Friday, May 15, 2015

Book Review: The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Pages: 320
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 1, 2015
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: How My Summer Went Up in Flames
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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?"
Seaside Park, New Jersey was hit by Superstorm Sandy and the town is now slowly rebuilding.  It's the spring following the storm and Lucy's family finally returns to their house after it was practically underwater from the storm.  She's looking forward to a normal summer "down the shore," but things get complicated.  She has started dating her best friend, Andrew, but in the back of her mind, she is waiting for Connor, her longtime crush, to return to his shore house next door for the summer. In fact, Lucy and Connor shared a moment before Superstorm Sandy hit, but why hasn't she heard from him? Before she knows it, Memorial Day is here and Connor has returned making waves in Lucy's calm waters and catching her eye time and time again.  Jennifer Salvato Doktorski's The Summer After You and Me is a quintessential summertime novel. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will enjoy this contemporary romance set at the beach.

I loved Lucy Giordano from the start in The Summer After You and Me. Like any girl, she has had her heart broken, but she is slowly picking up the pieces. She throws herself into her senior thesis, her passion of marine wildlife, as well as her job at a boardwalk restaurant. She has a normal relationship with her parents, but her twin brother, Liam, gives her a hard time a lot. They have drifted apart and he makes things challenging for her from time to time. I'm not going to lie....Liam drove me nuts. I couldn't stand some of his antics and I hated how he held Lucy back.

At first glance, it appears there's a love triangle in The Summer After You and Me, but it's a bit different than the usual triangle since Lucy had a flirtation with Connor long before she was with Andrew. Plus, there's always the issue of what if she breaks up with Andrew? Will they still be friends? Will she lose her best friend and her place in their circle of friends? So, it was a bit complicated. Andrew isn't the best boyfriend, so I was rooting for Connor from the beginning.

I fell in love with the setting of the Jersey Shore. I have been going to the Jersey Shore since I was a baby, so I could immediately relate to the shore town dynamics, the boardwalk, the fireworks, the summertime shenanigans and how Lucy's neighbors arrive on Memorial Day and depart on Labor Day. My Jersey Shore (Avalon) is many miles below Lucy's Seaside Park, but I could still recall the panic when Superstorm Sandy made a beeline for New Jersey and the devastation left in its path.  Doktorski does a good job covering this through flashbacks and how many of the shore towns were impacted irrevocably by this massive storm.

I really enjoyed The Summer After You and Me. It's my kind of beach read and one that I will definitely be recommending this summer to fans of contemporary young adult fiction.


  1. Can't wait for summer, plenty of time to catch up with my to-read list

    1. I hear you! My favorite time of the year! Thanks for visiting, Natasha!

  2. I really like the sound of this one. I love beach settings as you know! I requested this one on Edelweiss ages ago but never heard back, so I will have to remember to order a copy!

    1. I think you would enjoy this one, Leanna! I hope you get to read it soon! Thanks for dropping by.


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