Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review: The Summer of Skinny Dipping, by Amanda Howells

The Summer of Skinny Dipping, by Amanda Howells

Published: June 1, 2010

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 324

Overall Rating:

"Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life. 
My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything...." 

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Mia is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives she find her cousins distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever, until she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. And from the very first time he encourages her to go skinny dipping, she's caught in a current impossible to resist. 

Judging by the cover (I know, I know, never judge books by their cover. The fact is, I'm guilty of that--daily.) I had a feeling this would be a light hearted, fun read. That's why you should never judge books by their cover, sometimes they fool you.

Though it started a bit slow for me, I found it to be very well written, and once it picked up pace, I was hooked.

Mia struggles throughout most of the book with finding herself, and becoming comfortable with her body. Being around her cousins with their "perfect" appearances makes her feel bad about herself, but she tries desperately to push it aside and fit it. It isn't until Simon comes into the picture that we finally see her starting to accept herself for who she is.

Simon is a smooth-talking, easy-going artistic type, who becomes the only light Mia gets out of her summer. We follow them through their bonding, which goes from friendship to love before Mia even realizes what's happening. One thing I loved about this book is, it didn't follow the cliches. There was no love-at-first-sight moment, and they weren't complete opposites who couldn't stand being around each other until they realized they loved each other. We saw the friendship there before it became something more, which is rare in books these days.

It seems as though the entire cast are battling their own personal demons, some worse than others. At times, the other characters grated on my nerves, but as the novel progresses, we see them changing as well.

And then came the ending, which I was NOT a fan of. I kept thinking throughout the book, "Watch this happen......", but I dismissed those thoughts because the cover looked so....lovely. See what I mean? Never judge a book by it's cover.

Ultimately, this was a very well-written, beautiful love story, that ended in tragedy. But in this tragedy, we see the whole purpose of the book. It serves as a reminder to savor every single moment of your life, because you will never get it back. And you never know how many more moments you'll have--that's the thing, we just never know.

Writing Style


  1. Great review. I didn't enjoy it as much as you did, but I'm glad you did.

  2. nice review. i hate sad endings though! hmph...i'll have to make sure i'm in the right mood before i read this one.


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