Title: The Boys of Summer (Book 1 in the Summer series)
Author: CJ Duggan
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Links: GoodReads | Book Depository
Related Reviews: Paradise City
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.
Why I picked it up:
I read and loved Paradise City by CJ Duggan. It was a 4.5 star read for me. I actually thought I’d already read this series, but then I realised I was confusing it with “The Summer I Turned Pretty” series by Jenny Han.
It took me a little while to acclimatise to this novel… it sort of jumped straight in, so it took me a few chapters to figure out what was happening and who the characters were.
I started reading this novel because I LOVED Paradise City and I wanted to devour more of the authors work… but there was a distinct difference between this and Paradise City. This was written a couple of years earlier and was also self-published… I sort of think you can tell, Paradise City felt a lot crisper.
I found Tess a little… hard to like. She was fragile, overly sensitive, and depended way too much on her friends for her own sense of identity. She was a total wallflower and a complete pushover. Which hey, is a good thing because at least she was a well-developed character, but I like my female characters with a little more spine. She was way too moody and self-pitying for my tastes.
It probably took me around 100 pages to really sink into the story. But even then it had a real cliché vibe. The writing was a little stilted and the dialogue didn’t flow. I never really fell in love with the characters. Overall I finished this, but it wasn’t anything special.
My Verdict – 2 stars… or maybe 3 stars. I can’t decide, because while I thought this book was average, I sort of want to see if the next in the series is any better. I’d skip this one, but I definitely recommend Paradise City!