Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories | Published May 2016
I recieved a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail - Leigh Bardugo: 4/5
My first experience reading Leigh Bardugo and I really enjoyed it. Eli and Gracie spend their summers together investigating a lake monster and trying to prove it exists. The element of fantasy interwoven with a cute romance was lovely to read and it was sweet to see their romance develop over the years. Beautiful writing and a strong start to the collection.
The End of Love - Nina Lacour: 3/5
Flora's parents are getting a divorce and she can't handle being at home for the summer. She signs up for geometry at summer school even though she knows maths better than anything as a means to escape. She doesn't expect to bump into an old group of friends and the girl who first made her realise she liked girls. The romance in this didn't hit me in the feels as much as I would have liked but it was fairly pleasant. The main characters were likeable and I liked that mental health was touched upon.
Last Stand at the Cinegore - Libba Bray: 1/5
Three teenagers working their last night at the Cinegore - a cinema dedicated to playing horror movies - are surprised when the legend of a cursed movie turns out to be true. I struggled to connect to this one. Maybe it's because I'm not really into horror movies but I just didn't care about the curse or about how it was going to be resolved. The romance was okay if a little predictable. This just wasn't my cup of tea.
Sick Pleasures: For A and U - Francesca Lia Block: 2/5
A girl called I and her group of friends spend their time dancing in a club before moving away to college. I meets a boy, A, quickly falls for him and the story tells us about their brief relationship. All of the characters in this book are initials, there are no full names, which was quirky. I guess the point to the story is that brief relationships can still have a lasting effect on you and make you do things that you might not have otherwise decided to do. It was okay but I felt like it was leading up to something happening or a twist but there wasn't anything. It was certainly different and I didn't hate it but it didn't stand out all that much for me.
In Ninety Minutes, Turn North - Stephanie Perkins: 5/5
This was so cute! I wasn't expecting to read about the same characters that Stephanie Perkins wrote about in the previous anthology, My True Love Gave to Me, and it was such a nice surprise! I loved seeing how their relationship has progressed, what's going on in their lives now and their really sweet and cute love for each other. This is the best story of the anthology so far. Stephanie Perkins is so great at writing romance.
Souvenirs - Tim Federle: 3.5/5
Matt and Kieth have been dating all summer but decided on their break up day on day one. I loved that this story is set in an amusement park as I just love them and they really give off a summery vibe. The plot was cute and explored the end of summer/end of relationship arc well.
Inertia - Veronica Roth: 4/5
I was so excited to read something new by Roth! I loved her Divergent series and in this story Roth plays to her dystopian strengths. A young couple relive their favourite memories together through a "last visitation" as statistics show that Matt isn't going to survive the accident he was in. I didn't get a summer vibe from the story but I still enjoyed seeing the pair realise their feelings for each other. The ending felt a little bit too perfect but overall I thought this was good.
Love is the Last Resort - Jon Skovron: 2/5
This was really cheesy and farfetched. It's based around a hotel where the summer staff are beginning their season of work and we learn that some of the regulars are in love with each other but won't admit it. One of the characters speaks like he's from a Dickens novel or something and some of the plans and actions of the characters just seemed ridiculous. Bonus points for the ending though which was a surprise and made me rethink the entire story.
Good Luck and Farewell - Brandy Colbert: 3/5
This story deals with the loss of a family member and the changes that come when people move away. It was okay; I liked the characters and the small romance was cute. I think it would have worked better as a longer story but it was still enjoyable.
Brand New Attraction - Cassandra Clare: 1/5
I have only read the Infernal Devices series by Clare so I'm not overly aware of the intricacies of her stories but this one didn't work for me. Whilst it reads well, the story just felt really rushed and there is a major case of instalove.
A Thousand Ways This Can All Go Wrong - Jennifer E. Smith: 4/5
This was so cute! Definitely one of the standout stories. Annie and Griffin had a really lovely relationship and I love that it explored so much more than just a simple summer romance. It has a great message and it's always great to see different kinds of people represented in romance stories.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things - Lev Grossman: 4/5
I really liked this story! Mark is stuck in a time loop and has been experiencing the same day over and over again. Then he meets Margaret and realises that she too is in the time loop and they start trying to figure it out together. There is a little bit of instalove on Mark's behalf but overall I thought it was cute. I liked that they spent time looking for all the good and perfect things that happen on this one day. It reminded me of John Green's style and I thought it was a pretty good story to end the anthology on.
As with most anthologies, Summer Days and Summer Nights has some truly standout stories and a few that just didn't work for me at all. I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the Christmas anthology, My True Love Gave To Me, but that could have a lot to do with the fact I adore Christmas and do not have a lot of love for summer! Overall it's a pretty strong anthology with standouts by Leigh Bardugo, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jennifer E. Smith and Lev Grossman.