Review: SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS edited by Stephanie Perkins

Summer Days GIF.gifPublisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Blog Tour)
Genre(s): Anthology, Romance, Summer
Synopsis from 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.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

my rambles

Special thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

*Unlike my review for My True Love Gave to Me, I won’t be writing about each story separately. I don’t feel like I have enough to say about each one individually. Instead, I’ll talk about the compilation as a whole, and tell you what my favorites were!

When I first heard that Summer Days and Summer Nights (SDSN from now on) was going to be a thing, I was thrilled! I loved Stephanie Perkins’ first anthology, and so naturally, I had to get my hands on the summer version.

SDSN ended up surprising me (in a good way) that I wasn’t completely expecting. Because it was a compilation of stories all set during the summer, I figured that it would be mostly contemporary. But I was SO wrong. This anthology has a story for everyone, probably every genre! There’s magical realism, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and then on top of that diversity and multiple LGBT stories! Add to that the stellar list of authors who contributed and you’re in for a treat!

I will say that while there was such a range of stories, and there were some of my favorite authors included, I didn’t fall in love with SDSN as much as the first anthology. There were just more stories in this one that I felt more “meh” about and less “AWWWW” about. I would have to say my favorites were “Inertia” by Veronica Roth and “A Thousand Ways this Could All Go Wrong” by Jennifer E. Smith. “Inertia” was heartbreak yet beautiful, and “A Thousand Ways this Could All Go Wrong” followed the same route. Coming in close behind were “Love is the Last Resort” by Jon Skovron (a funny and unique story), “In Ninety Minutes, Turn North” by the one and only Stephanie Perkins (you’re typical Stephanie Perkins story that you won’t want to miss), and “Sick Pleasures” by Francesca Lia Block (a darker, more interesting view at love).

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the other stories. They were definitely wonderfully written, and great love stories, but the ones I already mentioned held my attention and stayed with me longer than the others. The couples were more “shippable” and brought out more emotion in me, I’ll say.

While I did have favorites, I still think that SDSN is the perfect book to bring with you for a leisurely day at the beach, or spread out reading throughout the summer. I found myself enjoying the stories I let steep for a bit better than the ones I read one after the other. If you’re a romance fan, you definitely should pick up this adorable anthology that pays homage to the summer, and of course, love!

3.5 hearts

xo

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Review: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: October 9th, 2014
Series: N/A
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
Genre(s): Anthology, Christmas, Contemporary Romance, New Years
Synopsis from Goodreads:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

my rambles

As this is an anthology with twelve different stories and authors, I’ll be writing a few sentences on each to share my thoughts with you! I’ll give a rating to each story and then an overall rating at the end.


“Midnights” by Rainbow Rowell
This was such a great story to start out the book with. Rainbow Rowell’s story was cute, and everything that she is known for. I immediately loved the characters, and I didn’t want this story to end. But when it did, I was left smiling in true Rainbow Rowell fashion.

“The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link
I had never heard of Kelly Link before reading this story, and while I liked it, her writing was a little hard to love. This was a fantasy-romance story stuck amongst a book full of contemporary, so there was something magical and dreamlike about it. Still, I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. But it definitely has a magical Christmas feel to it.

“Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña
I had never read any of Matt de la Peña’s work before, but I did really like this story. It was cute, but a little predictable. There was drama, and things progressed pretty quickly, but I still really enjoyed it!

“Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han
I was really disappointed with this story. I love Jenny Han — I’m obsessed with pretty much all of her books. Her story was so short, and while it was cute, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was hoping and expecting a romance that would make me all swoony but I didn’t get that at all with this one, unfortunately. 😦

“It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins
While I was really looking forward to Jenny Han’s story, Stephanie Perkins was the one that I was oh so eager to get to. And all I can say is asdfghjkl. This. Story. I would be so happy if it continued on for a full length book because: A. The characters were so awkward and wonderful and NORTH. He was so SWOONY. and B. I liked this story just as I liked Anna & Etienne and Lola & Cricket and Isla & Josh. So I guess this is kind of like me begging Stephanie Perkins to continue writing their story as a full length book? Please, and thank you.

“Your Temporary Santa” by David Levithan
After everything I’ve heard about how David Levithan is such an amazing author, I can say I was extremely let down by this story. It was cute, but it didn’t really have a beginning-middle-end thing going on. I didn’t see the progression or point. Cute, but definitely my least favorite so far.

“Krampuslauf” by Holly Black
Another disappointing story, although I wasn’t expecting Holly Black’s writing to be anything like an ordinary holiday romance. This story was strange, but I kind of liked it! Definitely not a story you’d expect to see in a holiday anthology, but it was unique and spiced things up a bit.

“What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” by Gayle Forman
I really enjoyed this one! Having never read Gayle Forman’s writing before I really liked it and her characters. It wasn’t my favorite, but one of the stories from the book that I particularly enjoyed!

“Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” by Myra McEntire
This was another really cute story! I love Myra McEntire, but have never read anything of the contemporary genre from her, so this was a pleasant surprise! The characters were cute and it was one of those opposites attract stories that you can’t help but love.

“Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White
This story was really heartwarming and very holiday-ish. That’s all I can really say about it! Very cute.

“Star of Bethlehem” by Ally Carter
I would have to put this story right up there with some of my other favorites from the anthology! And the ending was so hopeful for the holidays, I just couldn’t help but love it! And Ethan = SWOON. I’m definitely eager to check out more of Ally Carter’s books after EVERYONE has been telling me they’re so fun!

“The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Lani Taylor
This one wasn’t a very holiday-ish story either, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very magical and fantastical — could easily be freestanding.

OVERALL:
A wonderful collection of holiday stories from such wonderful authors, that will be sure to entertain and fill your heart with holiday delight!

xo