I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love the longer days, BBQ’s, being outside, the smell of sunscreen linger in the air are all things I love about summer. I hate the heat. As a person who naturally runs warm, the heat is the worst thing about the summer. I love being outdoors with hiking, going to the beach, sitting by the pool, and enjoying the sunshine, but it is the heat of Southern California that drives me wild. I feel like no matter how little amount of clothing I am wearing, it is always too much. As someone who loves to wear black, and has long hair, summer is the season from hell for me, but for some people summer is the best season ever. (Autumn is my favorite season, just FYI). Even though I dislike summer, I love the idea and the feeling of summer reading. Summer reading is the time of year where you tend to buy books you may not necessarily reach for, but buy it strictly as the ideal companion of your summertime activities. I have never read a Jane Green book, so when St. Martin’s Press sent me an ARC of Summer Secrets by Jane Green I was intrigued. I knew about her books, but never bothered picking up one of them so this was my chance to see what the big deal was.
Summer Secrets spans over the lifetime of Cat. From growing up in London with an English father, and an American mother, Cat always felt a little out-of-place. Too wild for English standards, Cat dives into a life of partying and drinking to cope with the disapproval of her family. After the passing of her father, Cat soon discovers a secret that was kept from her for her entire life that her father is not actually her father. With a new revelation of her identity, Cat discovers that she has a fresh start with her newly discovered family. Upon an exchanging of information and letters, an invitation to come visit them in Nantucket, Massachusetts is extended toward Cat for the summer, which is happily accepts. Cat is determined to get along with new-found family, but not everything is what it seems and truths arise that may be the end of a new relationship. Will Cat find the family she longs for, along with discovering truths about herself? Or will everything bound to come crashing down?
This is my first encounter with reading a Jane Green book, and I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised. Her storyline and writing is fluid, heartfelt, and compelling. Jane has the characteristics of a great story-teller, with the ability to draw in a reader and keep them captivated. With every page, and every chapter you dove deeper and deeper into the twisted, warped life of Cat, her family, and her addictions. The drama rose and you did with it, with the question “What is happenings?” at the tip of your tongue. The writing is so moving, and provoking that I began to relate to her characters, and I enjoyed learning about Cat and identified with her struggle. I, thankfully, have never had an issue with substance abuse but I know a few who have and since reading this I have more empathy for their struggle. Jane has a way of allowing the reader to relate for her characters, and give the opportunity to see them beyond their struggle.
Her book is lovely, but I have to admit that it was a little forgettable. I usually finish a book then proceed to wait a day or two or sometimes a week later to write my review. It gives me an opportunity to reflect on the novel and see its impact on me. When coming back to write about Summer Secrets I had to go back, re-read the back and a few pages to jog my memory because I just forgot the book. I remember the writing was gorgeous, and the story was moving but it wasn’t something that stuck with me. I was caught up in the book when I was in it, then when I wasn’t in it, the book was forgotten. I have books that I read months/years ago that I still talk about, and refer to friends whenever I have a chance, but I do recommend this book for the present. It is one of the books that you read, enjoy for that moment, and then quickly move onto the next. There wasn’t a deep connection with this book, and it is perfectly ok for you not to have that connection with every book you come across. If you had that connection then, every book would be the best book ever, and there wouldn’t be as many rare gems that you tuck away in your heart. So, maybe you are looking for a book to fit that moment, which is what the majority of our summer reading lists are filled with; books to read by the pool, lake, beach, on vacation, etc. Books to enjoy in that moment, and then proceed to move onto the next moment, then the next and the next. Summer reading is the best time to pick up those books that are there to entertain and something you read that is outside your usual comfort zone. Summer Secrets is a good book to add to your summer reading list, and dive into while catching some rays.
What books do you have for your summer reading list? What are you bringing along with you when you are out on summer adventures? Share in the comments below!
Disclaimer: I was sent Summer Secrets for free from St. Martin’s Press. This review is of my own work, and I did not copy or refer to any other reviewers/writers/bloggers for this post. All content provided on “A Comfy Chair” is for informational purposes only. I make no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. I will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. I will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
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