The Summer After You & Me
by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it’s not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.
Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
With summer romance driven books, I go in blind, and skeptical. It suits me best, no let down, no false pretenses. Hey, kinda like a summer romance! But let’s review, our main gal Lucy is from the Jersey Shore. [Hey, my area!] and her family has been MAJORLY rocked financially by Superstorm Sandy! A lot is up in the air for Lucy’s family right now, and the timing couldn’t be worse. Lucy and her brother are supposed to go to college next year, and there’s a lingering feeling bestowed on her that that may not happen. Add to this that her former fling, Connor is back in town, and her current boyfriend Andrew is practically perfect for her, and let the turmoil begin! We know with past crushes comes unresolved feelings and issues! So what will it be? What will happen this summer for Lucy, her friends, and her family?
Smart Girls Rock.
Not only is Lucy set for college, but she is insanely smart. You get to hear about marine life a bit in this lovely YA novel, and I really liked those elements! I love that her intelligence is something that is really admired throughout the book, by all different characters. Also, I did have SOME issues with the romance and how it was handled in this novel, but again, remember these guys are 17 and 18 years old, and your view changes a bit. Things become more forgivable. Emotions are certainly at an all time high throughout the entire summer that Lucy and her friends are having, and a lot of drama is on the horizon! It gets crazy and gritty, but I definitely think it was handled decently.
The setting in this book hit home. I love the mention of real life Jersey Shore haunts, how real they made the locals versus the bennies feel, and overall, Jersey truly played a character and it was a small tribute to the state I’ve spent my life in! All in all, this was sweet, cute, and perfectly summer. Ms. Salvato Dorkoski did a stellar job and I would definitely throw this one right in my beach bag!