BOOK REVIEW: Speaking of Summer by Kalisha Buckhanon

This review is going to cover Speaking of Summer by Kalisha Buckhanon, who is also the author of Upstate. I received a finished copy in lieu of galley from Counterpoint Press. It was released on July 30th.

This was a more difficult book for me to read, not the page turner I was expecting from cover to cover. Although, this book did pick up speed for me as I went on.

Buckhanon tells the tale of Autumn Spencer, whose twin sister Summer has gone missing, and nobody really wants to look for her. Autumn is also dealing with the grief of her mother’s death at the same time.

As the book continues on, Autumn has more and more trouble coping, turning to her sister’s boyfriend, alcohol, and drugs. She also starts researching other murdered women, and their killers, imagining whether they also killed her sister.

Although the book started out slow for me, it did speed up about mid-way through and kept a steady fast pace from there. It spoke to several current social issues, such as race relations, alcohol and drug abuse, and mental health. It’s a hard hitter that will keep you thinking afterwards. I hope some of you head out and pick up a copy!

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Summer Demands by Deborah Shapiro

I was so fortunate to receive a final copy of The Summer Demands by Deborah Shapiro in lieu of galley from Catapult Publishers through Booklist Delivers Summer eblast.

This book was a good summer read, making me want to be at the lake reading it!

The Summer Demands centers on Emily who inherits a rundown summer camp in Massachusetts. She’s just about to hit milestone birthday 4-0 and post-miscarriage. So basically, Emily has a lot of trauma she’s working through and getting older isn’t helping.

At first Emily and her husband try to fix up the camp in order to make it more of a glamping resort experience, but find permits too difficult to obtain and quickly this dream fails. One day while walking the camp grounds Emily finds that they have a “guest” living in one of the camp cabins. This guest is 22-year-old Stella.

Stella lives a free life. One that Emily wishes she could have, a life away from bills, finding a job, getting over her loss. It’s simple.

Emily and her husband allow Stella to live in the cabin for the summer. They begin a friendship. A relationship that becomes many things for Emily, and could cause problems with her marriage.

Shapiro does an excellent job of giving depth to these two female characters. I felt like I really got to know them, especially Emily. My only real critique is that I felt that the ending was rushed. There was so much detail throughout to build the characters and plot and then all of a sudden it was over and we fast forward to see where they end up in the future. I’m also not a huge fan of books that do this fast forward for an ending so that probably doesn’t help, but overall it was a decent read. Not really your normal light hearted summer read, but a good one nonetheless.

This book was released at the beginning of June–have you had a chance to read it? What did you think?

Happy reading 🙂