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The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda…

The Summer of Skinny Dipping

by Amanda Howells

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While spending the summer in the Hamptons, sixteen-year-old Mia is disappointed that her cousin Corinne has grown so distant, but when she meets the irresistible and adventures boy next door, everything changes for the better.
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
This book was good, but it was more than just a summer read. It was sad, but the book was good. ( )
  stephanie.dicesare.7 | Jun 25, 2014 |
Ah, Mia. Perhaps teen readers would better appreciate her conflicted attitudes towards her cousins. Adult readers will see everything she does wrong and cringe at her inability to stick with her convictions yet applaud her for at least recognizing her own hypocrisy. Teen readers may not be so quick to judge because they are currently working through some of the same identity issues as Mia. Adult readers have been there and done all that and already know the best path through this tricky minefield before adulthood. Still, it is always refreshing to reflect on this time period in one’s life, and Mia’s personal journey is better than most.

What is a young adult coming-of-age story without a tragedy? In this, The Summer of Skinny Dipping proves to be no exception. While the tragedy is not a surprise – savvy readers will see its possibility from the moment of introduction – It does not lose its effectiveness. It is upsetting and unfair and everything that life is but we wish it was not. Mia’s handling of the tragedy is a tad melodramatic but intense and realistic given that all teenagers have a flair for the dramatic. The fact that it helps bring the story to a close is also important because it is follows the formula established by so many YA authors prior to Ms. Howell.

The Summer of Skinny Dipping is the stereotypical coming-of-age story filled with young love, angst-ridden self-reflection, quirky neighbors, mean girls, and growing independence. It even has the clichéd ending because such stories can never end happily. This means that there are very few surprises, and the story itself is very formulaic. The funny thing about formulas, however, is that they usually work, and The Summer of Skinny Dipping is no exception to this. Mia’s struggles as the proverbial fish out of water are insightful, while her burgeoning relationship with the boy next door is appropriately charming. The Summer of Skinny Dipping is as advertised – flirty and fun with very little in the way of surprises.
  jmchshannon | Dec 22, 2013 |
I’m impressed. When I first saw The Summer of Skinny Dipping, I found myself judging it by its cover. It looks suspiciously like many other novels that often feature vapid, annoying characters and an overrated romance. I was so, so wrong. The best part? I knew that Mia would fall for Simon, it’s right in the description, but I could not put this book down. I found it ridiculously easy to identify with Mia and I wanted to examine the details of her summer… to see the how and why behind her love for Simon and the growth she experiences.

The novel starts with Mia heartbroken over the loss of her boyfriend. I’ll admit to being skeptical upon discovering that their relationship only lasted for two months and that Mia claims to have been in love with him. I’ll admit it: I scoffed. Then I remembered what it was like to be sixteen. I would have felt exactly the same way. Plus, I can’t fault Mia’s immaturity; I wasn’t far into the novel before Howells writes her character into the loss of that naïveté.

I’m stunned by Howells’ deftly written coming-of-age tale. There are many YA novels in which the main character spends the summer in the Hamptons, or some similar summer destination, and learns startling truths about herself and the sparkling world that she once thought was so perfect, but I don’t think I’ve enjoyed any as much as Howells’ portrayal. Mia begins the novel with a skewed perception of everyone around her, including herself. Slowly, she begins to see her family as they really are… and finds she couldn’t be further from the truth. So yes, this story has been told before. The difference is the fact that Mia’s voice is perfectly pitched and so real that it reads like a whole new experience.

And then there is the romance between Mia and Simon. I knew it was there all along, yet it still managed to sneak up on me. And punch me in the stomach and leave me gasping. There are so many things going on in this novel that I felt like I was in a hurricane of emotions praying to reach the eye of the storm. Then I finally did, only to be ripped back into the raging storm when I least expected it. *sob*

I’m not sure that my review of this novel is entirely coherent, particularly the bits about the romance, but maybe that’s for the best. I hope it prompts you to pick up this novel, if only because you are so confused that you feel you must discover what I’m blathering on about. ( )
  thehidingspot | Mar 31, 2012 |
Originally Posted on Strawberry Splash Book Reviews

Mia, the protagonist, has just broken up with her boyfriend Jake. The novel starts wither family on their way to south Hampton to stay at her aunts beach house. When she gets there, she finds a lot of things have changed including her cousin, Corinne. At a party that they have at the house, she meets the Simon, the party crasher whose family is renting the house next door. This is one summer that Mia will never forget.

I really did enjoy this book. I felt that the main characters were well developed and you really had a feel for their personalities. I liked Mia as a character a lot. She was very easy to relate to. She was going through a lot after her breakup with Jake and was having major self esteem issues. Her cousin Corinne really got on my nerves for most of the book but eventually when she finally opened up and took down the front she had been putting on, I started to have more respect for her.

I think about halfway through, I kind of had a gut feeling about how it was going to end and I was right. Since I don't want to include any spoilers, I'm not going to say anything else about that.

If you want a beach read with some substance, pick up this book. I really recommend it. I think there is a sequel titled The Summer of Sneaking Out coming out this year. On the authors website, it says it is planned to be a trilogy. I don't really know where she is going to go from here and don't really think a sequel is necessary but I am definitely going to read it. ( )
  Strawberryreviews | Jul 4, 2011 |
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There are summers you'll always remember and summers you've forgotten even before they're through.
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While spending the summer in the Hamptons, sixteen-year-old Mia is disappointed that her cousin Corinne has grown so distant, but when she meets the irresistible and adventurous boy next door, everything changes for the better.

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