Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 468 pages
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.
Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.
Such a sweet, sad book. Taylor is a likable and relatable character. She's always felt ordinary compared to her older brother who is super smart and her younger sister who is talented at ballet. She just feels like she's not really that good at anything. But that makes her so normal. She definitely hates confrontation, which is what led to what happened at the lake with Henry and Lucy when she was 12. I just loved learning about her first love, and when they meet again after 5 years, you could just feel the awkwardness and the hurt. I just loved their relationship and how they slowly get to know each other again. Even though that's a big part of the story, the main focus is on family given that this is the last summer they will all be together. Every character in this book is fleshed out. Even though you know how it's going to end with her dad, it still hurts. Emotional, raw, and real.
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 278 pages
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.
Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.
Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.
I really enjoyed this book but it was sad. You have Parker, a girl who has spent all of high school studying and doing what her mom thinks is best, and basically never takes any chances. Her best friend is the complete opposite (that always seems to happen in books, doesn't it?) Anyway, Parker comes across the journal of Julianna, who died in a car accidence ten years earlier along with her boyfriend. They were the golden couple and Parker is so curious that she does something she knows she shouldn't do, which is read the journal. This leads to a road trip with her best friend and Trevor, a guy she's had a crush on all of high school. He flirts with her, but that's as far as it's gone. Parker ends up discovering what really happened to Julianna and Shane, and that part of the story was just so sad. What a waste. The book definitely makes you think about doing what you want versus what people expect you to do and being who you are. Parker shows a lot of character growth in the novel. I did have some issues with Trevor. I mean, really, was Parker supposed to take him up on his offer to go into the art supply closet for four minutes? It's not like he really put himself on the line so he was just as bad as she was. Highly recommend.
Author: Sarra Manning
Publisher: Atom, 387 pages
Publication Date: May 24, 2012
Jeane Smith's a blogger, a dreamer, a dare-to-dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand and has half a million followers on twitter.
Michael Lee's a star of school, stage and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie.
They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can't they stop snogging?
I'm amazed at how much I liked this book considering I didn't really like either of the main characters. Jeane is so angry and judgmental, thinking she is so much better than everyone else because she's "different." I've actually known people like this and it really annoys me. People who complain about being judged and then are so judgy themselves, looking down on other people. She has a reason to be angry given everything you learn about her home life, so I did find myself becoming more sympathetic toward her. And then there's Michael Lee, who is also not that likable, although he definitely seemed like a real "guy," to be honest. Flawed, but with some good qualities. They can't stand each other but somehow find themselves all over each other (and still hating each other). The book was well-written, funny, and entertaining.
Posted by: Pam