Book info

Summer Sisters (2006)

Summer Sisters (2006)
Author
Rating
3.81 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
0440243750 (ISBN13: 9780440243755)
languge
English
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publisher
dell
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Summer Sisters (2006)
Summer Sisters (2006)

About book: Starting with the things I liked, I appreciated the book for it's nostalgic factor and being a quick, light read. It was seasonally appropriate and took me down memory lane in more ways than one...reminiscing about how complicated teenage female relationships can be and how people who know you in your formative years probably see you differently than anyone else in your life.However, overall I thought the book was uneven. The first half of the book reads like an erotic teen novel. I get that they are horny and experimenting, but their relationships are completely defined by sex. The heart-pounding and pulsating wore thin on me after like the sixth time. And she could have referred to "The Power" a little less, too--it was just uncomfortable (for me) after a while.Then, for the second half of the book when they get older, it becomes a character study of these two young adults. Caitlin is painted out to be such a horrible person, and Vix is weak and incommunicative. I didn't like either of them as grown ups and both of their behaviors frustrated me--why does Caitlin have to be so self-centered and why does Vix have to be so self-loathing?? i couldn't understand why they were still friends! (especially why vix even picked up the phone) I actually liked their relationship much better when they were younger...at least I understood it: popular girl wants someone intellectually stimulating who will adore her and hang out with her while not stealing attention away; while the less popular girl just wants to be noticed and likes her boundaries being pushed. It just felt like she took both girls' worst traits and amplified them as adults, causing neither to have a real character arc where we got to see them recognize their demons and change accordingly. I guess I missed that kind of payoff...As for Bru, he is the most irritating character in the second half of the novel. There is NOTHING in this book that makes him a desirable husband. He doesn't talk, he's super clingy, he doesn't have any real life goals. Sure, they have great sex--but that seems more like a summer fling than anything. How great can it really be your first time? The author offers nothing in way of a personality for him, and because I don't know him, I don't care that either of these women want him. In fact, I really DIDN'T want Vix to end up with him. I felt like I sided with Abby, wanting her to grow up and experience things. Perhaps I'm projecting after knowing what it's like to be in a long-term relationship with my high-school sweetheart and discovering that there are WAY better things out there. But, in my distaste for Bru, I altogether ignored the fact that she did touch on the question of great sex being enough to sustain a relationship. So I concede your point there that she did recognize why Vix and Bru could not have a future.My last problem with the book (which you actually liked) was the different perspectives. I felt like it was a cheap, easy way to add color to her novel...almost in the way a screenwriter would use a narrator or voiceover if they weren't smart enough to play out the action. It's probably just a personal peeve, but I wish she hadn't skipped around to the other people's viewpoints. I don't think it added anything to the story and, if anything, it telegraphed the fact that Gus and Vix were going to end up together.Personally, I felt this was a soapy yet underdeveloped novel. I'll stick to my happy memories of Judy Blume's teenage books!

Meh. The first half the book starts out promising enough. 12 year old Caitlin Somers, a wealthy child of divorce, invites Victoria Leonard, a middle class girl, to spend the summer with her on Martha's Vineyard. Victoria (Vix)'s parents reluctantly agree to the trip, which begins a relationship that spans decades. The story might have been more intriguing if each and every character had not been a stereotype. By the middle of the book, I could almost predict the actions of the characters. Caitlin's divorced mother is, of course, distant and aloof and abdicates most maternal responsibility. Caitlin, therefore, grows up without sufficient guidance and grounding. Caitlin's father, Lamb, marries Abby, another divorcee with her own son. Of course, the kids are resentful and bitter and spoiled. (Because every wealthy "trust fund" child is, right?) Bru and Von are brought into the picture as potential love interests for Vix and Caitlin. The prologue pretty much gives away the storyline regarding this foursome. Interspersed throughout the book are brief passages written supposedly from different points of views of some of the lesser characters such as Lamb, Abby, Vix's mother and Caitlin's mother. While somewhat interesting, these points of view add nothing to the depth of the plot, which is predictable and boring. Blah, blah, blah, Caitlin spends her college money jet-setting around the world while Vix toils tirelessly in college, finally realizing that she doesn't want a relationship with a blue collar guy like Bru, who can't discuss books with her. (Yawn...) Caitlin beds every guy she can (and some girls) and eventually settles down and has a child, which she, in keeping with her character, abandons to the child's father, Bru. Oh, Caitlin finally does end up marrying Bru, much to the dismay of Vix. The reasoning behind this sudden romantic attraction is never explained. I had a difficult time getting past the stereotypes in this book. Vix's roommate, Maia, is a New Jersey Jew who worries about everything. Tawny, Vix's mother, is a hardened, "stiff upper lip" woman who didn't marry for love and has now found herself trapped in a life she never wanted. Vix's sister, Lanie, ends up getting pregnant at 17 and has two kids by a slacker who smokes pot and now lives in a trailer park. (Ho, hum - I'm just picturing the guy wearing a wife beater and guzzling Budweiser) Almost every single character in the book is miserable due to their life circumstances. Boo, hoo, I'm rich and beautiful but don't like myself. Waaah, I struggle to make ends meet and hate everyone who has it better than I do. I'm blue collar, drink beer, don't read, but of course, I'm good-hearted. I couldn't find much of anything redeeming or remotely interesting about any of them. I read on, hoping that by the end, the characters would do something out of character. I won't give away the end, but it seemed that the author just kind of gave up on Caitlin's character. She could have done something besides indulge herself, search for the meaning of life in a bottle or in a bed, but she didn't. She remained the spoiled little girl until the end.
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Reviews
Elphaba J
Irmãs de Verão é um romance absolutamente magnífico sobre as muitas formas que existem de amar. É uma história com vida própria, uma história sobre os momentos fáceis e os momentos difíceis de vidas diferentes. É sobre as aventuras mágicas do crescimento e sobre as eternas recordações, sobre o poder transcendente da amizade e sobre a força avassaladora das paixões. É uma história sobre tudo aquilo que dá cor, cheiro e sabor à evolução de homem e que perdura até, e para lá, do último dos seus dias.Um dos segredos para o sucesso desta narrativa encontra-se centrado nas suas personagens, nas protagonistas Caitlin e Vix, e em todos os outros que pintam este quadro e temperam as suas vidas. É uma narrativa com existências comuns, com as quais nos identificamos, e que produzem, de forma intensa, um enredo que vai evoluindo com a idade dos intervenientes. Dos dilemas infantis, à percepção das dificuldades, aqueles que acompanhamos são muito diferentes entre si mas encontram-se fortemente unidos por uma família disfuncional que se junta no Verão e que é, com o passar dos anos, o ponto alto das suas vidas, um crepúsculo inebriante onde tudo pode acontecer, e acontece.Quando Caitlin e Vix se conhecem preenchem com a sua meninice e inocência as páginas de um livro singular que prometem ser diferente de todos os outros, desigual e invulgar, tal como as suas formas de encarar a vida, tal como os problemas com as quais se deparam, muito diferentes para ambas nas suas perspectivas, nada semelhantes, de encarar o futuro. Quando amadurecem a diferença acentua-se e com ela crescem as perguntas sem respostas de um passado perdido que subsiste das memórias quentes e com cheiro a mar que as deixou eternamente unidas por um laço estreito que as acompanhará para sempre independentemente daquilo que o futuro lhes possa reservar.Os temas de interesse são muito variados, em parte, devido às próprias personagens singulares que permitem explorar as infinitas questões de uma evolução que é comum a todos nós. Todas as perguntas e respostas, proporcionadas pelas hormonas juvenis, são encaradas de forma refrescante, plena de emoção, impelindo o próprio leitor a viajar no tempo. E o mesmo acontece com as relações familiares e entre os seus pares, sendo o casamento e o divórcio, os novos e os velhos amores, assim como todas as disfunções que daí advêm, também eles abordados.No entanto, e para lá de tudo o resto que é imenso e dificilmente pode ser descrito com uma simples opinião, prevalece um conceito acima de todos os outros na história, a amizade. Uma forma de afecto que está descrita de forma tão pura e com tanto amor que é impossível ficar-lhe indiferente.Opinião completa: http://historiasdeelphaba.blogspot.pt...
Polly
Another great book from Judy Blume, the Summer Sisters discusses the issue of two girl’s life. Caitlin and Victoria (Vix) who spends almost every summer together developed a strong relationship. Even though they are very close to each other, when I read more of the book I realize the deep secrets they have in their heart. Also they seem to have an opposite life. Vix live in a poorer family than Caitlin needs to earn her money to college and future. Caitlin lived in a rich family with supportive father and step mother but she is always held back by her royalty to her real mother. They each wanted to be each other instead of themselves. Vix wants to have parents and richness like Caitlin while Caitlin is jealous and wants to have the organize life like Vix. It was a complicated relationship between their friendships which once seem pure but turned messy. Judy Blume explains emotion really real and the book turned out to develop the feeling of jealousy, happiness and all kind of real feeling you get from families and friends. All her books seem so realistic in this world and touching too.
Cora
I found this book at the library, and since I loved Judy Blume as a child, I wanted to test one of the books she wrote for adults. I never could have expected a story so involving and complex. The characters come to life on the pages, and the storyline is brilliant in its everyday commonness. Summer Sisters follows the lives of Caitlyn Somers and Victoria Leonard, two unlikely girls from different social backgrounds. Caitlin invites Victoria to stay the summer with her and her father who lives in Martha's Vineyard; shy Victoria can't imagine why a girl so glamorous as Caitlin would want to be friend someone as boring as herself. The two of them form a complex friendship of love and rivalry that spans from the 1970s to the 1990s. These girls share moments of soaring loyalty and heartbreaking betrayal, and I was glued from the very first page. The settings are so real, part of them I could have plucked from my own childhood. This is a truly wonderful book for anyone who loves reading epics, or stories of friendship that takes place in times of joy and times of tragedy. Although this book came out in 2001 (I believe), I am just now reading it. Oh, how I wish I'd found it sooner! Summer Sisters is one of the best of the best from my reading pool of 2007. I highly recommend this book. [Editing to add this tidbit for writerly people interested in craft. Summer Sisters demonstrates foreshadowing done very well. It's one of my favorites, and I keep coming back to it as an example when discussing foreshadowing with friends and in workshops.]
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