January 21, 2014

The Summer Series by C.J. Duggan

Having escaped the wicked Canadian winter thus far this year, it actually felt right to be reading a beach read series in January. I love Kailin Gow's Loving Summer series and I love Jenny Han's Summer series. I just love reading about falling in love on the beach, or by the lake...and I'm not going to lie, I've always been a lover of the idea of the Boys of Summer. There's just something about a summer fling with a summer boy...ANYWAYS C.J. Duggan's Summer series is right on up there with my favourite beach reads.

I'm glad I didn't get into these novels before because it's always awesome to be able to read three books in a row when the stories are interconnected. Not to mention I'm super impatient so had I read Book 1 and then had to wait for Book 2, it wouldn't have been pretty.

The first novel in the series, we are introduced to a load of characters. Adam convince his two best friends Tess and Ellie to work with him at his uncle's hotel pub (hereinafter, "the Onslow") for the summer. He promises them the best summer of their lives before heading into their last year of high school. The Onslow is the center hub of all that goes on in this small town. Everyone hangs out here, this is where everything happens. The Onslow is home base to Adam's brother's (Chris') friends (Sean, Toby, Stan and Ringer). This group of attractive and popular guys dubbed the Onslow Boys has every girls' attention and, of course, each one of them is irresistible in their own way. This is Tess and Toby's story. Toby's the older guy with the hot girlfriend. Tess is the naive, quiet, insecure girl who has no idea what she's got going for her. She's had a crush on him since before she even hit highschool but he has no idea she exists. What's a girl to do?

The second novel in the series is a continuation from Book 1. Fast foward about three years and a lot has changed. Amy (her dad is the owner of the Onslow) is back in town after having been sent away to boarding school when she was 16. Things have changed, though, and she's come home to the pub having been mismanaged and basically run to the ground by a barkeep her father had entrusted the Onslow with. With no other ideas, Amy reluctantly turns to Sean (one of the old Onslow boys!!) to help her build the place back up. Determined to bring the Onslow back to its former glory, Amy spends the summer bringing the place back up to working order only to find out her parents are ready to sell the place. With the pressure of getting the Onslow back up and running and fighting every ounce of frustration that comes with having to work alongside Sean, Amy is in for one hell of a summer.

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These two novels are exactly the types of novels I love to read in the summer. Seeing as I'm not knee-deep in snow right now and it's relatively warm where I am, it fits! The world (the sleepy small town of Onslow) that C.J. Duggan has created is one easily imaginable and filled with characters that are easy to relate to and love. You have Amy the little sister to everyone, the sweet and innocent Tess alongside the bad-girl Ellie and then you have the guys--Adam, the best friend; Chris, the serious one; Sean, the partying womanizer; Toby, the quiet one; Stan, the cute one; and Ringer, the one that nobody takes too seriously but everyone loves (gee, with a name like that...) Each one of these characters bring their own stories to the table and I loved reading how their stories interlaced. These novels are very simple and there's not huge drama (just your usual bits of teen angst) which is a nice change from what I've been reading lately. They definitely make for a light beach read and they do the job well. The Summer Series is going to join my bookshelf in hardcopy for sure!!

My rating: 4 stars

Kindle versions of The Boys of Summer and An Endless Summer are available for purchase on Amazon! Click on the covers to add to GoodReads!

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Annnnd as if that weren't awesome enough, check back with me at the end of February when I join the YA Bound's Blog Tour for Book #3 in this series: That One Summer!!

Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …

He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.

So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?

After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

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