Our book club pick this month is Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells. We're only doing this to watch you writhe in agony at the approaching fall. Sorry! (Not really)
What it's about: (Booklist) "While spending summer vacation with her family at her cousins’ fancy beach house in the Hamptons, Mia, 16, wants to join the popular crowd. Instead, she feels like the “frumpy relative”; in fact, even her own mother is a class snob who thinks Mia isn’t slim enough to be part of the “in” set. Then she bonds with gorgeous Simon, the boy next door, and they meet secretly at night on the beach, drink vodka, and skinny-dip in the wild ocean waves."
This is what we have to say:
Annie: This novel was like summer wrapped into a book. There’s nothing like a good love story that takes place on the beach, because the ocean provides the perfect back drop for romance, especially secret night-time ones. The main character, Mia, is the perfect balance of sweet and bold, while Simon, the love interest, is totally swoonable. The style of first person really jolts the reader into the story, which I love. I enjoyed this novel by Amanda Howells, and if you like Young Adult contemporary romance, you will too.
Krista: The cover and title immediately drew me in--especially since it's summer, and I'd just been to the beach. I really loved Mia's character, and her voice was spot on. You'll root for her as she deals with some Mean Girls in the book. And the character of Simon was awesome! I'd love to find a man like him now...an intelligent, well-read, doesn't care what people think, funny guy who you could be yourself around. The chemistry and scenes between him and Mia were great.
There are some interesting twists and turns in the story. So be prepared!Jamie: SoSD is a walk on the beach in the moonlight with waves lapping at your feet, and a new crush at your side. My favorite part of SoSD is Simon, the hero. He's like no other hero I've read in a YA book. He's quirky, confident, vulnerable, and easy to fall for. The descriptions are deep and beautiful. I felt like I was there in the Hamptons with Mia.
Debra: Summer of Skinny Dipping wasn't exactly what I expected. I was imagining a fluffy, light summer romance. Instead, the book deals with some serious themes, from drug use to abuse. The author created a strong, admirable MC in Mia, who, except for a few slips, is true to herself and doesn't bow to peer pressure, despite being tossed in to her cousins' world of superficiality and over-indulgence. Simon is one of the more fascinating and unusual love interests I've had the pleasure of reading in YA lately. This book definitely entertained me, though I was thrown a bit by the ending.
Readers who enjoy Sarah Dessen with a little less HEA will probably love this novel.Melissa, Guest Blogger of Awesomeness: This story was bittersweet. My favorite part of the story is the setting—the beach. Add to it a first love and I’m definitely on board. Mia is a great character who goes from self-conscious to self-assured. She learns that people aren’t always who they appear to be. Overall, it’s a good read with a sad ending.
Sarah: The Summer of Skinny Dipping made me crave summer cocktails, sand, salt, and sexy artists named Simon. What a wild summer Mia braved.