The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

I must admit that I didn’t love this book. I guess I liked it. I mean, it wasn’t bad, and maybe I’m too picky, but I didn’t fall head over heels in love with it, connecting deeply with the characters.

Here’s what’s on the back of the book :
Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean hat summer, of looking up at he moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I’m jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.

The story sounds so good. That’s why I picked up the book. But I feel so disappointed. In the front of the book there were countless comparisons to Sarah Dessen (my favorite author). But I don’t think this book compares.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely elements of a Dessen book in this story. You’ve got the girl as a main character and she has multiple problems (she doesn’t know where she’s going in life, no self confidence, trying to fit in, messed up family). Then there are a few supporting characters but they don’t show much support until the end of the book. And of course, there’s the boy.

What I think divides this book from the Dessen category is that the boy is too much of the story. The author tries to take it slow, making them friends first. But them all of a sudden, the story is skipping to only the parts of the book with the boy and the boy’s problem is the center of the story.

I feel that with Sarah Dessen books, if you took the boy out of the story he girl would still overcome her problem in the end and there would still be a pretty compelling story with a life lesson.

I feel like I read this book so quickly out of boredom rather than eagerness to find out what happens next. I also felt like much of the book was so predictable.

I must admit, after I got past the 200 pg mark I was more interested. And the last twenty pages got me really interested. But, since it took me two HUNDRED pages to get into it, I’d say this book was definitely mediocre.

Now, this isn’t to say that other people wouldn’t love the story. Because I’m sure some would. Different problems, personalities, etc connect with different people. I just happened to not really connect with the characters or their problems as much as I’d have hoped to.

And a small spoiler:

I would have known if I loved the book and characters for sure if I had cried at the end. And I didn’t…


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