Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: "The Summer We Came to Life" by Deborah Cloyed

Every year Samantha Wheland and her three closest friends, Mina, Isabel, and Kendra vacation together. Along with their mix of parents they call themselves the "Vacation Club". Approaching their thirties now, their vacations have graduated from local beach houses to exotic destinations. This year the destination is the Honduras, but for the first time, their group is not complete. Mina lost her battle with cancer less than six months ago and nobody is feeling her absence quite like Samantha is. Her absence is like a hole in Sam's heart, and Sam desperately wants to reconnect with Mina, wherever she is.

Aided by a journal left behind by Mina, along with some theories that she and Sam took the time to research before her untimely death, Sam attempts to reach out to her best friend in the afterlife in the hope of connecting with her once again.

The Summer We Came to Life was well-written with a variety of interesting characters that came to life on the page. The destination was vividly described, making the reader feel as if they were there alongside the characters. Unfortunately, the book didn't work for me as a whole. I had a hard time connecting to the characters individually, perhaps because they were all so different from me that I had a hard time finding something in common with any of them. There was also a paranormal aspect to the book that just didn't work for me. I believe that if that particular aspect had been removed from the book it may have worked for me better as a whole, although it would have altered the story line considerably. I think that ultimately this just wasn't the book for me, although I'm sure that it would be enjoyed by many others.

The Summer We Came to Life is a book about love and loss and lifetime friendships. This would be an interesting read for someone who has experienced the loss of a loved one or for a reader who enjoys books about close friendships.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge

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