Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Review: The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner

Pages: 368
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Wedding Sisters
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads says, "Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it's paid off: on the cusp of thirty she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and her father's hard-won admiration. But with one careless mistake at work, Marin suddenly finds herself unemployed and alone. Before she can summon the courage to tell her parents, a young woman appears, claiming to be Marin's half-sister. Seeking answers, Marin agrees to join her on a soul-searching journey to Cape Cod, to meet the family she didn't even know she had.  As the summer unfolds at her grandmother's beachside B&B, it becomes clear that her half-sister's existence is just the first in a series of truths that will shake Marin's beliefs--in love, and in her own identity--to the core. Filled with shocking revelations, heartfelt romance, and resilient women banding together against the most unexpected twists of fate, THE FOREVER SUMMER is an emotionally resonant page-turner, and a delicious escape for any season."

Marin Bishop appears to have it all. She's got a great job at one of the best Manhattan law firms, she has a wealthy fiancee, she's got two parents who support her wholeheartedly, and she is planning her upcoming wedding. But Marin throws it all away to have an affair with one of her coworkers, Julian. At first it seems to be fleeting, but then she starts to develop serious feelings for him.  Marin hastily calls of her wedding and breaks up with her fiancee. This only complicates matters.  Her mom is devastated for Marin, because she wanted Marin to finally settle down.  One thing leads to another and someone at the firm finds out, which leads to the firing of both Marin and Julian. Now Marin has lost everything until she receives a strange email from a woman named Rachel who is claiming to be her sister.  Marin, along with others at her work, were working on a case involving Genie, a company that deals with your DNA, so they decided to get try it out.  How could Marin be related to this girl Rachel?  What secrets are her parents hiding? Rachel has come to New York to meet Marin and is trying to convince her to come to Provincetown to meet their biological grandmother who owns an inn there.  Since Marin's world is turned upside down, she decides to take a chance and go.  Blythe, Marin's Philadelphia society mother tags along, with the hopes of fully explaining the truth to Marin at some point, but this definitely makes for an awkward time.  With such a blended family under one roof and many secrets still hidden, summer at Provincetown is gearing up to be pretty dramatic.  Jamie Brenner's The Forever Summer is beach reading at its best.

While Marin annoyed me at times with some of her comments and the rash decisions she made, I still cared about her journey in The Forever Summer.  She did receive a lot of life-altering news at once and she had a lot to process.  Where better to do that than at the beach? Once she is visiting her grandmother at Provincetown, she starts to unwind a bit and I enjoyed her more.  Marin feels a special connection to Kelly, her grandmother's partner, and Kelly starts to teach her about mosaics as she is an accomplished artist.  This mellows Marin out and slowly she starts to find out the truth regarding her parents while also trying to figure out what to do next in life.

Rachel is younger than Marin and hasn't had a reliable parent figure in her life in The Forever Summer. She was raised by her single mother in California and her mother is often gone for long periods of time, so this is the polar opposite of Marin's childhood. Living with all of these family members is is a whole new experience for Rachel and she is dying to get to know her grandmother and her half sister.  It's obvious Rachel just wants to belong.

Blythe tags along in The Forever Summer, because she is holding onto some secrets regarding Marin's biological father.  Plus, she has just found out her husband is having an affair.  She is trying to regroup in Provincetown, while also helping her daughter cope with all of this upsetting news.  Blythe has to decide how to tell her daughter the truth about her biological father and things are going to become pretty complicated.

The gorgeous setting of Provincetown is absolutely perfect for The Forever Summer. I loved the Beach Rose Inn and Amelia, Marin and Rachel's grandmother.  The descriptions of the inn, the town, and its people were very well done. It made me want to visit Cape Cod immediately.

The Forever Summer is about each character coming to grips with many truths while all living under one roof together. Essentially, they must face the music and dance.  Things definitely get messy for a few of the characters, but there's no where better to process all of life's changes than at the beach.

If you are looking for summer reading that is interesting, dramatic, filled with family secrets, and a gorgeous coastal setting, give Jamie Brenner's The Forever Summer a try. It is definitely one of my favorite beach reads of the year.


  1. Great review! This sounds perfect to take on vacation. I'm hoping to get to it soon!

    1. Thanks, Angela! I hope you enjoy it and thanks for dropping by.

  2. I'm glad you were able to get past Marin's impulsiveness. I get annoyed with characters like her as well but I could be generous sometimes.

    Lovely review, Christina. <3

    1. She isn't my favorite character, that is for sure, but I still enjoyed her journey, which definitely makes for an entertaining beach read. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

  3. Initially when you wrote about her affair with her coworker I thought I wouldn't like this book but after reading your review I am willing to give Marin a chance. The story does sound intriguing and perfect for summer reading.

    1. Yes, definitely give it a chance, Christina, because the other characters are pretty great and the setting is perfect for a beach read. I think you'd enjoy it. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Wonderful book! On reading your review I took it to the ocean and read it in 2 days! Love the grandmother and her partner Kelly! She rocked, as she would say! Great book, would love to see where the others end up in the coming years, book 2!!! I can pray right?!


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