The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski-Review, Spotlight & Giveaway
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it’s not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.
Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is a sweet YA story about family, friendship and romance. It takes place in the Jersey shore, during the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. Lucy is our heroine and she is the protagonist that drives this story. 8 months after Sandy destroyed so much of the community where she lives; Lucy is back home with her parents and brother. Memorial Day is close, which signals the start of summer, and the tourists will be visiting in droves, which due to the ongoing restoration, doesn’t sit well with the local residents. Lucy is working part time at the local clam restaurant, while also doing volunteer work that she hopes will help her get a scholarship to be a marine mammalogist.
As Lucy prepares to go to work, she spots Connor, who spends the summers with his family in the house next to Lucy. The last time she last saw him was right before the storm hit, after he had kissed her, opening up a possible new relationship; but he never called her all these months, as he had promised. Giving up on any chance of a relationship with him, Lucy began dating her best friend Andrew, and now that Connor is back, she tries hard to ignore him.
Connor’s reputation as a womanizer, and the fact that he is a seasonal resident, makes him not a favorite among the locals, which includes Lucy’s brother, Liam, who hates him. This is also a very nice story of family, and friendships, as they all try to recover and rebuild their town from the devastation of Sandy. I thought that the first half of the book was somewhat slow. It did pick up a lot in the second half, which turned this into an enjoyable story.
Lucy slowly begins to realize she had no romantic feeling for Andrew, and that she still felt something for Connor. This is a very slow to build relationship, which will affect all those around Lucy. Her friends become upset that she never told them about her feelings toward Connor, and her brother really bad to Lucy when he finds out. For the majority of the book, Liam was nasty and provocative toward his sister, helping pull her friends away, as he could not control his hatred of Connor.
This turned out to be a very nice sweet story that will see the beginnings of a romance, forgiveness, rebuilding of lives and friendships, as well as togetherness for families. With the real life background of the Jersey shore devastation, and the people helping one another to rebuild their town from the hurricane, this was a very nice and emotional read.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher
Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is the author of two YA novels and is a freelance nonfiction writer. Her first paid writing gig was at The North Jersey Herald & News, where she wrote obituaries and began her lifelong love of news and coffee. She lives in New Jersey with her family.
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