Genre: Contemporary, Anthology
Publication Date: May, 2016
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.
What a great collection of stories! They’re all so diverse and different from each other. I really do think that there’s a story in this anthology for everyone, and thankfully I did end up liking most of the short stories. My biggest complaint is that a lot of the stories were depressing. I went in hoping for a cutesy and adorable summer romance and I got a little of that, but not a lot. This anthology was definitely not what I was expecting, but it was overall a fun read.
Hearts, Scales, Tongue, and Tail by Leigh Bardugo
What a great story to start the anthology! It was adorable, magical, and just beautifully written. I was a bit confused by the ending, but I really liked it nonetheless! Eli and Gracie’s relationship was just so dang sweet, definitely one of my favorites of the bunch. Leigh Bardugo is the queen.
“There are monsters everywhere, tsigele. It’s always good to know their names.”
The End of Love by Nina LaCour
I really liked this story! It was such a lovely and sweet summer contemporary. With a lesbian relationship! I don’t get to read much of those. I’ve never read a novel by Nina LaCour before, but I definitely want to check out more of her works.
“As much as people want to look on the bright side, skip straight to the future when everything will be okay, the truth is that there is this time, where you sometimes have trouble breathing, and you feel powerless. Like you’re screaming and no one hears you.”
Last Stand At the Cinegore by Libba Bray
This one was a bit…weird. I don’t really know how else to describe it. I can’t say I was really invested in the story or the relationships. It was overall just really strange and all over the place, but interesting, if a bit rushed. I’m not exactly sure what happened if I’m being honest.
“Some things you couldn’t plan for; you just had to react in the moment and hope it was enough.”
Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block
Sick Pleasure was also a bit weird, but interesting. Especially the ending. The fact that every character had a letter for a name which took me by surprise and took a while to get used to. It was also kind of depressing, but I did not at all expect it to end in the way it did.
I was so curious about the background for the story that I even Googled it because that’s the kind of person I am.
If you’re interested as well, click here. It’s a blog post written by the author, so nothing illegal I promise, hahah.
I would definitely not call this a cutesy summer romance!
“Love can be so strange and sad. It can be hard to understand why we run toward certain people and away from others at different times in our lives. Why we search so hard for that thing we are looking for, and then run so fast when we find it.”
In Ninety Minutes Turn North by Stephanie Perkins
I was thankfully told ahead a time that this story was a continuation to the short story Stephanie had written in her holiday anthology “My True Love Gave to Me”, which I haven’t fully read yet, but I of course read the story there before I read this one.
North is so flipping cute! How Stephanie continues to write such swoon worthy characters I will never know.
I love him and Marigold so much, and I’m so happy we got to read more about them. They’re both so adorable. This story was just so darn sweet and a ton of fun! I’m just happy they’re happy.
CAN I HAVE A NORTH? THANKS.
“But what if we like this mountain? What if we can’t even see the other mountains because we’re so infatuated with the one standing right before us?”
Souvenirs by Tim Federle
This story was just depressing. Like come on, I didn’t pick up a book called “Summer Days and Summer Nights” and expect to be hit with a bunch of truth and realistic-ness about life. I wanted the laughs! The fluff! The cute romance. Sigh. Even so, I did like our narrator, Matt, and his mom. It was really just bittersweet and sad. And I guess I’ll admit it, I didn’t like Kieth anyway.
“We were going to be best friends forever, and then we weren’t. I was going to have a hole in my heart for all time, and then I didn’t. I moved on—even if some part of me stayed scarred by Stacy leaving me. But the thing about scars is that, as much as they knot you up, they can make you stronger, too. Collect enough scars and you get a whole extra layer of skin, for free.”
Inertia by Veronica Roth
This short story was so creative and unique, not to mention totally Veronica Roth. A science fiction story that deals with memories and the mind. A program called the Last Visitation that allows people to revisits memories that both parties shared. Super interesting concept, but I did however have a hard time connecting with the characters or feeling their chemistry. The story was kind of depressing too, but the ending was sweet.
“‘Sadness and anger aren’t the only feelings that count as feelings.'”
Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron
Okay, so this story was actually really cute and summery, if a bit dramatic what with the matchmaking scheme and over dramatic dialogue. The narrator addresses the reader, which I personally found funny and fun, but will differ from person to person. There were so many characters that it was hard to keep track of all of them, or to get really invested in their stories, but overall it was a hilariously light and fun read!
“Because if we are all fools, then perhaps there is some wisdom in falling in love.”
Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbery
This story got really dark and (surprise) depressing. What I thought would be a cute little story about a girl learning to move on when she hears that her cousin, and best friend, is moving to San Francisco with her girlfriend, turned out to be much deeper than that. Our main character can come off a bit rude, but I felt for her, she’s just trying to cope. Granted in a terrible lets-get-angry way, but still. It’s a story of love and grief and acceptance and I’m happy with the way it ended. I hope for the best for each character.
“Maybe saying good-bye isn’t all bad. Maybe it means I’m making room for someone new.”
Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare
Okay, so the story I was most excited about was thankfully not a let down! Whoo! (Or am I just complete utter Cassie Clare trash?) Ahh, I absolutely loved the description of the carnival so, so much. It was creepy and dark and just super awesome! Can I have a pet demon?
Kidding, kind of. Anyway, the story was really epic and fun!
The romance was sweet too, even if it did make me uncomfortable and hesitant at first, but I love Lulu and Lucus, they’re both so adorable!
“People come to shows like ours to be scared, yeah. But they also come to live. To feel magic. They come to feel brave, like they’ve faced the dark forces.”
A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith
Ahhh, this one was so cute! I’ve always been a bit iffy with Jennifer E. Smith’s writing, but this story flew by and left me wanting more. The romance was adorable and absolutely loved our two love interests.
“There are still about a thousand ways this could all go wrong. But there are a thousand different ways it could go right, too.”
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman
Okay, so like the main character in this story is practically me. In this world, time has frozen on August 4th (unrealistic and leaves me with a ton of questions, but whatever, who cares, we can move past that) and he spends most of his time reading all of the books (can this happen in real life?). Love it. I personally found Mark funny and quirky, his relationship and adventures with Margaret was also fun. I can’t say I really bought the romance, but overall the story was entertaining.
“For the time being I was living without consequences. But you can’t hold back consequences forever.”
3.5 out of 5 stars
Buy Summer Days and Summer Nights
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