Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Days and Summer Nights

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

Summer Days and Summer Nights is a book I was anxious for mainly for the cover but also because I had read the Christmas themed anthology that preceded it. And while that was hit or miss (as most anthologies are) I was very curious to see how a summer themed one would hold up. I was lucky enough to win this book in a giveaway from Shannon at It Starts At Midnight so I've been enjoying it for a few weeks, reading a story here and there interspersed with the other stuff I was reading. What did I think? Well, let's take a look.

There were stories in this one that didn't work for me, so I'll just share my thoughts on the stories I liked. More or less.

I thought Nina LaCour's The End of Love was touching, an F/F romance and an exploration of how devastating divorce can be to teens. 4 stars.

Sick Pleasure was different, a story about growing up and being confused. Not sure how else to word it. About life, love and being a teen, regrets and consequences. Not exactly bright and cheery, but interesting. 3 stars.

In Ninety Minutes, Turn North was a revisit to two characters from the Christmas edition. It picks up the summer after the events in the Christmas story with Marigold coming home from college to see North. Their relationship has changed and while I was unsure of this one at first, I liked it a lot better as it went; Great ending. 4 stars.

Inertia by Veronica Roth I was very curious to see what Roth was up to after the Divergent series, and I'm happy to report that this was solid. Granted it's just a short story, but she seems to be doing fine and after some hesitation initially I got into this story as it progressed. It's about hope- both lost and found- and while on one hand I thought it was trying a little too hard to be message-y, it was a good message. Hope usually is. 4 stars.

Love Is The Last Resort by Jon Skovron might be my favorite of the stories. It's about an upscale resort and the intertwined love lives (or lack thereof) of various employees- primarily Lena (who I thought was great) and Arlo the new hire. Arlo's kind of a player but he meets his match in Lena, and together they discover there's a whole lot of love going on at the resort- or would be if people would just get together! Funny and smart- and a hedge maze. The only thing is it's ridiculously rushed at the end- this might have made a fun full length book- but I had a lot of fun with this one.

So  on balance there were four or five stories here I really liked and the rest were okay or meh. Lev Grossman's The List of Tiny Perfect Things was nice too, about two people who live the same day over and over after time stops, but they're the only ones conscious of it- it was different but not bad. Touching at the very end and a nice way to close out the anthology. As with most short story collections I found it varying in quality, but there are a few gems here.

27 comments:

  1. There are few authors there who I really want to read more from, so I might try to get my hands on this one just for Lev Grossman and Nina LaCour.. I do like anthologies, even though there are always some stories that don't work. Glad some of them were really good at least!

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    1. I think this is good to get if you're interested in some of these authors. There are some good stories ... :)

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  2. I've seen this one around! I always find anthologies hit and miss too, but it sounds like you found some nice stories. :) Love is the Last Resort sounds pretty fun!

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    1. I liked Love is the Last Resort a lot! Very fun.

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  3. I used to absolutely love love love short stories when I was younger. Don't know why I ever stopped reading them. This little book seems like a nice one to get back in the habit. Thanks for a lovely review Greg!

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    1. I did too. This is a nice collection.

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  4. Love the cover for this and My True Love Gave to Me. I've read books by some of these authors, including Stephanie Perkins, but what I really liked about the holiday anthology was getting to check out the stories from authors who were new to me. Looking forward to picking this up eventually.

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    1. I enjoyed that too, and My True Love Gave To Me was a pretty good anthology. I may have liked it a bit more than this one but there are still some good stories here.

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  5. I don't do many anthologies though they are a great way to sample authors. The Christmas version has been on my radar for a while...didn't know about this one!

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    1. I don't read many either, and may not have if I hadn't read the Christmas already. This one has some good stuff though the ones I mentioned were pretty good.

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  6. I have heard this one was a mixed bag. I do like a lot of the authors in it though. I am glad there were some that did work for you!

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    1. Yup, I think mixed bag is accurate. A good line up of authors though, and I did enjoy some of these.

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  7. Short stories can really be tricky to rate and review can't they?! Some work and some don't, that's just the way it is. I love the cover for this one too but I don't think it'd be my kind of book. And I haven't quite forgiven Roth for Allegiant. I know everyone was upset about the ending but I was just let down by the whole book >.< Lovely review here^^

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    1. Yes they are- they're so short and some people will love a story that someone else doesn't I have a hard time with this one because I only liked maybe half the book, so do you recommend it?? Hard to say... and I hear ya on Allegiant, I've tried to read it and I'm stuck about halfway through and just... bored.

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  8. I am glad you enjoyed some of the stories, Greg. My experience with anthologies is similar. I end up liking some of the stories, but not all.

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    1. Same here. This one was hit or miss but there were some good stories...

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  9. Congrats on the giveaway win! I'm glad you liked some of these. As with all anthologies not every story is a winner, but sounds like this one has some worth checking out! :D

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad I won this, i was looking forward to it so whem I won it was a good surprise.

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  10. I've seen very mixed reviews, mostly from people who said they did not enjoy as much as they thought they would. Glad you found some stories that you liked.

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    1. I saw that too, and the first few stories while not bad didn't wow me. But in the end there were a good five or so that worked, and I'm glad I got it.

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  11. I've heard mixed things about this series, but I do want to check it out for the Leigh Bardugo read. Glad you found a few stories that worked for you. Great review!

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    1. I had heard some mixed things too, and if I remember right Leigh Bardugo's story wasn't bad. A little different but not bad. Hope you enjoy if you get to it.

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  12. Oh YAY I am so glad you liked at least some of them! And I was, just like you, SO curious about Veronica Roth- like, is the story just Four doing something? I am glad to hear this is not the case :)

    I definitely want to read this. Okay, I definitely want to own the cover, let's call a spade a spade. But I also like that it's super easy to read anthologies, so there's another bonus! Great reviews, I think it is worth picking up now for sure!

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    1. I'm so glad I won this, thanks again for the giveaway! I would probably have gotten it anyway but winning it- woot! I was curious about Veronica Roth too- where's she been after all the Divergent stuff?? And no it's not a Four story lol. So glad...

      That cover... awesome. Just like the Xmas one. I really enjoyed reading a few stories at a time, I could pick it up, read one or a few, and kinda savor 'em. A good read. :)

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  13. Agreed! I really enjoyed some of these stories, but some were just so-so for me. It was such fun to spend time with Marigold and North again, wasn't it?

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    1. It was nice seeing North and Marigold again, definitely! At first I wasn't sure about that story but by the end I really liked it!

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  14. I'll probably get to this one eventually but it's not high on my "must have" list. I don't think I finished the winter one because so many of the stories didn't work for me. I'm not much of a short story person, but there are a couple of authors in here that I like and hope their stories are good.

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