Saturday, May 28, 2016

Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Summer Days and Summer Nights
Author: Various Authors, Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Source: St Martins Griffin via NetGalley

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.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.
Review by Nara

I have to say, overall this wasn't quite as good as the winter/Christmas anthology that Stephanie Perkins curated, with some of the stories not quite hitting the mark. They just weren't as fluffy/feel good as most of the ones in My True Love Gave to Me. On the plus side though, there was more diversity in the characters in this anthology, including more LGBT couples.

I'm just going to leave some comments for each of the stories here, and you can decide for yourself whether you think the anthology is worth giving a go!

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo 4/5
Pretty good start to the collection, this story felt somewhat like a fairytale. Things moved very quickly because of the rapid timeskips, so I wasn't overly satisfied by the ending. The actual plot was a bit weird, with a paranormal twist.

The End of Love by Nina LaCour 3/5
I definitely feel like this is one story that would have been better as a longer novel. The characters are interesting, but there's not quite enough time for you to get attached to them.

Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray 2/5
This was kind of all over the place. It had a paranormal aspect that was just odd, and made the overall plot very unbelievable. Can't say I really liked this one all that much.

Sick Pleasure for A and U by Francesca Lia Block 2/5
This story was a lot darker than I thought would be expected in this anthology of relatively fluffy romances. The characters were just referred to as letters e.g. A, I, and I found it a bit tricky to keep track of who was who because of that.

In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins 4.5/5
This was such a cute story as is expected of Stephanie Perkins. It's sort of the sequel to her story from My True Love Gave to Me, with the same characters a little further down the track. Honestly, she should just write an entire novel on North and Marigold; they're so awesome.

Souvenirs by Tim Federle 3/5
This was the first author that I hadn't heard of in the anthology, and his writing certainly shows a lot of promise! I liked the narrator, but thought the love interest was a bit of a dick. Possibly what stopped me from enjoying the story more.

Inertia by Veronica Roth 3/5
A creative premise, with people on the verge of death able to link up to others to experience memories one last time. While I enjoyed this, the ending took a turn that I didn't particularly want, mostly because I thought it was going in a different direction for most of the story.

Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron 3/5
Quite light and fluffy compared to every other story, and I can definitely say it was the most fun read. About all these matchmakings at a hotel/resort and the scheming of three characters to bring everyone together.

Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert 2/5
I wasn't really feeling this story; it's about a girl whose cousin is moving to the other side of the country, leaving her "all alone". I didn't particularly care for any of the characters, and I don't think the story was well placed in between the extremely fluffy Skovron story and the excellent Clare story.

Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare 4/5
Clare was probably the author I was most looking forward to, and was curious as to whether she'd be tackling contemporary romance. Well nope, turns out it's a paranormal fantasy/magical realism, but it's a good one! I feel like it would work well as a longer novel too.

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith 5/5
Hands down my favourite story of the anthology. I hesitate to say you should get your hands on a copy of this book just for this one story, should get your hands on a copy of the book for this one story. Actually so adorable.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman 3/5
Cute, but there was definitely this curiosity that went unanswered as to the how and why. I feel like that was more of a personal thing- you'd probably enjoy this more if you don't read into things so much...

Liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5