You can t ask for a perfect summer read than this Judy Blume, who introduced me to the Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Freckle Juice, now graces us with this addictive coming of age story told from multiple POVs that swept me in and held me until the very last page.
It has everything you want in a summer book adventure, conflict, sexual tension, humor, heartache, celebration My emotions were all over the place Plus, it has that certain quality that reminds you of your childhood your own personal evolution and that is comforting and feels like home.
A lot of ground is covered in this book 1977 1996 , so some of the transitions are a bit abrupt however the story is so absorbing that Blume can be forgiven for that Four sunlit stars for this timeless tale of seasoned friendship.
One thing I really enjoy doing is rereading kids books I checked out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and zoomed through it in about two hours I have reread many other classics and enjoyed them I think my next big kids read will be the infamous Harriet the Spy which I loved and totally identified with as a child One of the greatest regrets of my life in terms of small scale regrets, anyway is that I sold off my Sweet Valley High books Now, granted, SVH isn t all that classic , but I so loved the storyline and always identified with Elizabeth I used to own every book up past a hundred, and all of the special editions summer, winter, etc they had out It took me years to collect Now I have about three of them at home I have been checking used bookstores but apparently they aren t that popular any And no wonder I don t think Jessica, the wild twin, ever got beyond some passionate kissing Which is why I d love to have them around for my daughter when she gets older So if you want to just box up all you have and send them to meBut one of the biggest shocks I had in kids books came this weekend While scouring paperbacks at the library, I came across a Judy Blume book for grownups, Summer Sisters Now, Judy Blume was a crazy favorite of mine I read pretty much everything she wrote So of course I had to check out this novel I had grown up time to see if Judy did.
One of the things I enjoyed as a kid was Blume s realism and frankness Although Ramona Quimby age 8 was cute and adorable, she wasn t exactly realistic Although Matilda was brilliant and could read by age 2 and move things with her mindwell, let s just say I identified with her except for that whole reading by age 2 and moving things with her mind But Blume s characters were real kids with real problems.
The same is true of what I read in Summer Sisters I suppose We have two girls experimenting with sex, naturally curious, and putting together one of those odd relationships However, in searching for realism, I felt Blume overdoes it Sure, teenagers are sex crazed, but oh my goodness, I didn t know you could pack that much sex into so few pages The novel was just too much for me, and so, although the storyline was interesting, I finally gave up and closed the pages for good when the girls started discussing their experiments with oral sex.
The characters were realistic and credible, but I guess just too nitty gritty for me I also had a problem with the seven or eight point of views tried throughout the book, while the majority was told in the first person I seem to be hitting a lot of that lately, and it has been driving me nuts If nothing else, it breaks the flow of the story.
So I think I m going to keep my mind uncluttered I ll head back to one of my childhood favorites by Blume, Blubber and avoid the remainder of her adult novels She s a great writer, but I guess I have another 10 or 20 years to go before I m that grown up.
I read this book every summer, mostly because it does such a great job of capturing the essence of the season I actually prefer to read it when it s still a little cold outside so I can be transported to warmer weather, but for the past few years it s been so hard to find time to get it in Anyway, if you define a favorite book as one you want to read again and again, this is definitely one of my favorites I guess I m not really surprised Are You There, God It s Me, Margaret had the same hold over me when I was younger I just love how fast paced and frank Judy Blume s writing style is it s so different from what you get with most chick lit At times, it gets to be a little bit too much, but for the most part, I think it creates a powerful story.
I like that Vix and Caitlin were born the same years as me, it was easy to relate to that I didn t come from a rich family nor a struggling blue collar family But I could understand the feeling of trying so hard but not quite fitting in And looking at the 2 of them and their families, you see that nurture versus nature struggle Vix, you didn t have the benefit of money becomes a responsible, caring adult Though he sister gets pregnant at 17 Then we see Caitlin, who has every advantage but is selfish and irresponsible while her brother becomes a successful scientist But I still wonder how Vix could remain friends with Caitlin through the years Perhaps she was used to not expecting anything in return I hated the sad ending and feeling of things not being settled.
Starting with the things I liked, I appreciated the book for it s nostalgic factor and being a quick, light read It was seasonally appropriate and took me down memory lane in ways than onereminiscing about how complicated teenage female relationships can be and how people who know you in your formative years probably see you differently than anyone else in your life.
However, overall I thought the book was uneven The first half of the book reads like an erotic teen novel I get that they are horny and experimenting, but their relationships are completely defined by sex The heart pounding and pulsating wore thin on me after like the sixth time And she could have referred to The Power a little less, too it was just uncomfortable for me after a while.
Then, for the second half of the book when they get older, it becomes a character study of these two young adults Caitlin is painted out to be such a horrible person, and Vix is weak and incommunicative I didn t like either of them as grown ups and both of their behaviors frustrated me why does Caitlin have to be so self centered and why does Vix have to be so self loathing i couldn t understand why they were still friends especially why vix even picked up the phone I actually liked their relationship much better when they were youngerat least I understood it popular girl wants someone intellectually stimulating who will adore her and hang out with her while not stealing attention away while the less popular girl just wants to be noticed and likes her boundaries being pushed It just felt like she took both girls worst traits and amplified them as adults, causing neither to have a real character arc where we got to see them recognize their demons and change accordingly I guess I missed that kind of payoffAs for Bru, he is the most irritating character in the second half of the novel There is NOTHING in this book that makes him a desirable husband He doesn t talk, he s super clingy, he doesn t have any real life goals Sure, they have great sex but that seems like a summer fling than anything How great can it really be your first time The author offers nothing in way of a personality for him, and because I don t know him, I don t care that either of these women want him In fact, I really DIDN T want Vix to end up with him I felt like I sided with Abby, wanting her to grow up and experience things Perhaps I m projecting after knowing what it s like to be in a long term relationship with my high school sweetheart and discovering that there are WAY better things out there But, in my distaste for Bru, I altogether ignored the fact that she did touch on the question of great sex being enough to sustain a relationship So I concede your point there that she did recognize why Vix and Bru could not have a future.
My last problem with the book which you actually liked was the different perspectives I felt like it was a cheap, easy way to add color to her novelalmost in the way a screenwriter would use a narrator or voiceover if they weren t smart enough to play out the action It s probably just a personal peeve, but I wish she hadn t skipped around to the other people s viewpoints I don t think it added anything to the story and, if anything, it telegraphed the fact that Gus and Vix were going to end up together.
Personally, I felt this was a soapy yet underdeveloped novel I ll stick to my happy memories of Judy Blume s teenage books
I loved this book when I read it because it reminded me so much of the weird relationship I had with my best friend growing up We spent numerous summers together at her parents cottage having the requisite summer flings with out of town boys who we would never see again until the next summer , and this book made me very nostalgic for those times.
What I liked was how Judy Blume told the story not only from a generic narrator s perspective, but also from the perspective of each character in the story This made the book interesting, and gave me ideas outside of my own for what each character was thinking in different situations.
I also liked how Ms Blume captured the friendship between Caitlin and Victoria Victoria being the calm, straight laced friend, Caitlin being the quintessential wild child and the ups and downs and little competitions they would have like who would get their period first or who would lose their virginity first The ending surprised me quite a bit, and I have to say that at first I wasn t crazy about it because I don t like being left in limbo, but after thinking about it a bit I realized the story was wrapped up just fine.
I would definitely recommend this book to my chicas, it s a fun read and it will definitely take you back to a much simpler time sort of.
Not a book you read A book you devour Unsurprisingly, there are few reviews by men here But I think any male writing writing female characters in this case female friendships could benefit from reading Blume And, yes This is a great hot summer read, best read on a dock.
Like so many of the other reviewers, I was a huge Judy Blume fan growing up I really responded to her honest portrayals of teenaged girls and boys, and of the complex relationships they have with each other, their friends, and their parents So I picked up Summer Sisters with a mixture of trepidation I didn t want to ruin my love affair with Ms Blume and all my memories of her past books and excitement what if she had managed to pull it off, and had written a book for all her grown up fans.
Well, as you can see from my 2 star rating, my opinion is lukewarm at best I think that truthfully, if it were NOT Ms Blume who had written this book, I d score it a bit higher But the sad fact is that I had expectations and they were not met.
Unlike some other reviewers, I was not bothered by the oral sex conversations I mean, this IS how young women who are experimenting talk to each other, so points for realism there , or the sex Taking control over our own bodies is part of empowering ourselves as women, and part of that control is claiming ownership over our sex lives and needs.
What I didn t like was the shallowness of the characters I really felt cheated that the reader never really gets inside their heads and figures them out I m all for some mystery in a book, but if we are being asked to care about the breakdown of a friendship, I d damn well better believe that the two people truly connected and were friends And I just never bought it, to be honest So I wasn t very interested when things fell apart as they did And since the whole idea is that we are meant to care about these two women and mourn the betrayal and the loss of their sisterhood , the whole premise felt, to me, weak and flimsy Overall, very disappointing
The framework is another beef of mine Throughout the book, Victoria s narrative is interrupted by brief third person narrations of her friends and family Nothing profound is revealed it s actually insulting to be told by the characters things that were fairly obvious from context It s also a cheat If you can t develop your characters through the central narrative, then you failed either give them some weight to earn their special voice, or just let them go.
I really wanted to like this book, and it has a couple of moments The first couple of summers really do have some honesty they nail the sometimes awkward and sexually charged friendships of early adolescence Summer Sisters has all the notes to make a beautiful symphony of a novel But in the hands of an unskilled musician, it just ends up being a discordant echo of greatness.
In The Summer Of , Victoria Leonard S World Changed Forever When Caitlin Somers Chose Her As A Friend Dazzling, Reckless Caitlin Welcomed Vix Into The Heart Of Her Sprawling, Eccentric Family, Opening Doors To A World Of Unimaginable Privilege, Sweeping Her Away To Vacations On Martha S Vineyard, A Magical, Wind Blown Island Where Two Friends Became Summer SistersNow, Years Later, Vix Is Working In New York City Caitlin Is Getting Married On The Vineyard And The Early Magic Of Their Long, Complicated Friendship Has Faded But Caitlin Has Begged Vix To Come To Her Wedding, To Be Her Maid Of Honor And Vix Knows That She Will Go For The Friend Whose Casual Betrayals She Remembers All Too Well Because Vix Wants To Understand What Happened During That Last Shattering Summer And, After All These Years, She Needs To Know Why Her Best Friend Her Summer Sister Still Has The Power To Break Her Heart