Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Book Review: Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews

Pages: 558
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 5, 2020
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The High Tide Club,
Sunset Beach, and The Weekenders
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "It’s a new season...   Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.  For small town scandals...   When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”  And big-time secrets.  Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer."

Conley Hawkins has her big break. She is going to DC for her new job at a prominent newspaper except things go south quickly.  Her new job falls through and she finds herself heading back home to Silver Bay.  Conley left Silver Bay years ago. She left her family, some old rumors, and her family's newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, which is struggling to survive.  While home, she is happy to see certain family members, like her grandmother, but she is having a hard time accepting the fact that she is back and may be back for awhile.  She really doesn't want to be stuck here, but when her grandmother asks her to help with the family's newspaper, she can't say no.  Just as things start to simmer down, local congressman, Charles Robinette, dies in a car crash and Conley was at the scene of crime only minutes after the accident. There's a lot of red flags here and Conley uncovers even more when she learns more about the congressman.  Conley wants more than to write a puff piece for her family's newspaper, so she starts digging and not everyone likes what she uncovers.  There's more political scandal on the forefront, crappy ex-boyfriends that reemerge, a possible love interest, and of course, the constant support of family.  Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews is the perfect summertime read for readers who like a side of mystery with their beach reads.  

Conley is an interesting character in  Hello, Summer.   I loved her dedication to her family, her determination to really get to the bottom of things, and her desire to swim against the current of her small town even if she is a self-saboteur at times.  Also, I loved the tight-knit community of Silver Bay even right down to the gossip column, "Hello, Summer," that the Silver Bay Beacon publishes.  Conley of course doesn't want to be in charge of editing the column, she wants something so much bigger and when the political scandal ends up in her lap, she knows she has to take it.  However,  Hello, Summer is about so much more than a political scandal and a mystery, there's Conley's possible (if she opens herself up to it) love life, there's her unsettled relationship with her sister that she must try to mend, and of course, the very people and memories that she tried to escape from that she must eventually face when back in Silver Bay.

I love stories about journalists and their journey to get to the truth, so I truly enjoyed that aspect of  Hello, Summer.  Readers can really tell that Mary Kay Andrews once worked as a journalist, because she really brought the field to life.  It was exciting to read about a small town paper trying stay afloat while also uncovering a big story that is sure to get a lot of national attention.

My only issue with  Hello, Summer was the lack of focus on Silver Bay being a coastal community. Although the cover has flip flops and some waves, the majority of the book wasn't focused on that.  While there were some romantic strolls along the sand and some sunset cocktails, it didn't read like a traditional beach read, which I was ok with, but for those that want purely a relaxing read, this isn't it.  Also, be forewarned, it is a very dense book at almost 560 pages, so keep that in mind as that's not typical of beach reads.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed  Hello, Summer.  Her enthusiasm and knowledge of journalism really shines in this novel and I was truly invested in Conley's story as well as the small town of Silver Bay.  

Are you a fan of Mary Kay Andrews? Is this book on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.  


  1. I like the mystery aspect in this - makes it a little different from a normal beach read!

    1. It definitely does. Her last few novels have had that side of mystery, which makes it stand out I think. Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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