Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: St, Martin's Griffin
Pages: 400
Source: ARC from publisher **I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Rating: 3/5
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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.

Short stories are very hit or miss with me. It's hard to fall in love with a story and its characters in 30ish pages. Some of my favourite authors have failed to impress me in the past. But I've also found some new authors through anthologies and getting a small taste of their writing. That's why I can't write short story collections off completely; even if they're not my favourite there's some good that come from reading them.

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tale by Leigh Bardugo: It pains me to say this, but I just couldn't do it. I tried to read the first two pages a handful times and they are just nope. DNF

The End of Love by Nina Lacour: I tried to read a book of Nina's years ago, but wasn't feeling it. Although over the years I've heard great feed back for her books. This short story definitely makes me want to give one of her full length books another go. The End of Love definitely left me wanting more of Flora's story. I want to know how she fairs with her parents divorce. Does Flora speak up and tell her parents how over the years she's been affected by their relationship also? I want to know more about Jessica and what she really means to Flora. I want to get to know Flora; her quiet personality. And more importantly, does camping with Hope, Travis and Mimi become part of her life too. I'd assume so after some kissing with Mimi. I want to see their relationship bloom. 4/5

Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray:
Well reading this story just obnoxiously reminded me how long it has been since I've read a Libba Bray book. God, I forgot how peculiar and hilarious her stories are. I don't even know what to say here. It took a turn for the strange and I just rolled with it. Because in a weird way it all made sense and worked. Surprisingly, with my aversion to horror anything, I loved the setting of the Cinegore movie theatre. I can just see Kevin, David and Dani working there, slacking off, goofing off talking old horror movies. And the three of them together is too much. I was chuckling all over the place. Libba hinted at the more deep topics, but pretty much kept it light and ridiculous well weaving Kevin's worries and anxieties through that, um unique, turn of events. I know we're barely into the collection, but I have a feeling this story will be top contender as my favourite. 5/5

Sick Pleasure For A and U by Francesca Lia Block:
Uh, what the hell was this? I don't even get it. For a short story collection that is called Summer Days and Summer Nights I'm looking for some upbeat fun stories, this was just depressing and inane. Add on the fact that nobody had a name. They all went by a letter. Which was just confusing as hell. I went in thinking how super short this story was and than upon finishing was obviously the only positive. There's nothing else to say, except how utterly pointless I found these few pages to be. 1/5

In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins:
I love that this is the same couple from Stephanie's story in My True Love Gave to Me. Two short stories on them is definitely better than one. Especially when it's a second chance romance. So far this story has felt the most like a summer read. Perkins vividly describes the mountain and national park that Marigold and North find themselves rehashing the past. Their story is cute. They're cute and sweet. At nineteen, both are trying to figure out their life and what they want as they enter adulthood, what's important. And like I said, it was just a really sweet second chance romance as they both realize the feelings are there and strong. 4.5/5

Souvenirs by Tim Federle:
Well now get the love Tim's books get. If this short story is anything to go off of, he's a really conscious writer. I'm eager to now check out more of his work. Especially knowing it's very LGBQT+ positive. The title of this story is very fitting, first we have the natural summer setting of teens working at a run down amusement park. Secondly, souvenirs is metaphorically what Matty will be taking from his short summer fling with Kieth. Their relationship had an end day from the start and even though Matty knew Kieth wasn't his end game, it was still depressing for him. Especially when you're a little on the sensitive side. I liked the good and bad from their relationship; although Kieth wasn't the most considerate, he was still extremely conscious of making sure Matty knew all his strong points. Even when he was being self deprecating. Kieth would shut that down right away. So even though the relationship wasn't meant to last, it'll leave its mark on Matty, like souvenirs. 4/5

Inertia by Veronica Roth: Mm... I'm on the fence here. On the one hand I was surprised to see Roth deal incorporate depression into this story. As you all know I'm an advocate for mental health, and I believe Roth did an excellent job bringing it into her story, showing Claire's struggles with not wanting to take her meds and become flat. And also, Matt's assurance that taking her meds won't be the end of Claire. So, yes on that! I also really liked the glimpse into Claire's and Matt's friendship. It seemed really strong and genuine. But on the other scale, this story was far from peppy and based on what I expect this short story collection to be(cute summer romances), that was disappointing. Also, the story line was really wonky. The going from different memories made their friendship timeline not add up and I was just generally scratching my head. 2.5/5

Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron:
So I guess we're supposed to believe this is an anti-love story but really just kidding; love is all around. Especially at an high end country resort. That's where all the most juicy love affairs go down, right? Oh and much drama between the rich guests. This was a fun story. Nothing to write home, and ultimately forgettable in the long run. But I liked the match making shenanigans that went down. The surprise narrator of the story made me chuckle. Also, the setting of a elite country resort is supper summer appropriate. So yea, a cute fun read. 3/5

Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert:
I believe this story would work so much better as a full novel. In fact, I would love for Colbert to write it. There was really so much pushed into 30 pages and one main conversation that it was a little much. It would greatly benefit from expanding on. From what I glanced of Rashida and Pierre, I liked and again would probably love in a full story. Also, another story that really doesn't have the summer vibe. Yes the romance was there, but it was not the focus. Death and depression are important topics in YA, always. Just a little too dark and deep for 30 pages and what I thought was supposed to be a sunny, lazy day type read. 3/5

Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare:
Well that's exactly the type of story you'd expect from Clare. Can't not have demons in there. But hey, it totally fit with the carnival setting. Which is totally appropriate for summer time. I may be more of a fair person. Either way. Funnily enough, I've found this story to be the only one that felt like it had a full arc and firm conclusion. So that was a surprise; a welcomed surprise. Besides all of that, I wasn't enthralled. I liked everything well enough. Lulu was a spunky carny girl who has the hots for her step-cousin. Since it also wouldn't be a Clare story without an incestuous relationship; even if these guys aren't technically related. It's still gross. 3/5

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith:
Yes! I knew Jennifer Smith would deliver. I finished this story with a big ass smile on my face. The only downside was that it was too short; I needs a full book of Annie and Griffin because adorable!  Put a super big check in how Autism is shown so positively and both characters are wonderful. This story is exactly what I wanted from this anthology with the backdrop of a summer camp. Add it to the reasons why I can always depend on Jennifer Smith. Another cute and lovely read from her. 5/5

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman:
Clever. Had the Groundhog Day thing going on. But of course a little different. I just had no connection to either the story or characters. Mark and Margaret finding the wow moments throughout the town was neat. And I'm definitely glad to have finally sampled Lev Grossman's writing; since I still need to read The Magicians. Ultimately that's all I got to say, fine. 3/5

Happy reading!



  1. I'm hit or miss when it comes to short stories as well. This looks like a good collection even with the ones that were a bit lackluster or just didn't work for you. I like that I haven't read most of these authors because even though I don't always love short stories it does give me a feeling if I would enjoy the author's for length books. Great review!

  2. I'm not usually a big fan of short stories. It's almost like I don't see the point. LOL Seems like there are as many misses here than hits. I'll probably end up giving this one a pass... just because there are so many other things I super excited about reading.

  3. See, this is why I avoid these kinds of books. Feels like a waste of money to buy a book where I only enjoy a few of the stories in it. I didn't even read the first set: My True Love Gave to Me, so I will probably skip this too haha.