book reviews

REVIEW: Summer Days & Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love StoriesGenre: Young Adult, Romance

Format: Hardcover, 384 pages

Published: May 17, 2016, St Martin’s Press

Source: school library

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary (Goodreads): Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.


Compared to My True Love Gave to Me, Summer Days & Summer Nights was much better (in my opinion). On my Goodreads account, I updated every time I finished a story so I could keep track of my feelings (mostly because I wanted stuff for this review, partly because in the review for MTLGTM I forgot some of the stories, oops), and the feedback was much nicer than that for the first anthology. There were only two that I didn’t enjoy out of twelve, so I’d consider that a pretty positive review.

The two I didn’t like: Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block and Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron. Sick Pleasure was more of a memoir in my opinion and at the end I couldn’t understand the purpose of the story as a whole, which, to me, means it wasn’t worth my time. Love is the Last Resort was more boring than anything else, especially since it seemed weirdly like a period piece with the dialect and behavior of the character, but I couldn’t tell because of the lack of world building. Just because it’s a short story doesn’t mean that you should leave out the important stuff.

The other ten stories were great. There were some that I didn’t love as much as others, but overall, I was extremely happy with them. My absolute favorites would be: The End of Love by Nina LaCour; In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins; Inertia by Veronica Roth and A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith, which was my top pick out of all of them. It’s especially nice to see that some of these authors move away from typical white/straight romances to show diversity in young people. In Jennifer Smith’s story, although it was white/straight, I really loved the mental health and disability aspect shown throughout it, because I have probably read about two books about people “on the spectrum” (new goal: more mental health diverse books).

“Some people might leave you,” he said, for once ignoring a joke in favor of something real. “But it doesn’t mean you’re worth leaving. It doesn’t mean that at all.”

-Inertia, Veronica Roth (page 201)

This book was also extremely funny and light for the most part (cough not Cassandra Clare obviously cough), which made me really wish I had bought this in the summer to read at the beach.

“What do you say?” I yell after him, as he tucks it under one arm and runs back toward the basket.

“You’re welcome,” Noah calls over his shoulder, and I laugh.

“Close enough.”

-A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong, Jennifer E Smith (page 343)

This would be a perfect summer read, or maybe something to read whenever you’re in the mood for a light romance (if that’s the case, skip some of the gorey/dark ones to come back to later). Or, if you’re a huge fan of one of the featured authors, pick this up and read more of their work! I’m a huge fan of Cassie Clare, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Leigh Bardugo and Jennifer E Smith, so it was nice to read more of their amazing writing. I’d definitely recommend this, especially to someone looking for a beach read (too bad I read it on my couch while listening to Christmas music).

Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, I wish you all lots of books!

x, J

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