Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Summer of Skinny Dipping: A Flopping Fish in a Sea of Summer Contemporary

Title: The Summer of Skinny Dipping
Author: Amanda Howells
Series: Summer #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: June 1st, 2010
Format: Paperback
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance


There Are Some Summers You'll Always Remember
Sometimes I wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.
My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything

My Thoughts and Reflection:

I picked this book up at the library randomly because I had just gotten my new library card and felt super excited to put it to use!  Anyway, the library was relatively small and I was short on time so I grabbed the first thing that appeared to be relatively entertaining.  I had never heard of The Summer of Skinny Dipping but I was all, "Hey, it's summer.  It's probably a fluffy read, why not?"
In the very beginning of the book, we meet Mia, our down-to-earth, naive, brown haired protagonist who is pretty much one of the most MarySueish characters I've actually read in a real book.  Quickly the reader is engulfed by the multitude of family troubles that she is plagued with on their drive to stay with their perfect cousins in the Hamptons.  So, middle class girl, staying with rich family members, already feeling like stories that I've read before.
The majority of the book focuses on Mia's selfish cousins Corrine and Beth and their Gen (who all have these crazy ragers and get drunk).  Mia struggling with how much Corrine had changed since they last talked and that pretty much is 2/3 of the book.
Then we meet Simon, the boy next door who's family has money but not enough to impress with millionaires and billionaires strutting up and down the beaches.  Of course, he's the son who is an artist and want's to backpack around Europe instead of going to Buissness school.
Overall, Simon was an okay character.  He was poorly fleshed out, and where he was it was compiled mostly of stereotypes so he didn't feel like a real person at all.
Of course, the last third of the book basically consists of literally everything that Mia thought to be true falling apart, as was quite foreseeable as the book had gone on.  The last couple chapters felt unnecessary and the ending was typical and not at all a surprise.
Howells was not a particularly graced author.  She was not talented in her sentence structure nor her overall story arc.  There were no metaphors or similes or anything to show off a lick of talent in this women.


If you are looking for the most bland summer read ever, I say go for it.  If not, try some nice old-fashioned fluff from Sara Dessen.*

Dust Jacket Ramblings:

There was nothing special about this cover.  Of course it used my number one cover pet peeve (a model), and the model wasn't even accurate for the book.  (It is mentioned numerous times that Mia's swimsuit is a two piece navy, not this flawy peach thing).  The beach seen made since considering that this book takes place in the Hamptons, and the typography is alright.

*Now, this book was just okay.  However, I did read the blurb for the sequel, The Summer of Sneaking Out, and it was much more promising.  I'm not sure how it connects to Skinny Dipping, but who knows?


  1. i'm on the hunt for some light summer reads also, Katherine Applegate's summer series looks quite good :)
    one girl one book

    1. Light reads are always nice. :) I usually go for some Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot when that's what I crave.