I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on May 5, 2015
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?
The Summer After You and Me is about a girl named Lucy who lives on the Jersey Shore in a marvelous house. She gets to live there year-round, which is pretty awesome. She and her friends do their best to not fall for any of the summer tourists, like Connor who is Lucy’s next door neighbor. Last summer, Connor and Lucy got really close and ended up falling for each other. They had a fling that nobody had known about, though they had to leave early that summer because of Superstorm Sandy. All Lucy had was a promise from Connor that he’d call her, but she never did.
The Summer After You and Me is all about the aftermath of what happens the summer after the storm, when they come back. Now, Connor has a girlfriend (who Lucy doesn’t really like) and Lucy has a boyfriend, Andrew. Andrew and Lucy have been really great friends their whole lives, so everyone says that they’re the perfect match. The thing is, Lucy still isn’t really over Connor and maybe, just maybe, he’s not over her either.
I’m so glad that I got to read this book because the second I read the synopsis last year, it became one of my most anticipated 2015 reads. Let me just say that this book did not disappoint in any way possible. I loved how much all the characters’ relationships grew throughout the book, such as Lucy and Andrew’s, Lucy and Connor’s, and Lucy and her twin brother, Liam’s. Lucy went through so many ups and downs throughout the summer and at times I felt really bad for her, especially because of the way that some people treated her.
I also felt horrible for her since she hadn’t told anybody about her spring fling with Connor before the storm. Everybody things that Connor is a player, Lucy included, because he always has a different girl with him every time that she sees him. She keeps thinking that she was stupid to have fallen for him in the first place, though the whole time I thought that they definitely had a special connection.
I felt so much for the characters and felt like I was actually there with them, experiencing what Lucy was experiencing. The heartache, the love, the ups, the downs… all of it.
I found it really awesome that Lucy was a huge fan of aquatic life. I love it when a character loves something that has to do with the ocean, because anything having to do with water really interests me. The beginning of each chapter featured par of Lucy’s junior thesis, “What’s Love Got to Do with It? The Dating and Mating habits of North American Sea Life” which really cracked me up at parts and foreshadowed what was to come with each chapter, which was a really cool addition to this story.
I really liked how a palm reader played a special part in this story as well, since Connor and Lucy went to see a palm reader one night. I also found it interesting how there was a theme of disasters laced throughout the novel. Not only was the storm a disaster, but Lucy trying to get over Connor was as well. This book is definitely a new favorite of mine and I’m going to recommend it to everyone who asks for a good contemporary read.
Connor opened the gorgeous double doors, each with half-moon stained-glass windows on the top, and motioned me inside. “After you.” The house had that distinct yet hard-to-describe smell of a beach home that had been closed up for a while. I walked to the center of the high-ceilinged foyer and immediately pictured pine garland and twinkling white lights wrapped around the sweeping banister. “Wow. I’d love to spend Christmas here,” I said and immediately regretted being so sappy. Connor smiled. “You could fit a twelve-foot tree in this hallway.” I admit, over the years I’ve had my share of Connor-centric fantasies. However the image of him watching his children pad down the stairs on Christmas morning had never been one of them…until that very second. I liked thinking about Connor that way. “Come on. You’ve got to see the master bedroom.” The wholesome image of a Malloy family Christmas vanished. Aha, I thought. That was the Connor I knew. “Uh-uh,” I said. “The widow’s walk. I want to go there first.” “Race you,” he said and took off running. He beat me up the two flights and was waiting for me in the third-floor hallway toward the back of the house. Off the hallway was an art studio, with a drafting table and a bookcase. There was also a telescope standing near the window. “Follow me.” He crossed the studio and unlocked the deadbolt to the narrow door leading outside. “You’ve already been up there?” “First thing I did when I got here,” Connor said. “Not the master bedroom?” “Nah, that’s the first thing I wanted to do when you got here.” I thought it was just more flirty banter, but Connor’s flushed cheeks looked as warm as my body felt. He stared at me for a beat too long and my throat constricted. I was suddenly aware that I’d left the house with slept-on hair and no mascara. The look on Connor’s face told me he hadn’t noticed. His eyes never left mine. Finally he said, “Come on, Luce. I’ll follow you.” The space was tight when I passed in front of him, and the closeness of his body gave me the shivers. I opened the door and stepped outside onto a small patio. I walked toward the wrought-iron spiral staircase that lead to the widow’s walk on the roof and placed my hand on the railing. My knees felt shaky as I began the climb, but I never looked back.