By Una LaMarche
Audience: Older Teens
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.
This one disappointed me. The big problem was that I felt apathetic toward the characters. I didn't feel like I knew them and I wasn't rooting for them because of that. Also, it made the rest of the story fall flat. The friends seemed to be best friends because they declared themselves so, not because of any real connection. They didn't even stay in touch. Nothing else in their lives really mattered - only the summers. Therefore, I didn't feel like I knew anything about the characters' lives. Also, the story revolved around boys. It wasn't so much in a romantic way, either. Everything was affected by boys and they weren't even worth it.
The difference between this and the Traveling Pants books was that we saw all aspects of the characters lives in that series. We saw their friends, family and independent experiences in addition to their favorite time of year - summer. The girls were there for each other any time of year since birth, not ONLY summer. They had a strong connection with each other and were individuals at the same time. The boys and romances were a part of their lives, not the center of it, and they provided learning experiences for the girls.
In Five Summers, we only saw select parts of summer and heard about the rest, as though everything else in life was a minor detail, and their interactions with boys just led to lying and a massive bickering match. It just wasn't interesting to me. I think this book should have been a series, and that would have helped a lot.
It was well-written, but I just didn't connect with it. I think a lot of other people might like it, it just wasn't my personal favorite. I think part of the problem was that I was comparing it to Sisterhood due to the description.