Amy Mason Doan comes to the blog today with her debut offering, a story of friendship and connections. Please read on for my review of
The Summer List
Told in a series of flashbacks, the friendship between Laura and Casey at the outset – and the descriptions, moments and emotions conjured up are purely delightful and engaging. From the tentative connections and worries about feeling “stupid” or “weird” to the solid sense that these two would withstand everything as they spent their time together constantly, even dipping slightly into the ‘forbidden zone’ as one set of parents were less enamored with their connection than the other.
The bond between them felt impenetrable: as if they would always be connected, through all the changes as people grow or move away: this was not something to worry about with Laura and Casey. Little insight is given into the rift between them throughout the early phases of the book: we are given all of the feelings that are easy to remember, bringing us into their friendship as a 3rd observer: quietly wanting those feelings and acceptance. But, then somehow things went pear shaped.
The second half of the book lost most of the lightness and joy that appeared in the first, and even the plot seemed to slow and drag – perhaps weighted down with time and growth, but while it didn’t entirely lose the enjoyment of the first half, it felt almost as if there was an effort made to bring the story a more adult feel, and the writing started to feel more like a rework of an idea that wasn’t quite fitting, in an effort to make it all work together. I do feel like this story, from initial inception to a rather sweet conclusion fell off sharply in my enjoyment from beginning to end. I was sad to see this – for Doan’s writing and ability to capture a moment and wring all of the exuberance and feelings out of it are stellar – they just weren’t consistently applied in this story For the first half – this is certainly a book well worth your time, and an author worth checking out.
Title: The Summer List
Author: Amy Mason Doan
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction
Published by: Graydon House
Published on: 18 June, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 54 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
In the tradition of Judy Blume's Summer Sisters, The Summer List is a tender yet tantalising novel about two friends, the summer night they fell apart, and the scavenger hunt that reunites them decades later – until the clues expose a breathtaking secret that just might shatter them once and for all.
Laura and Casey were once inseparable: as they floated on their backs in the sunlit lake, as they dreamed about the future under starry skies, and as they teamed up for the wild scavenger hunts in their small California lakeside town. Until one summer night, when a shocking betrayal sent Laura running through the pines, down the dock, and into a new life, leaving Casey and a first love in her wake.
But the past is impossible to escape, and now, after seventeen years away, Laura is pulled home and into a reunion with Casey she can't resist – one last scavenger hunt. With a twist: this time, the list of clues leads to the settings of their most cherished summer memories. From glistening Jade Cove to the vintage skating rink, each step they take becomes a bittersweet reminder of the friendship they once shared.
But just as the game brings Laura and Casey back together, the clues unravel a stunning secret that threatens to tear them apart… Mesmerising and unforgettable, Amy Mason Doan's The Summer List is about losing and recapturing the person who understands you best – and the unbreakable bonds of girlhood.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.