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I Belong

Early Review: Five Summers by Una LaMarche

Title: Five Summers

Author: Una LaMarche

GenreYA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication DateMay 16, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 1595146725 (Razorbill/Penguin)

ISBN-13978-1595146724 (Razorbill/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Four best friends, five summers of camp memories

The summer we were nine: Emma was branded “Skylar’s friend Emma” by the infamous Adam Loring . . .

The summer we were ten: Maddie realized she was too far into her lies to think about telling the truth . . .

The summer we were eleven : Johanna totally freaked out during her first game of Spin the Bottle . . .

The summer we were twelve : Skylar’s love letters from her boyfriend back home were exciting to all of us—except Skylar . . .

Our last summer together: Emma and Adam almost kissed. Jo found out Maddie’s secret. Skylar did something unthinkable . . . and whether we knew it then or not, five summers of friendship began to fall apart.

Three years after the fateful last night of camp, the four of us are coming back to camp for reunion weekend—and for a second chance. Bittersweet, funny, and achingly honest, Five Summers is a story of friendship, love, and growing up that is perfect for fans of Anne Brashares and Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters

Quick & DirtyThis was a cute book filled with lots of drama, heartache and love.

Opening Sentence: There are some things that seem like they’ll just never happen.

Excerpt: N/A

The Review

Emma, Skylar, Maddie, and Jo met at camp when they were nine years old and they soon became best friends.  They went to camp together for five years and through that whole time their friendship grew and they were inseparable during camp.  During the year they lived across the country from each other but that never affected their friendship during camp.  Then the unenviable happened — camp came to an end.  They slowly drifted apart through the years and lost touch.  It is now time for a camp reunion and the four girls will be together again for the first time in 3 years.

First there is Emma.  She is the Ivy League bound college student.  She is currently interning for a magazine in New York for the summer.  She tried to stay in touch with the girls but something always seemed to get in the way whether it is her family or school.  She can’t wait to go back to camp and try to reconnect with all the girls.  Also Emma has regrets from her last night at camp.  She had a huge crush on Adam Loring for years, but she was always too shy to say anything.  She planned to tell him the last night of camp but she chickened out, she is hoping that maybe she will get a second chance at the reunion.

Skylar is the beauty of the group, but she is also the one that has the loose morals.  She is very artistic and would love to be a painter one day, but her family isn’t the most encouraging.  She stayed in touch with Jo, but only because they both became a counselor at the camp for every summer since the girls left.   She had her reasons for not keeping in touch, she did something on her last night of camp that she really regrets and she has felt guilty ever since.  Now that she is finally going to see her friends again she knows that she will have to come clean, but she doesn’t want to ruin the fragile friendship they have left.

Maddie has never really been honest with her friends.  She has come from a broken family and they have very little money.  She hasn’t really ever been honest with her friends about her real family life.  She has never told them that all the years she attended camp the owner let her come for free or that her mom and step dad fight so much that she doesn’t feel safe at home.  She wanted them to like her and she kept her distance after camp because she was afraid she would let something slip.  She is tired of the lies, but she doesn’t know if her friends will forgive her for being so dishonest with them.

Jo is a total tom boy, but she has grown into quite a beautiful girl.  Her father is the owner of the camp that they all went to.  She has always been the one to follow all the rules and she has never kissed a boy.  She has never really had a lot of girl friends until she met Emma, Skylar, and Maddie at camp that first year.  She hates that they drifted apart and she really hopes that this reunion will help to reunite them, and she makes a vow that it will stay that way no matter what.  She also wants to have a little fun and let loose a little bit.

This was a cute book filled with lots of drama, heartache and love.  You get to see all of the girls grow up and see how camp and their friendships have affected their lives.  It is a sweet story and it reminds me a little of what life was like for me growing up.  You get to read from all of the girls’ points of view and it switches back and forth between the present and the past.  I will be honest, it was pretty predictable and I had a little bit of a hard time getting through it.  Overall, thought it was an okay read and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a story about coming of age and trying to grow up.

Notable Scene:

Maddie threw her arms around Jo’s shoulders. “Don’t worry-I’ll be there,” she said.  “Unlike some people I have no handsome prince to whisk me off into the woods for a romantic tryst.”

“Neither do I,” I said.  “I might as well be wearing a shirt that says ‘I Had a Crush on Adam Loring for Five Summers and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.”

“That would certainly break the ice,” Maddie said, this time throwing her arms around me.  “But he likes you.  I know it.”

“Then where is he?”  I groaned into my hands.  If Adam did like me, wouldn’t he be just as eager to find me, to take his shot, to squire me off to a moonlit clearing like Zeke had done to Skylar?  He’d probably forgotten about the hoodie.  Maybe it had just been an excuse to ditch me.

Jo’s head popped up like a bloodhound, her spine suddenly as straight as her jet-black ponytail, which reached almost to the waist-band of her shorts.  She held her finger to her lips.  “I think I just heard a zipper,”  she said, horrified.  Then:” This was a bad idea.”

“Oh relax,”  Maddie said.  “It’s probably just some guy, you know, watering the wildflowers.”  I smiled, but Jo didn’t seem to get the joke.  She leaped up and marched off toward the tree line brandishing her whistle.

FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of Five Summers. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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