Thursday, June 23, 2011

What a Way to Start the Summer

Due to some severe, chronic overscheduling on the part of my mother, and partial laziness on my part, an entire week of summer enjoyment has passed us by, and I'm only halfway through Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath! However, I've decided to make up to you for it, by enlisting my sister. I don't give her much credit, but between Gymnastic and Cheer practices, she reads a lot, too. And while we don't tend to read the same books, she really tries her hardest when she finds a good bit of fluff lit that I just have to see. So, for the first time, I'm having a Guest Poster: my sister, The Cheerleader, talking about one of her favorite summer reads. Thanks, Delly Beans!

My sister and I have very different preferences when it comes to what we like to read. For instance, she loves mystery novels and classic lit, while I prefer to read teen romances and real life fiction, like Sarah Dessen’s books, Just Listen and What Happened to Goodbye. We try to share books with each other, and most of the time we don’t like the plot or hate the characters, but we at least try to finish it. Then out of the blue we’ll find books we both love, like Howl’s Moving Castle.

So the latest book I’ve tried to get her to read is called Beach Blondes, by Katherine Applegate. The story is of a girl named Summer, who was invited by her aunt to stay with her for the summer in Crab Claw Key, Florida. On the way there, she’s told that her future involves three new guys: one that will seem a mystery, one that will seem dangerous, and one that will seem to be the right one. Summer ignores this until, to her surprise, she does meet three guys! Suddenly she’s thrust into the crazy life of Crab Claw Key where she makes great friends and has many adventures.

I first read this book last summer when I bought it, but I decided to re-read it because it just felt like the right way to start off my summer. The book has a big soap opera vibe to it, with all the drama that Summer goes through, which made it very enjoyable. However I found the main character, Summer, rather annoying. I might be just me, but I felt she could have handled all the situations she goes through better. Summer seems to be very confused with every choice she has to make, especially involving love, and I might not be able to understand her difficulty, because I’ve never been in love so I’ll have to wait and see.

Summer’s not the only character though, there’s also Marquez, a fun loving party girl who paints, and has her own boyfriend drama throughout the plot. Then there’s Diana. Diana is the daughter of famous romance novelist Mallory Olan. Mallory, never called Mom, is Summer’s aunt too. Although Summer is excited to go to Florida, Diana is not excited for her to come in the least bit.

The book Beach Blondes also has sequels. After Summer’s first summer in Florida, her friends come visit her in her hometown of Bloomington, Minnesota for winter break in Sun-Kissed Christmas. Then she goes back for spring break to Florida in the appropriately titled, Spring Break (also known as Spring Break Reunion). Finally Summer spends her last summer before college in Florida rediscovering what she wants in life in Tan Lines. I haven’t read Sun-Kissed Christmas, but I’ve read the rest and enjoy them all immensely.

What I find funny is the Spring Break book is very small compared to the summer books so I did some exploring on the internet, and I discovered each Summer book is really three books combined. Beach Blondes is a collection of June Dreams, July’s Promise, and August Magic while Tan Lines is a collection of Sand, Surf, and Secrets; Rays, Romance, and Rivalry; and Beaches, Boys, and Betrayal. As I found this out, it became obvious that these collections were an extreme re-release. While Beach Blondes and Tan Lines were both released in 2008, the collections of stories inside them were originally released in 1995 and 1996. My guess is that this was to bring in more profit from a later generation, and I believe it totally worked because I couldn’t even tell these books were written in a different decade. So good job to Katherine Applegate for writing great stories that I think teens will love.

1 comment:

  1. Nice guest post. I think it is funny that you said you didn't like mysteries and yet the best part of the book post was solving the mystery of the books you had read.