Unfortunately we have pretty much come to end of summer for another year, and so with it comes pretty much the end of cute, summery contemporaries (for me, anyway). I’m definitely a mood-reader, and so the moment the weather starts to turn a little bit colder, I start to read a lot less contemporaries, and a lot more fantasy.
And so, considering that my time for reading those contemporary books that take place in the summer, or have that summery feeling about them is over, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on some of those books that fall into that category.
This one follows Lisa, who as her part of her application to the second best psychology programme in the country meets Solomon, who hasn’t left his in three years, as she attempts to help him finally leave the house and treat his agoraphobia.
How Anxiety Was Represented
Going to a book which deals with the topic of mental health and mental illness, I was a little bit cautious as to how it would be represented. However, I was actually pretty pleasantly surprised with how this book presented this topics. I found the anxiety and panic attacks to be described quite realistically, and so I was really happy to see that such a large aspect of this book was done well.
Although this book is a told in a dual perspective, I definitely enjoyed Solomon’s chapters more than Lisa’s, especially as the story progressed. I just found him to be a really interesting character, who was really funny and witty, and was just generally a great person.
Solomon and Clark!
If I loved these two individually, then I adored them even more together. I just really enjoyed how easy their friendship was and how comfortable they grew around each other. They literally became the best of friends, and honestly I could not get enough of their friendship.
Good YA Parents!
I loved these two so much! Not only were they two completely normal people with completely normal lives, but they were also so supportive of their son, and never tried to pressurise into leaving the house or anything.
I’ll admit; at the beginning of the book, I actually didn’t mind Lisa. As much as I didn’t agree with her using Solomon for her essay without his consent, I could see her motives for doing so based on who she was. She was just so desperate to get into this school that she felt it would be fine. I’ll buy it.
But then, as the book progressed, I just couldn’t get along with her anymore. There were just so many things that she did that I didn’t agree with and that I just couldn’t understand that by the end of the story she was just irritating me to no end.
Almost the moment she was introduced into the story, I was not a fan of this character. Not only was she a horrible person anyway, who never seemed to have anything good to say at all, but she was also such a horrible friend to Lisa. She just constantly made her feel bad for not spending time with her, and then even spread rumours about her behind her back. This is such a harmful friendship, and yet it is never addressed. The most we get is learning that Clark doesn’t like her. This could actually be read as a healthy friendship, when in my opinion it is so far from being that.
Plus she is basically the one who convinces Lisa of something completely absurd that I still can’t believe became a plot focus for even a portion of this book.
The Plot Focus Just Seemed to Switch Halfway Through
I was such a huge fan of the the concept of this book, and so loved the plot for the majority of it whilst it followed Solomon and his relationship with Lisa and Clark. But then when you get around 150 pages or so into this, everything suddenly switches to focus on something else entirely, at which point this book went a little downhill for me. I just found the who situation to be a little unrealistic and a bit stupid, and really didn’t enjoy reading about it at all.
It Was So Fast Paced!
Everything in this book happened so quickly that I could barely keep up. Almost nothing was discussed in detail, and the plot seemed to move at such a pace that just stopped anything in this story from being developed properly. This book easily could have just been an extra 50 pages or so, and allowed things to move at a reasonable pace that didn’t just rush through the entire plot and could have allowed for just a little more character development than we got.
I enjoyed quite a few aspects of this book, but also got quite irritated by a few as well. I definitely enjoyed the first half of the book alot more than the second, but generally thought it was a good story and one that showed anxiety well and realistically.
This one follows Andie as a political scandal leaves her summer completely open as her plans fall away and leave her forced to embrace the unexpected.
Amazing, Yet Realistic Friendships
I can not tell you how much I adored the friendships in this book! All of Andie’s friends were such good characters individually, but when they all got together they just created the perfect group who were realistic and relatable. They had so much fun together, and supported each other, whilst still also making mistakes and not always doing the right thing.
The cover of this book does not lie when it promises that dogs will feature in this book. I loved every scene that mentioned a dog, and just could not get enough of Bertie!
One thing that I can always rely on with a Morgan Matson book is that it will involve a gorgeous romance that I just can’t get enough of, and this one was no different. They just fit so well together that I couldn’t not ship these two so hard.
This book could literally have been 500 pages of these two just being happy together, and I would still have read it.
Clark was a writer?!
As soon as this was revealed, I was immediately so much more invested in this book, and loved him even more as a character. Not only was it another fun aspect of this story, but it also actually added stuff to the story itself, and helped move the plot along at certain points.
The little extracts we got of his books were honestly just so much fun to read. I just want to read more!
Whilst this isn’t my favourite Morgan Matson book, I still thoroughly enjoyed everything about this one. I genuinely can’t think of one specific aspect of this book that I didn’t particularly like, and its definitely a perfect summer contemporary that I would certainly recommend!
In this book, we see Lina travel to Italy to fulfill her mother’s dying wish for her to get to know her father, only to arrive to receive a diary of her mothers that may reveal more than Lina ever expected it to.
Thanks to her mother’s diary, that is left for Lina, and given to her when she arrives in Italy, we get to follow almost two completely separate timelines through the majority of this book. I adored seeing watching as both we as the reader and Lina herself found out so much more about her mother, and loved the mystery it created that became another favourite aspect of this story for me.
Its Set In Italy!
I’ll admit, one of the main reasons I choose to pick this one up was because it was set in Tuscany, and so I knew it would be perfect for the summer and would instantly transport me to Italy. And this book certainly didn’t disappoint for that!
I loved reading about all of these beautiful places that they went to, and just felt so completely immersed in the setting. It provided the perfect escapism, and I just could not get enough of the descriptions of all of the amazing places they visited.
The Relationship Between Lina and Howard
As this book progressed, one thing that I started to enjoy even more was the relationship between these two. Howard is just so cute, and just wants to get to know Lina, and I just really enjoyed watching as they got to know each other and how they both grew to have such a heartwarming relationship with each other.
Okay, so whilst it wasn’t the worst written romance, it definitely wasn’t the best either. It took place over quite a short space of time, so did feel a little insta-lovey, and just generally wasn’t one that I was hugely invested in.
This one was cute, and had some fun aspects that I did enjoy, but that’s pretty much it. It was a fun book with a cute setting, but wasn’t that unique or different to alot of other contemporaries out there.
Have you read any of these – what did you think? What are some of your favourite summer contemporaries?