Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Synopsis: For Lucy, the Jersey Shore isn’t just the perfect summer escape, it’s home. As a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in during Memorial Day weekend, crowding her costal town and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Still, she can’t help but crush on charming Connor Malloy. His family spends every summer next door, and she longs for their friendship to turn into something deeper.
Then Superstorm Sandy sweeps up the coast, bringing Lucy and Connor together for a few intense hours. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm, and Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and her broken home. Time may heal all wounds, but with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, Lucy’s summer is sure to be filled with fireworks.
Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for this ARC!
I’ve never read Jennifer Salvato Doktorski’s books before, but I knew many of my bookish friends have, and told me she’s a lot of fun to read. I admit, this book had some great moments and some not so good ones either. Truth be told, I actually read this book in one sitting, which is a testament to it’s readability. Doktorski’s writing is great for compulsive page turning, but I admit I wanted something a bit more for this book.
Part of what I had a hard time with in The Summer After You and Me was the characters — I struggled with them, only making minor connections. I never felt attached in the way I have other contemporary reads, and while I love some of Lucy’s quirks, such as her love of marine biology and her junior thesis (seriously, I loved those at the beginning of each chapter), I realized though that I just wasn’t having the connection I crave when I read contemporary. However, Lucy has redeeming moments in the story, and if there’s anything I want to really compliment her on, it’s her relationship with her grandmother — it’s beautifully illustrated throughout the story and I wish there had been so much more of that.
I also really wasn’t a fan of Connor, and I feel like you have to be a certain kind of reader to be attracted to him. He just wasn’t my type and at times, I found him to be… a bit of a tool. Just unlikable, frustrating, and sometimes I found his behaviour to be too much for me. Part of me struggled to see why Lucy was super into him, but he had his moments, which I suppose is something I can’t take from him. Weirdly, I liked Andrew just a bit more and I found him a lot more redeeming throughout the story, especially in the ending.
Seriously though, this is a great beach read. While it has the backdrop of Hurricane Sandy as part of the story, for me those were my favourite moments in the story. When Lucy shares her insight to the hurricane and how it affected her and others in her community, those were the moments in the story that I found to be of the most value. I think in the hands of the right reader this will be a knock out, but for me I found myself flip-flopping on my feelings a lot. I wanted more, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I definitely plan to check out the author’s other two novels. The Summer After You and Me has some very fantastic moments in it, but for me personally, it was just a decent read.