Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
(Overall) Rating: ★★★☆☆
Summer Days & Summer Nights is anthology of twelve love stories. Unlike the former book, My True Love Gave to Me, these stories all obviously took place during the summertime. This was fun read full of sticky kisses and ocean breezes and smiles as bright as the sun. Below, I’ve summarized my thoughts for each of the twelve stories.
“Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail” by Leigh Bardugo – Rating: ★★★★☆
This story was very imaginative and the atmosphere very captivating. I loved the uniqueness of the characters, all the tiniest details that gave them personality, both mentally and physically. Magical realism is something I greatly enjoy but don’t read enough of, so this was a lovely dose of magic.
“The End of Love” by Nina Lacour – Rating: ★★★☆☆
This story was cute and quick. I liked the characters and summer-y setting. The growth and development of the main character was well done. But maybe this could’ve been a little longer? By the end, I didn’t feel too connected to anyone.
“Last Stand at the Cinegore” by Libba Bray – Rating: ★★☆☆☆
I appreciate Bray’s imagination and writing–making an old horror movie turn people into demons–but this kind of story wasn’t for me. The characters were off-beat and the humor wasn’t appealing to me, especially when it’s during life-threatening situations. It was all a little too quirky for me and strange for me.
“Sick Pleasure” by Francesca Lia Block – Rating: ★★★☆☆
I have mixed feelings about this one. I adored the rawness of the writing and the storytelling, the bittersweet ending. But there were a few sentences that kind of threw me off guard for an anthology like this. It seemed very adult, which is fine (after all, I read A Song of Ice and Fire), but it didn’t seem proper for an anthology like this. And with everyone being named after a letter, (yes, a SINGLE letter, e.g. M, L, I), it was difficult to keep some of the characters straight.
“In Ninety Minutes, Turn North” by Stephanie Perkins – Rating: ★★★☆☆
I do like that Perkins picked back up on this story from My True Love Gave To Me. It was cute and sweet and endearing, as all of Perkins’ stories are. But I didn’t feel too invested with these characters or their relationship.
“Souvenirs” by Tim Federle – Rating: ★★★★☆
Oh goodness, this story was too cute for words. I adored the main character. He was so sweet and nerdy and funny. His thoughts and feelings were real and relatable, and I appreciate that. I love the way the story wrapped up, how it avoided the cliché I was worried it was heading towards. It left a great message that each person who comes into our life, whether good or bad, teaches us an important lesson.
“Inertia” by Veronica Roth – Rating: ★★★★★
She did it again. SHE DID IT AGAIN. Roth brought me to tears with this story.
Okay, not full-on-Allegiant-tears, but watery eyes and droplets that were close to tumbling down my cheeks. She was able to make me feel so many emotions in this short story. The writing was stunning, the characters were incredibly raw, and the elements of science fiction had me captivated. It had all the elements that made me fall in love with the Divergent series, but with a new world and plot and characters. Roth is an exquisite talent whom I look up to even more now.
“Love is the Last Resort” by Jon Skovron – Rating: ★★★☆☆
Again, another cute and quick story. But there were so many characters and names being thrown my way that I started to get confused. I didn’t feel too connected to anyone or their relationships. Though I did find the storytelling interesting, especially with the way it all ended. Still, not sure if this kind of interest is like or dislike.
“Good Luck and Farewell” by Brandy Colbert – Rating: ★★★☆☆
This was another bittersweet story. The characters were quite real and relatable, but I did feel as though the relationship developed at an extreme pace. Since it is a short story, I understand you only have so much space to tell your story. But I think it would’ve made more sense for these characters to hint at an upcoming relationship rather than diving in. It felt very insta-love-ish.
“Brand New Attraction” by Cassandra Clare – Rating: ★★★☆☆
Clare has a vivid imagination and creates such a thorough setting that is both creepy and enthralling. But much like the last story, the relationship felt too rushed. And the main character liked her step-cousin. WHAT IS WITH CLARE AND THESE FAMILY(ISH) LOVERS?
I understand there isn’t any shared blood, but it made me a little uncomfortable, especially after reading City of Bones a while back. (And yes, I know things aren’t as they seem in that series due to spoilers, but still.)
“A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong” by Jennifer E. Smith – Rating: ★★★★☆
This story was so darling and so real. I loved these characters, flaws and all. I could completely relate to the main character’s thoughts and emotions, her awkwardness around the boy she liked. I adored the little details that built up this story and the development of the characters–all of it was amazing!
“A Map of Tiny Perfect Things” by Lev Grossman – Rating: ★★★★★
Can this be it’s own book? PLEASE? This might have been my favorite short story out of all of them, right next to “Inertia”. The setting, the plot, the characters–I LOVED IT. It was utterly fascinating and endearing and heartbreaking. Also, Sean Bean made a little appearance and THAT MADE MY DAY.
Have any of you read Summer Days & Summer Nights? If so, what did you think of it?