Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights

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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.

With this one being a collection of stories, I honestly don’t know how to review it. I think I’m just going to have to go one by one – because this book is so diverse!

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo – 4 out of 5 stars

“The person she liked best didn’t like her enough to want more of her, and she didn’t want to pretend that wasn’t awful.”

I really enjoyed this start to the book, and it genuinly surprised me! Leigh Bardugo has a great way of interspersing romance and fantasy, and I honestly didn’t expect it to work as well as it did.

The End of Love by Nina Lacour – 5 out of 5 stars

“As much as people want to look on the bright side, skip straight to the future when everything will be okay, the truth is that there is this time, where you sometimes have trouble breathing, and you feel powerless.”

I would say that The End of Love was possibly my favourite of all the 12 stories. It had a great summery feel and the love was adorable. I totally related to the main characters love for school and I liked the way it included difficult topics such as her parents divorce. The camping off summer vibes perfectly.

Last Stand At the Cinegore by Libba Bray – 3 out of 5 stars

“I get it’ Dani said, suprising me. ‘When you watch one of these old movies in a place like this, you’re connected to everybody else who’s ever watched it. You can practically feel them around you.'”
I liked some parts of this story – especially the appreciation of film! – but it was just so weird. The whole thing is about this creepy horror movie that like, comes out of the screen and turns everybody to demons. And the whole demon attacking thing seems so damn unrealistic. What’s summery about that? That said, I liked the characters and the concept was very unique!

Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block – 2 out of 5 stars

“Love can be so sttange and sad. It can be hard to understand why we run toward certain people and away from others at different times in our lives. Why we search so hard for that thing we are looking for, and the run so fast when we find it”

Unfortunately I am giving this one such a low rating for two reasons.

  1. The characters names are literally letters. Like M, L, J and A. Oh, and I. What could possibly be more confusing than naming the narrator I? It might seem like a small thing, but it annoyed me from the off.
  2. I literally don’t remember anything happening in this story. Maybe nothing happened, maybe it was just really not memorable. Either is pretty bad.

In Ninety Minutes Turn North by Stephanie Perkins – 5 out of 5 stars

“The person she liked best didn’t like her enough to want more of her, and she didn’t want to pretend that wasn’t awful.”

I have a feeling that Stephanie Perkins has this amazing secret ability where she can just put anyone under a spell that makes us fall in love with her writing. Because this story is just so goddamn cute, and I love it so much. The whole location gave it a unique feel, the speech was adorable and omg, even the title is so cute. Yes, it may not be the most summery story, but I don’t even care.

Souvenirs by Tim Federle – 2.5 out of 5 stars

“What is life, it comes to me, without the occasional risk of pizza?”

I didn’t dislike this story – I just had…issues with it. Keith for a start was not the best love interest, and I felt like he was quite inconsiderate of Matt’s feelings. However, I did like the setting being in a theme park and it gave off a summery vibe! The narrative was pretty unique as well – it reminded me of David Levithan actually.

Inertia by Veronica Roth – 2 out of 5 stars

“Some people might leave you,’ he said, for once ignoring a joke in favor of something real. ‘But it doesn’t mean you’re worth leaving. It doesn’t mean that at all.”

The first thing that stood out about this one is that the technology they use is so damn similar to that in Divergent. Like come on, I want something new. This story also had nothing to do with summer, but I guess the concept was pretty cool and I felt for the characters.

Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron – 4 out of 5 stars

Because if we are all fools, then perhaps there is some wisdom in falling in love.”

I actually really liked this one – it shocked me quite a lot! The whole summer resort gave the right vibes and I loved the varying characters. I definitely thought Skovron pulled off having a number of characters in a short story, and even though it was pretty predictable and unrealistic, I enjoyed watching this story play out. It even made me laugh out loud at points!

Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert – 3 out of 5 stars

“I think maybe saying good-bye isn’t bad at all. Maybe it meabs I’m making room for someone new.”

I remember enjoying this one a lot at the time, but the reason I’m giving it such a low rating is because I really can’t remember it very well. And what I do remember, I don’t really think much actually happened. However, I did like the representation, LGBTQIA+ relationship and the fact this story tackled grief.

Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare – 2 out of 5 stars

“I snuggled into his arms as the last of the fireworks faded, and high above, Mephit flapped across the sky, his wings silhouetted against the moon.”

This story was just weird. I’m not one for demons or dark magic etc, so I honestly found it quite hard to grasp. I don’t think that’s just me though – going in depth about magic and demons might be a little too much for such a short story. I also didn’t get the summery vibes I was hoping for, and I actually had a problem with…incest. Like, I know the people aren’t actually family..but they are by marriage. I just found that a bit weird.

A Thousand Ways this Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith 5 out of 5 stars

“He was a mystery that—for reasons I didn’t quite understand—I felt desperate to solve.”

Oh my, here we go. This is exactly what I was looking for. For one, the love interest is goddamn sweet and has a love of kids. The main character works in a summer camp, giving off the perfect vibe for summer. Also, back to the love interest again – he is on the autism spectrum! And it doesn’t change the way she feels for him! Just yes, omg. This one was so good. Maybe my favourite?

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman – 5 out of 5 stars

“Probably falling in love is always a little like that: You discover that one other person who understands what no one else seems to, which is that the world is broken and can never, ever be fixed. You can stop pretending, at least for a little while. You can both admit it, if only to each other.”

Okay so I actually really liked this one and I actually thought the concept was pretty original compared to some of the other stories. It gave a different vibe, but I still found it pretty summery. Also, the love interests were both interesting and had good character depth. The plot was interesting, and left some intruige for the reader.

So overall, I did enjoy this book. There were plenty of stories I didn’t like, but the ones I did really brought my rating back up and made me love this novel a lot!

★★★★

-Beth
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

4 thoughts on “Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights

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