“The Summer After You + Me” – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. The real Jersey Shore, not the part that was broadcast on television that gave everyone from Jersey a bad name. She loves the smell of the ocean, how it permeates everything in town. She loves the bungalows and the shops. And every summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day her down gets infiltrated by tourists who take over the town. She mostly finds them amusing and doesn’t bother with them too much (the first rule of being a local is don’t fall for the tourists.) But then there is Connor, her summertime-next-door-neighbor. But after last year, after Hurricane Sandy changed so much about her small coastal town, after it brought people within reach she thought were just a step away… when the following summer comes sweeping in, Lucy has a lot to discover about herself, her town, and her relationships.

Okay, living in a tourist trap myself I can DEFINITELY relate to most of this outline. Memorial Day to Labor Day is my own personal version of hell. But luckily Hurricane Sandy didn’t strike us quite as hard as it did our neighboring boroughs and states. The novel, while being about romance and relationships, also definitely is about rebuilding after the storm, and persevering. I would say that is one of the main themes in the book.

I wish that I liked this book more. I liked the idea, I liked the feeling. The setting. The protagonist just irritated me so much. She was written really realistically, maybe that’s why she annoyed me. The book was easy to get through, despite my being annoyed at it the whole time. And the second half was a bit more redeeming after the first. There were just a few things in it that drove me crazy; but again, that’s what made it realistic.

Overall, not my top ten favourites but not that bad a read. Summer, romance, hard decisions, beach life… if that sounds up your ally then happy reading.


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