Summer’s the perfect time to curl up with a great book and I knew my book-loving blog readers would be hungry for their next summer read. In the Spring, while developing my website’s editorial calendar for the summer months, I knew I wanted to focus heavily on writing book reviews while also working to organize the content on my blog that is writer-specific.
Best thing I ever did when planning my summer reading schedule was sign-up to tour with the BookSparks 2015 Summer Reading Challenge. Why? I couldn’t resist the line-up of books. So I said ‘yes’ to all of them. Now I’m reading and reviewing my way through 18 BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge books along with a few other reading commitments I’ve made outside of the Challenge. It’s going to be a great summer.
About Summer Secrets by Jane Green
Cat was living the party life in London, drinking and partying every night. Everything changes for the 20-year-old when she discovers that the father she never knew was living in Nantucket. Now in her 30s, Cat is sober, but divorced and desperately trying to make up the time she lost with her daughter. Cat is forced to face the past and the fateful events of one summer night many years ago. Cat learns that confronting the events will impact her future in ways she could have never imagined.
Summer Secrets by Jane Green
My Book Review
After the first few pages of Summer Secrets by Jane Green, I was hooked. It’s a raw read with a vulnerable character who makes all kinds of mistakes on her road to redemption.
Cat Coombs, a flawed twentysomething journalist needs to stop drinking and get her life back on track. But how can she when her own mother drops a bomb on her in the first fifty pages? Still processing the death of her father after years of a strained relationship, before Cat can make sense of her mother’s secret from a Nantucket summer long ago, Cat must face the bottle . . .
From page 67:
“I’m Jason, by the way.” He comes over to shake my hand. “I already know you’re Cat. I’m making breakfast anyway, so you might as well stay. I know you won’t turn down my offer of coffee.” He grins, his hair mussed up, his eyes a warm brown, and I am so disconcerted by his offer, by how nonjudgmental he seems to be, I find myself, against all my better judgment, nodding.
“Sorry about the broom,” he says, pulling eggs and bacon out of the fridge, tipping fresh ground coffee into a cafetière. “I was worried you might throw up while you were asleep, and I didn’t want you to choke on it. When I was at university we used to stick brooms down people’s clothes to stop them lying on their backs.”
“Was I horribly drunk?” My mortification is real.
“You were horribly drunk. You wanted to go home, but you couldn’t remember where you live. I don’t usually bring strange women back to my flat, but it seemed like a safer option than leaving you collapsed in a doorway in Charlotte Street.”
Summer Secrets by Jane Green is a gripping story, rich in human error and emotions. With flawed Cat at the center, wanting to connect with important people in her life, but compromised by her addiction, the emotional minefield in this novel is quite perilous.
Readers will find secrets and truths, inner strength, sobriety, faith. But also shame and guilt and regret. Bad decisions. Lots and lots of bad decisions. But good ones, too; the kind that can be life-changing.
Cat’s addiction, her current state of affairs, her backstory, and the inciting incident revealed through Audrey’s flashback in the first fifty pages of the novel, creates abundant dimensionality in Cat, which in turn, makes Cat a great central character. Readers will watch her rush about with reckless abandon, and then, find her slugging along, quite far from her goals – sometimes drunk, other times wishing she was.
Because the plot often turns as a result of a few drunken escapades, surprise reversals ensue and that dreaded cause-and-effect stuff gets a bit muddled for our beloved heroine. You’re in Cat’s world. This is Cat’s journey – and it’s quite a ride.
Jane Green, if you’re reading this, I’d sure love to review your next book. The pleasure of reading this one was all mine. Five stars.
About Jane Green
Jane Green’s seventeenth novel, Summer Secrets, released in the US on June 23rd and will release on July 2nd in the UK. She is the author of sixteen previous New York Times Bestselling novels, including The Beach House, Jemima J, and most recently Saving Grace which is due out in paperback in early June.
Find out how it all began: READ 5th Annual BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge and My Travels Have Begun!
1. The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen
2. The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek
3. Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff
4. The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall
5 . Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
6. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde
7. Pieces by Maria Kostaki
8. Summer Secrets by Jane Green
9. It’s You by Jane Porter
10. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
11. Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips
12. The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop
13. The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
14. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
15. Anchored by Brigitte Quinn
16. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly
17. A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
18. Star Craving Mad by Elise Miller
Thank you, BookSparks!