I should really stop relying on Amazon reviews to find good contemporary reads. If you enjoyed the elegant A Gentleman in Moscow or the engaging Where the Crawdads Sing, or the heart-racing American Dirt, this is going to fall so flat for you. Abby Jimenez is quoted on the back cover of the book saying “probably one of my favourite books of all time.” Yikes. Makes me wonder what else she reads.
Here are my issues: 1) The story is uninspired - it’s not creative and misses out on the premise of yearly vacations. There’s so much more that could have been built into those flashbacks, especially since the book is 361 pages long. It was actually quite a boring read.
2) There is not really any character development. There’s a lot of surface analyzing, but considering the span of over a decade, the characters feel static. And they’re not particularly likeable or memorable either.
3) While the writing flows easily, it’s not very elegant. There is a lot of dialogue, and you can tell the author spent a lot of time preparing witty exchanges between her characters. And she does pull it off. But there’s something inorganic and juvenile about it.
4) All elements considered, the book feels written for a teen audience and not adults. I cringed several times.
In summary, this book is just not inspired, doesn’t have an engaging storyline, and didn’t make me feel anything for either of the main characters. I’m just glad I’m done so I can move on to the next read.
And as a measure of comparison, I’m a millennial, and I don’t know a single female friend who would consider this book her favourite summer read or anything close to that.