Sunday, May 22, 2016

Review: Summer Days + Summer Nights

Summer Days and Summer Nights:
Twelve Love Stories
Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Published: May 17, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Rating: 3.5/5

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins
, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

~
Named one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best YA Books of Summer:

“It's about as beach-bag-ready a book as one could hope for.”

“This title is a sizzling must-have that will be too hot to keep on shelves.”
-STARRED School Library Journal

“An intelligent beach read with heart, soul, and sizzle.”
-STARRED Kirkus Review

“Offering a sampling of many different genres, bright and distinct narrative voices, and a generous portion of tender moments, this book has something for everyone who has loved or longs for it.”
-STARRED Publishers Weekly

“These stories are perfect for a lazy day at the beach or a hot summer night.”
-Romantic Times Reviews

“Yep, this one’s a beach read, so throw it in in the bag in its well-earned spot between the sunblock and the sandals.”
- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Internationally bestselling author Stephanie Perkins brought together some of her closest friends and fellow bestselling young adult authors for the holiday anthology My True Love Gave to Me that a starred Publisher’s Weekly called  “a rare holiday treat” and Romantic Times claimed  “this is what all anthologies should aspire to be”. Now, she’s doing it again with SUMMER DAY AND SUMMER NIGHTS: Twelve Love Stories (St. Martin’s Griffin / On Sale: May 17, 2016), another anthology filled with twelve new stories from a superstar lineup of young adult authors. Already receiving rave reviews, this anthology is the perfect beach companion for those long, hazy summer days.

Featuring twelve brand new short stories from:
• Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss, My True Love Gave To Me)
• Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows, The Grisha Trilogy)
• Francesca Lia Block (Love in the Time of Global Warming)
• Veronica Roth (The Divergent Trilogy)
• Lev Grossman (The Magicians Trilogy)
• Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments Series)
• Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love, The Geography of You and Me)
• Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty)
• Tim Federle (The Great American Whatever)
• Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You, You Know Me Well)
• Jon Skovron (Misfits, Man Made Boy)
• Brandy Colbert (Pointe)
SUMMER DAY AND SUMMER NIGHTS, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake.  So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses.  You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
~
Okay, so I love Grease. I was literally watching it earlier today. It was on Freeform, the former ABC Family for those interested. So for this anthology to be Summer Days & Summer Nights was obviously my calling. Also: Stephanie Perkins was editing and including another story. Like I said, my calling.

As expected, I anticipated this anthology like no tomorrow and it mostly exceeded my expectations. Tim, Francesca, and Stephanie's stories are absolute gold. I may or may not be interesting in a future collab YA between Francesca & Stephanie. Maybe? Maybe not? Preferably soon, though. Wink wink.

Here's my review of this sunny wonder. Hope y'all enjoy it as much as I did!
~
"Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail" by Leigh Bardugo - 3/5
I’m new to Bardugo. It took me a second to realize this was a dystopian, but it’s an interesting one. Vintage setting. Hints of diversity. New York heatwave. It’s a little draggy, but it works well for this anthology.

"The End of Love" by Nina LaCour - 2/5
Love you, Nina, but this was a mess. It takes place in summer school. A possibly short-lived romance between two girls. Parents in the midst of divorce. One of my problems with this – albeit, a minor one – the teacher leaves the classroom in the middle of a lesson to have a picnic on the lawn with his girlfriend (?) and the whole class watches. Okay, but can you not get fired for that? I think the point of this story was to remain vague and it definitely stuck to that notion.

"Last Stand At the Cinegore" by Libba Bray - 2/5
This was a little too “bro” for me. Also: the love interest reminds me of Joni from What You Left Behind in not a good way.

"Sick Pleasure" by Francesca Lia Block - 4/5
I wonder how excited Stephanie must’ve been to include this story in the anthology because I know she recs Francesca frequently. I’ve sampled Weetzie Bat and it’s quirky and whimsical in that special Francesca Lia Block way. I was surprised by how meaningful this story’s ending was. What annoyed me was how everyone was referred to by a letter of the alphabet.

‘‘In Ninety Minutes, Turn North’’ by Stephanie Perkins - 4/5
Well, it’s impossible to hate on a Stephanie Perkins’s story. Also: I was glad to see Marigold and North’s relationship wasn’t all smooth sailings. After breaking up for no good reason, she aims to win him back by finding him at his new job. I felt like there was a tiny loophole, though. Marigold alludes to sex with North, but when she happens to see his legs in shorts, she nearly has a coronary.

‘‘Souvenirs’’ by Tim Federle - 5/5 (J’ADORE!!)
THIS OWNS MY HEART. Literally, I’ve never read anything by Federle beforehand, but I adore this. It shattered me. A story about a breakup. A story about a relationship that isn’t miraculously fixed. It’s so hilarious and I cried the teeniest bit. Seriously in lurve with this story. When’s your next book, Tim? Please lemme know.

‘‘Inertia’’ by Veronica Roth - DNF
No offense, but I’ve never cared for Veronica Roth’s work. The Divergent trilogy doesn’t appeal to me and this story lost my interest early on.

‘‘Love is the Last Resort’’ by Jon Skovron - 1/5
A non-dystopian version of A Fierce and Subtle Poison with a side of misogyny.

‘‘Good Luck and Farewell’’ by Brandy Colbert – 2/5
I sampled Pointe and didn’t like it. Brandy's story has a little bit of everything. A moving truck, a drunk friend, and all sorts of emotion.

‘‘Brand New Attraction’’ by Cassandra Clare – DNF
Though I enjoyed the first few City of Bones books, I wasn't too much on this. Again, no offense, but I don’t think it belonged in this anthology. It’s a story about a dark carnival and demons, which is wicked cool, don’t get me wrong. But if you wanted to stick to the summery theme, it would’ve been interesting to have something block the sun. #JustMe

‘'A Thousand Ways this Could All Go Wrong’’ by Jennifer E. Smith – 3 stars
The beginning was slightly similar to How To Love’s, so I nearly assumed this sporty MC (yes, a sporty MC!) was hiding a secret love child, but that myth was quickly debunked. Anyway, it was okay.

‘‘The Map of Tiny Perfect Things’’ by Lev Grossman – 2 stars
I would’ve loved for Tim Federle’s story to end this anthology, instead. Given, Lev’s story wasn’t so bad.
~
About the Editor:
Stephanie Perkins has always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She's the author of the international bestsellers Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, as well as Isla and the Happily Ever After. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories is her first anthology. Stephanie and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina.

4 comments:

  1. Oh YAY I am so glad you liked this! I am pretty excited to read it! I mean, I have to buy it first, but THEN I want to read it hahah. Hopefully during actual summer, but we'll see ;) Are there Shadowhunters in the Cassandra Clare one? If not.. I am game, just to see what else she does hahhaha. That "Love is the Last Resort" one sounds AWFUL, and is it bad that it makes me want to read it more? (Especially since it's so short?) Can't wait to read "Souvenirs" since you loved it so much! Great review!

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    1. I don't think so...? I DNFed very early. haha. I swear, Cassandra C. places Shadowhunters in everything, so I wouldn't be surprised. lolol. "Love Is The Last Resort" IS awful. Gah. It takes place in a hotel, which is kinda cool. But still. Omg, I seriously seriously adored Souvenirs, though. It's x1000 adorable, thanks!

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  2. HAHAHA secret love child, what (obviously I have never read that author's books before)? I have read nothing by many of these authors, except Leigh Bardugo and Stephanie Perkins. I'm seeing consistent ratings for Leigh's short story though, so that's a little saddening.

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    1. Omg. You HAVE to read Katie Cotugno's How To Love. The MC has a secret love child with her high school love interest. He kinda knows/kinda doesn't? It's an excellently-written debut, though. I haven't read anything by Leigh either, but I own all of Stephanie's books. haha. Contemporary maniac over here.

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