Contest Sticky

Monday, December 20, 2010

Review : The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Title : The Summer of Skinny Dipping
Author : Amanda Howells
Publisher : Sourcebooks Fire
Genre : Young Adult
ISBN : 978-1402238628
Series or Stand Alone : Stand Alone
Release Date : June 1, 2010
Rating : 5/5 Stars - Loved It

Synopsis from Amazon

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.


Mia Gordon is on her way to spending a fun, sun filled summer on Long Island.  It's the kind of vacation she deserves for feeling the heartache of being dumped by her first boyfriend.  The last thing she wants to do is think about him, and the ocean is the perfect remedy.

Mia has always spent her summers on the beaches of the Hamptons in New York.  It's only been for the past couple of years that her parents have decided they wouldn't bother spending their summers there, but now Mia has a chance to return to the one place that has always made her happiest.  All she can think about is the sand, the sun, and the warmth of the water on her skin.  Even the thought of it can clear your head and make you forget your worries.  It's also high time she meet up with her favorite cousin, so they can catch up and have the summer of their lives.

When Mia arrives at her aunt and uncle's summer house, she realizes this may not be the summer of all summers.  Her cousin is clearly not the person she remembers, and now they no longer have anything in common.  She thought she would have someone to talk to her about her heartbreak, someone who would understand her.  It's clear that her cousin no longer has the same feelings, since now she seems to look down on the world like it is nothing but a soiled napkin, and Mia is nothing more than an offensive speck.

Mia spends a great deal of her time just trying to fit in with her spoiled cousins, and their snob of a friend.  When things seem to be going horribly wrong, she meets Simon at a party.  He's funny, and most definitely has a way with words.  Mia can't decide whether he can be trusted or not, but she soon finds herself meeting him in the middle of the night to go night swimming.  The two learn a great deal about one another, and soon he's trying to coax her into skinny dipping.

I'll have to say I enjoyed this book from the very first page.  While I could have chosen the synopsis from Goodreads, which gave you more insight on what the book was truly about, I chose the one from Amazon because it's what really caught my eye.  I knew I was in store for something far different than what the title alone revealed.

I enjoyed Mia's character a lot, and felt bad for her when she realized her own cousins didn't really want anything to do with her.  She was sweet and cared about even the smallest of things, while her cousins only cared about who and what was in fashion at the time.  While I hated her cousins, and their mean friend, they were a huge part of the book.  Without them, I think this book would have been rather lacking in story.  They helped Mia to figure out her true self, and become something better.

As for Simon, I didn't really know what to think of him at first.  I guess I felt the same way about him as Mia did, and fell for him with each passing page.  He was a little on the strange side, but I think that's what made him unique, and more alluring.  Despite Mia's ode to ban boys for the summer, she found herself drawn to him.  He understood her, and was content to just sit and listen to her pour her heart out.

Amanda Howells was excellent at describing Mia's vacation spot.  I found myself reminiscing my own summers on Long Island, although far removed from the beaches of the Hamptons.  I became home-sick for the ocean, and can understand how Mia was so attached to it.

The most memorable part of this book was the ending, which I found was a huge surprise.  I only started to feel like something big was going to happen a few paragraphs before it occurred.  I was in shock, but found myself devouring each page looking for the same thing Mia was looking for.  As much as I would like to tell you, I can't, because it would ruin the story for you.  I highly recommend giving this title a try, as it's not only a romantic tale, but a coming of age novel as well.  I'll most definitely be picking up more titles by Howells in the future.

Where did I get this book?

I received my ARC in order to participate in a traveling tour with Around the World Tours. ( I no longer participate with ATWT).

Amazon Affiliates :

Clicking on title links in this post will redirect you to If you happen to make a purchase after clicking these links I will receive a small percentage of the profits.