Release Date: 5 May 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Add it: Goodreads
Will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
For Lucy, the Jersey Shore isn't just the perfect summer escape, it's home. As a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in during Memorial Day weekend, crowding her costal town and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Still, she can't help but crush on charming Connor Malloy. His family spends every summer next door, and she longs for their friendship to turn into something deeper.
Then Superstorm Sandy sweeps up the coast, bringing Lucy and Connor together for a few intense hours. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm, and Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and her broken home. Time may heal all wounds, but with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, Lucy's summer is sure to be filled with fireworks.
Once in a while, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I’m enjoying reading a book I wasn’t sure I’d like. This was definitely the case with The Summer After You and Me – I requested it because it looked like a cute, fun read but was unprepared for how much I liked Lucy, the main character, and the unique way in which chapter opens. Also, I really liked the main love interest guy and that almost never happens with me.
The Summer After Me and You takes place on the Jersey Shore and in many ways is very much a story that reads like a love letter to the area. One of the things that caught my interest initially was that this book deals with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy – the characters that we meet throughout the story either live year round on the Jersey Shore or are summer vacationers with ties to the area. I really liked that aspect of the novel because I love reading about different parts of the world. I mean, obviously, this book is marketed as a romance and I did like the often bittersweet romance between Lucy and Connor – they were cute and I believed in them as a couple, but I think what got me in the end was that this is very much Lucy’s story. It’s about where she lives, the places she grew up in and the people she grew up with…it’s about her identity and her a place in the world, and how all of that is shaken by Superstorm Sandy and her romance with Connor. It’s about Lucy growing up and how that sort of inevitably entails saying goodbye to the bonds made in childhood.
I do have to say that apart from Connor, I was not a fan of Lucy’s friends, especially her horrible so-called best friend. He is the douchiest of douches and I honestly wanted to shove him off a cliff. I do think though that some of this is done on purpose – because of Lucy’s POV and the fact that she is undeniably growing more distant from her childhood friends as her interests expand and differ from theirs, her friends grate on her as they grow more claustrophobic. This is part of the reason why I liked her relationship with Connor so much; he never stifles her. I also enjoyed Lucy’s friendship with the college guy (I am so bad at names but whatever) who shares her interests and introduces to the larger world beyond the borders of the Jersey Shore.
One more thing that I absolutely loved – the unique chapter openings. Lucy works on a paper throughout the novel that she bases on the mating behaviour of animals and then compares to human behaviour. So you get really fun facts about animals written in this deadpan tone and it just tickled me so much.
So yeah, I definitely recommend this book. It is cute and romantic but is surprisingly full of depth.