Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Review: The Summer of Skinny Dipping - Amanda Howells

Acquired: Sent to me by Sourcebooks Fire

Published: June 1st 2010, Sourcebooks Fire

Summary (from Goodreads): "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-neighbour, Simon Ross. And from the very first time he encourages her to go skinny dipping, she's caught in a current impossible to resist.

What I liked: There are a lot of things that drew me to The Summer of Skinny Dipping. Initially, it was the title and gorgeous cover art that captured my attention. I’m a fan of summer vacation stories and this one looked like it would check all the boxes – gorgeous boys, a love story and a little bit of edge to keep things interesting. Also, featured on the cover is praise from Melissa de la Cruz which sold me instantly. If it’s good enough to de la Cruz then it’s certainly good enough for me!

The Summer of Skinny Dipping is the story of Mia Gordon’s summer in the Hamptons where she meets the elusive Simon Ross, who she can’t quite work out at first. Simon has his fair share of secrets but he and Mia spend their nights swimming in the sea and their days trying to fit in with the luxe lifestyle their families insist on.

Simon and Mia’s relationship is slow developing, in a realistic as opposed to boring way. It’s a major plus in my opinion. Too often I’m disappointed when the heroine nabs her man within the opening few chapters – please, how often do gorgeous boys sweep you off their feet and declare their love within a matter of days. The realism of The Summer of Skinny Dipping, even the depressing side of things, makes for an excellent summer read that I devoured in one sitting.

I’m so pleased that it lived up to the high expectations I had for it and I’ve read nothing but good things about this one so make sure you check it out!

What I didn’t like: For me, the blurb on the summary of the book made The Summer of Skinny Dipping sound like a completely different story to what it actually was. I was prepared for pages of Mia doing everything she could to get over her failed relationship and move on to find new love.

However, it seems that Mia was completely over ‘love of her life’ Josh within the first couple of chapters. I think I prefer Mia getting over Josh quickly as it wasn’t my favourite subplot within the book but I wish the summary had reflected the real heart of the story instead of an issue that was resolved from the outset.

First line: ‘There are summers you’ll always remember and summers you’ve forgotten even before they’re through.’

Read if you liked...: The Au Pairs – Melissa de la Cruz


Plot: 4/5

Writing: 4/5

Characters: 3/5

Cover: 5/5 (absolutely beautiful cover art)

Total: 16/20


  1. Ooh, I'm reallyu looking forward to this now! Thanks for the great review, Carly!

  2. Good review! This sounds like a good book :)



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