okay".  But really taking a look at the story, it was very familiar.  The story also skips between characters and summers which really hurts character development.


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