Summer Days & Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Summer Days & Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins | Book ReviewSummer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins
Also by this author: Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After, My True Love Gave To Me, Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Published by Pan Macmillan on June 2nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Holidays & Celebrations, Short Stories, Young Adult, Love & Romance, General
Pages: 301
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781509809912
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Summer Days and Summer Nights is a beautiful collection of twelve gorgeously romantic short stories, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. Collected together by Stephanie Perkins, the editor behind My True Love Gave to Me, this wonderful collection of summer romances will delight all fans of YA.
Summer Days and Summer Nights includes stories by:Leigh BardugoNina LaCourLibba BrayFrancesca Lia BlockStephanie PerkinsTim FederleVeronica RothJon SkovranBrandy ColbertCassandra ClareJennifer E SmithLev Grossman

Another year, another seasonally themed short story anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins. Summer Days & Summer Nights is an anthology of twelve stories containing summer loving, in which some people are having a blast and some people are not. For the most part, I liked this anthology. There were maybe two stories that I wasn’t head over heels for.

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo

The first short story in Summer Days & Summer Nights is Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo. It starts out being about this strange woman named Annalee who moves to town. Then it goes on to talk about this girl named Gracie who sees a creature in the lake – similar to the Loch Ness Monster. Gracie ends up forming a friendship with this boy from a summer family named Eli. Eventually that friendship turns to romance. Only, Gracie never sees him the other nine months out of the year. Overall, this story was strange and wondrous and a great start.

The End Of Love by Nina Lacour

The End Of Love by Nina Lacour is only the second story in Summer Days & Summer Nights, but I think it may be a contender for my favorite story in the anthology. Nina Lacour’s short story is about Flora who is about to be a senior in high school. Flora decides that because her best friends are going to be gone all summer, she will audit a geometry class at summer school. She already passed geometry with flying colors but she really needs to get out of her house. You see, her parents are divorcing and she just can’t take being at home. Only, she did not quite count on her ex’s friends – Mimi, Travis, and Hope being in her class. Mimi, FYI, is the one who made Flora realize that she’s not entirely straight. So, what occurs is a story of moving past an upsetting event, coming to terms with it, and finding not only hope but also love. I was really into Lacour’s story and of course wouldn’t mind if this was expanded into a full book. It’s very well written.

Last Stand At The Cinegore by Libba Bray

Of course, leave it to Libba Bray to contribute a twisted sort of love story to Summer Days And Summer Nights. Kevin works at what’s called the Cinegore, which is a cineplex located in Deadwoood, Texas. The Cinegore only shows horror movies. Anyways, it is about to be torn down and built into something better. For the last night, the staff is showing a movie that’s only been aired twice due to the fact that it possesses the souls of those who watch it. Kevin has a thing for one of his coworkers, Dani, but he’s never really had the courage to tell her. Tonight, though, he decides to do it. Only, there’s a couple things that end up getting in his way. So, this story took me awhile to read and get into, but ultimately, I was a fan.

Sick Pleasures by Francesca Lia Block

Sick Pleasures by Francesca Lia Block is a story that I could honestly take or leave. It’s about this girl whose about to go to college. She has a group of best girlfriends. She refers to everyone by their first initial instead of their actual name. I got confused. I honestly don’t even know the main character’s name. Anyways, I think the story is set in the 80s because it talks about punk and zines. Anyways the girl goes to a club and meets this boy who is kind of a punk and falls for him. His name is A. They have a falling out though and so, ultimately, the story is about lost love. As with all things FLB your mileage may vary.

In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins

In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins is kind of like a sequel to Perkins’ short story in My True Love Gave To Me. This story features Marigold and North again. Only, this time, they are broken up. Marigold lives three hours from North in Atlanta. She is interning at an animation company. North broke up with her due to the distance. Marigold finds out where he went though — he doesn’t have to run the Christmas tree farm. So, North is working at a national park. Marigold comes to find him and she hopes – save him. She wants to convince him to move to Atlanta and in with her. I do not make this sound all that exciting, but trust it is very well written. I love this story the most so far.

Souvenirs by Tim Federle

Tim Federle’s contribution to Summer Days And Summer Nights is Souvenirs. It’s a story about a boy named Matt who is working at a theme park for the summer. The story takes place on Matt’s last day at the park. It is his break up day with Keith, another young man who works at the park but is an actor in the show. Matt is really good at the souvenir shop that he’s in charge of and getting guests to buy more than they had anticipated. So, this story is kind of Matt’s way of looking over his relationship with Keith and coming to terms with the breakup. It’s very well written and a story that definitely makes me want to check out more of Federle’s work.

Inertia by Veronica Roth

I feel like Inertia by Veronica Roth is a contemporary story with just a few futuristic elements. Her story is about Claire who struggles with depression. The story opens with Claire being woken up in the middle of the night. She’s on her former friend Matt’s last visitation list. What this means is that in the future, there is this medical procedure where two people – one dying and one living – can be connected and relive memories together and say their last words all in the brain. It eases death and actually is quite meaningful. So, Claire goes to the hospital and goes through the rite with Matt. We see their friendship evolve. We also see that both clearly have feelings for each other and don’t act on them. Plus, we see the two go through some tough emotional times. This story is a bit longer than the others in the book, but it is very engaging and pretty unique too.

Love Is The Last Resort by Jon Skovron

Jon Skovron’s contribution Love Is The Last Resort is sort of a weirdly written story. I mean, it feels exaggerated and overwrought. Maybe that was on purpose though. Anyways, Love Is The Last Resort is narrated by what seems to be an omniscient narrator. It is set at a summer resort and follows both the staff and the guests for a bit of an upstairs downstairs feel. There’s Lena who is gorgeous and who has been working at the resort a few years in a row. Lena is tasked with picking up Arlo from the station and bringing him to the resort for the first day on the job. There’s also two guests who are a bit star crossed. However with some gentle nudging and a scheme hatched by Lena and Arlo, they end up getting together. Lena and Arlo also have some feelings for each other too, so it seems. In all, an okay story with some romance, but not my favorite of the anthology.

Good Luck And Farewell by Brandy Colbert

Good Luck And Farewell by Brandy Colbert is set in Chicago. It opens at a beach. Main character Rashida’s cousin, Audrey, is about to leave to move to San Francisco with her girlfriend, Gillian. Rashida is upset by this because Audrey has been a bit like a surrogate parent to her after her mother died. Anyways, the story goes on to Audrey’s going away party where Rashida meets Gillian’s brother, Pierre, and has a bit of an attraction to him. However, it’s not love at first sight. Instead, the two dislike each other and Rashida is kind of mean to Pierre. With a turn of events though, the two end up spending a length of time alone and really bonding. Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It made me want to seek out Colbert’s book which I think is Pointe but don’t quote me on that.

Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare

Okay so Brand New Attraction which is Cassandra Clare’s contribution to Summer Days & Summer Nights is definitely weird. On the other hand, it shows she can actually write something besides shadow hunters. This story is about a dark carnival. The main character, Lulu, has grown up with the carnival and does not really have any peers. One day, her father goes away and leaves a note saying he owes all kinds of money all over. So, then Lulu’s uncle comes in with her step-cousin, Lucas to take over. Lulu’s uncle is totally sketchy but she does end up crushing on Lucas (can’t escape all the tropes I guess). Anyways, the story has a supernatural element. I just wasn’t too sure how it really fit in with all the other stories. Your mileage may vary.

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong is totally characteristic Jennifer E. Smith, so basically I loved it. It’s about this girl named Annie who has has a crush on this guy in her Spanish class, Griffin, forever. So, Annie finally asks Griffin out and he says yes but not without some agonizing waiting. And so, they plan to meet and play pop a shot at the arcade. Alas, things do not go as planned and this story is about how the two react to it. It’s sweet and lovely and I just now find myself longing for a longer book from Smith to read.

The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman

I really liked the concept and the writing within The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman. So, this story is narrated by Mark. Mark finds himself living the same August day over and over and over again. However, he is the only one who is aware of the day repeating. He divides his time between reading books at the library and swimming at the pool. He doesn’t mind this. Until, one day it all changes. A girl shows up at the pool named Margaret and it turns out she’s aware of the repeating day thing too. Together, the two plot out tiny perfect moments throughout the day on a map and slowly begin to fall for each other. Overall, this was an excellent story to close out Summer Days & Summer Nights.

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four-half-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 30 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and baby, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I definitely liked it but I had so many mixed reactions to the stories; I loved some, I didn’t feel so strongly for others. I love this review, though, and how systematically you’ve gone through the stories! Wonderfully written, dear–I feel like going back and re-reading some of these now! 🙂
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  2. I really enjoyed the Christmas version, but haven’t yet gotten around to reading this one! I really enjoy anthologies set around a theme, and I’m glad this worked for you overall. I think it’s pretty cool as well to see how some big name authors explore stories out of their comfort zone.
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