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Mini Reviews: The Ones with Summer in the Title

Blurb from Goodreads:
Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren't betrayal enough, he's about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn't support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.
My Review:

I didn't get very far into this one -- I found Sophie to be incredibly whiny and the situation to be ridiculous.  Yes, I get it, she had to leave her planned summer to spend it in Paris with her dad and his new wife, but she was such a brat and beyond naive.  I really love this author's Off the Subject (NA) series - but this one just didn't work for me.  I understood that Sophie felt left out since her dad moved to another country and left his family but she didn't seem to see the positive in anything, even considering that her long time crush was coming to stay with her and her brother in Paris because they couldn't have an entire summer without their friends.  Too immature for me but hopefully this one got better as it went along!

Blurb from Goodreads:
A chance run-in with a college boyfriend puts a young woman’s picture-perfect life in perspective in this warm-hearted and lyrical novel—from the author of The Lake Season.

Since finishing graduate school, Maggie Griffin has worked hard to build an enviable life in Boston. She’s an elementary school teacher in a tony Boston suburb, a devoted sister, and a loving aunt. With her childhood best friend’s wedding quickly approaching and her own relationship blossoming, this is the summer she has been waiting for.

But when Maggie’s career is suddenly in jeopardy, her life begins to unravel. Stricken, Maggie returns home to seaside Mystic, Connecticut, where she expects to find comfort in family and familiarity. Instead, she runs into Cameron Wilder, a young man from her past who has also returned home, and whose life has taken a turn that puts Maggie’s city struggles in harsh perspective. When tragedy strikes for Cameron, Maggie is faced with big decisions as she weighs what matters most and strives to stay true to the person she’s become.

Set against the gorgeous backdrop of a New England summer when past and present collide, Mystic Summer is a gorgeous novel about looking back, moving forward, and the beauty that blooms when fate intervenes. 
My Review:
So I have yet to find a summer release that I LOVE this year in terms of all the beach reads. Before this, I read the latest by Nancy Thayer, Mary Kay Andrews, Shelley Noble (DNF) and Dorothea Benton Frank, none of which I loved this year!  I was hoping that this one would break my streak and be that perfect beach read but wow, what a dud!  This was so boring that had it been any longer, I probably wouldn't have bothered to finish it.  And, not liking the MC didn't help at all.  I also had some serious issues with the purported timeline and there were some glaring factual inconsistencies -- not sure if this one needs more editing or was supposed to be that sloppy. I liked the idea of the second chance romance but I found Maggie to be so milquetoast that I wasn't interested -- the whole novel is basically spent preparing for her best friend's wedding but, like I mentioned, although it's supposed to be a few months away, there were references to days not weeks that threw me off and I wasn't sure how much time had actually passed. Regardless, I would skip this one and I'm not sure I will try anything else by this author -- the best thing about this one is the cover.
The server returns with Cam's change.  She looks around the booth at all of us as she clears our plates. "You have a beautiful family," she says.   
I shake my head. "Oh no, we're not--" 
But she's already headed for the kitchen, the plates rattling in her arms. 
I glance around the booth, trying to see what she saw.  Two toddlers, two babies, two diaper bags, and a car seat between us.  "God, can you imagine if all this was ours?" 
Cam laughs aloud. "No! No, I cannot." 
But in that moment I see the picture we make.  Beside me, Lucy coos in her baby carrier.  Owen's and Randall's mouths are stained with pizza sauce.  Across form me, Cam bends to kiss Emory's cheek.  In that moment I am inexplicably happy.  Baby food in hair and all.

Blurb from Goodreads:
Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey. Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997, into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who's pined for Eva for years, stays on to complete his PhD in physics, devoting his life to chasing particles as elusive as the object of his affection. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien, never much inclined toward mortgages or monogamy, pursue more bohemian existences-she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partyer. But as their twenties give way to their thirties, the group struggles to navigate their thwarted dreams. Scattered across Europe and no longer convinced they are truly the masters of their fates, the once close-knit friends find themselves filled with longing for their youth- and for one another. Broken hearts and broken careers draw the foursome together again, but in ways they never could have imagined. 

A dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, Invincible Summer is a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world.
My Review:

What a bummer!  It seems like I've had a lot of DNFs in June -- I've never had a reading slump before but this may be as close to one as I get.  Unfortunately, this book reminded of Bright Stars but not  as well done, not in any good way.  This book follows four friends from University onward, telling little snippets of their lives every year for twenty years -- Obviously, I didn't read how this ended but the snippets I did read did not intrigue me.  Benedict wants Eva, Eva wants Lucien . . . not the best situation in a group of four friends, especially when Lucien is also Eva's best friend's, Silvie's, brother and a drug dealer . . . I just found myself not giving a fig about any of these characters pretty quickly once I started the book.  I kept putting this down, struggling with each chapter until I decided enough is enough.
She didn't have her camera with her--it had already been packed up with the rest of her things--so instead she tried to snatch the scene out of the air and etch it onto memory: Lucien, eyes darkly gleaming, Sylvia, hair flaming like a radioactive halo in the sunlight, and next to them Benedict, silhouetted against clear blue sky, turning towards her now and catching her looking at him and breaking into this broad lopsided smile.  Hold it right there, she thought.  Everything's about to change, but just let me keep this moment. 
Well I didn't have much luck with these summer releases with the word "summer" in the title but maybe you'll have better luck with them! One Paris Summer and Mystic Summer were released earlier in the month on June 7, 2016, while Invincible Summer comes out next week on June 28, 2016.


  1. Well that stinks that none of these worked for you!! I had wanted to read Invincible Summer but this is the third DNF or bad review I ave seen. I think I will pass. Hopefully you find some beach reads that knock your socks off soon!!

  2. This also did not go well. Not very good reads lately, I see. Man I hope your next read is a four or five star! I'll be passing on these!

  3. Ever since I found One Paris Summer and read the description, I knew I wouldn't like it. I really tried to think I would so I could read it, but gave up. I'm glad I did. I haven't read Off the Subject series, but I have Aftermath in my TBR and I'll be listening to Only You, which is by this author as well.
    I would be so confused by Mystic Summer with all the time references! And another slow book? Ugh. This is the year of slow books *shakes head* I'm sorry it didn't work for you.
    I hadn't heard of Invincible Summer but it sounds like it has unnecessary drama. I don't think I would have finished this one either.
    Great reviews!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  4. All my reading slumps start when I cant bring myself to dnf so i read a book super slowly. Great Mini Reviews!!!

    Tori @ In Tori Lex

  5. Oh wow, if I got to spend the summer in Paris with my long time crush I'd be thrilled even with family drama. Who cares about dad?! Let him be with his new wife while I trot around the beautiful city with the guy I'm crushing on!! I can see why One Paris Summer wouldn't work.

    Mystic Summer has a lovely cover, too bad the insides were so boring. Invincible Summer just sounds like a romantic mess. No thanks!

    Great minis! Hope you get over your reading slump, Eva! I hate that when I get into one. :(

  6. Oh, my! You're certainly in a book slump, lately. I really loved Hannah McKinnon's The Lake Season and want to read Mystic Summer. I'll probably still read it, but I wish you were having better luck in finding that exceptional summer release.

  7. Well it looks like the whole summer (theme) was a flop! A 2.5 star and two DNFs? Ugh. Having a really bratty, immature character is such a no-go for me. I felt that way about the female MC in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. Hadley was a total brat to her parents and acted so selfishly the whole book. I mean, ditching on her dad's wedding to take off and find a boy she just met... hello, totally self-absorbed!

  8. Aw, this is sadness! I mean, for you, because at least I got to read some entertaining reviews :) The first one I would NOT have liked, they sound awful. "Ah MAN, a whole summer in Paris?! No fair!". NOPE.

    The second one... nah. I mean, if the cover is the best part, frankly I don't even love the cover 😂 ANd the third one is sad because the plot sounded decent! As someone who is lost in her 30s and wants to be 23 again, like, YES please. But the execution sounds a hot mess. So sorry that you've been in a... slumpette lately. But great reviews!

  9. I'm so sorry you didn't like One Paris Summer! I actually just got a copy so I'm really, really hoping it will be more my thing...? I liked the author's Rose Gardner series so I just hoped it had similar themes. And damn, I'm so sorry that you had such a bad time lately. Hopefully your next lot will be much better.

  10. I nominated you for a Liebster Award:

  11. Well that's disappointing!Mystic Summer looked like a winner to me.

  12. Sophie sounds like a realistic teen. lol. No, but seriously, that sucks. Seems like I went on a DNF rampage not too long ago. Hope some excelent reading is in your future.

  13. oh these do not sound very enjoyable to read! I do have a hard time with immature characters. Hope your next book is way more fun to read

  14. It's a shame your summer reading hasn't gone so well so far :( Hopefully you discover some better books soon!

  15. Gah, that's really too bad the summer books are not working out for you! I usually love reading cute summery contemporaries but looks like I'll skip these. I hope you find some good reads soon!!

  16. Oh man, books with summer in the title are letting summer down!

  17. I liked Swank's After Math. I want to read the rest of the Off the Subject series as well. Melissa liked One Paris Summer, and I want to read it.

    Bummer you didn't like Invincible Summer. It was one I was looking at to read. =/

  18. Sorry you didn't like One Paris Summer! I agree that Sophie was incredibly whiny and naive at the beginning. That came into play quite a bit in the story and she grew up a lot by the end of the book. I haven't read the author's other books, but it sounds like they're better. I'll have to try one of them. :)


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