Thursday, May 19, 2016

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories Blog Tour

Summer Days and Summer Nights: 
Twelve Love Stories
Read: February 3 - 8, 2016
Published: May 17, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Netgalley (Thank You, Griffin Teen!)
Category: YA, novellas, summer 

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.


This book is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Some stories I loved. Some I did not. Each one was a new flavor and experience. I usually heavily vet anything I read, but with a series of short stories, I didn't feel that pressure. If I disliked the story, it didn't last long and I could move on quickly. But truly, I had so much fun discovering each tale as it came, getting to know the different voices of the authors and their characters, many of which I had never read before. My favorites were by Leigh Bardugo, Brandy Colbert and Jennifer E. Smith. I could have read much more of any of those. 

Thoughts on each story:

1) Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo - 5 stars LOVED. The perfect mix of summer heat and magic, friendship, romance and surprise. This was a fantastic way to begin the collection and set a very high note for the rest of it. 

2) The End of Love by Nina LaCour - 3.5 stars Cute romance, though this is one of the stories I remember the least.

3) Last Stand at the Cinegor by Libba Bray - 2 stars The direction of this tale went a little wacky for me. Also, the emotional tone at the end was all wrong after everything that happened. (spoiler) 
It all of a sudden became a makeout session between the narrator and his love interest, and all the people who were possessed by demons and died weren't addressed again. This left a bad taste in my mouth. (end spoiler)

4) Sick Pleasures by Francesca Lia Block - 1 star IMO this story does not belong in this collection. It is a well written autobiographical account, but it is horribly depressing and not at all the tone I was looking for. I could see it working in a memoir/thoughts-on-my-teen-self type collection. Not this one. I don't usually mind the occasional dud in a bunch of short stories, but this one nearly made me stop reading the book all together. Also the use of initials for all the names was distracting, tho I got why it was done when I realized this was a personal story. This is by far my least favorite of the 24 Winter and Summer stories. If you dislike love triangles, this is the one that would be a problem. 

5) In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins - 3 stars This is the continuing Marigold and North's story from the last collection, and I'm sorry to say I didn't love it as much as I hoped I would. This tale begins on a low note, and is mostly reflective from Marigold's POV, although it ends sweetly. I was a little too stressed out reading this than I wanted to be, and I didn't really get all of the angst between these two. I just feel like I missed something here, since so many people loved this continuation? I think I was also residually stressed from the last tale tbh. Thankfully, it ended on a high note, but for me it just didn't live up to the first part of these two's story. 

6) Souvenirs by Tim Federle - 3 stars Although this is a breakup story, the MC's voice was one of my favorites - engaging and endearing, which made it much easier to read than I imagined it would be (I'm not much for ending stories, unless they include a beginning). This wasn't overly emotional, more light, which I appreciated. I especially liked what Matt learned about himself, and that he has a close relationship with his parents.

7) Inertia by Veronica Roth - 4 stars This is another reflective one. But I enjoyed it as a whole. And it has Roth's signature use of brain simulation devices though very different from the fear simulator in Divergent. It was nice to read something well out of that universe.

8) Love is the last resort by Jon Skovron - 4 stars An adorable and amusing romcom, almost a comedy of errors. I think the two side romances were more believable than the central one, just bc they'd been building much longer. But funny and sweet story. I love this sort of light tale in a collection like this. 

9) Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert - 4.5 stars A great balanced story of goodbyes and hellos. Heavy emotions and a sweet, new romance. One of my favorites! I've never read anything by this author before, but this story made me take notice - I love that about a collection like this. 

10) Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare - 2 stars What's up with two stories in this book featuring demons? This tale is about a girl who lives and works in a dark carnival run by her family. It was nice to read a Clare story totally out of the Shadowhunter world, though this still contains fantasy and magic. This story was sort of strange and overall just ok for me. 

11) A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E Smith - 5 stars Loved this one! A sweet romance, surprises, summer camp and just everything I wanted in this collection. I could read a whole book of these two. LOVED. LOVED.

12) The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman - 3.5 stars I didn't enjoy this more because I just did not like Margaret, even with everything going on with her. But I liked the MC. The theme of tiny miracles, and seeing every second of the day as a gift to make the most of, was a great way to close the collection.

Love Triangle Factor: Sick Pleasures is the only one I'd caution love triangle haters to be wary of. The rest are safe. 

Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone series of stories. Will we see Spring and Fall next?


About the Editor

Stephanie Perkins has always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She's the author of the international bestsellers Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, as well as Isla and the Happily Ever After. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories is her first anthology. Stephanie and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina.


  1. I was super excited when I first heard about this book, as I really enjoyed the short stories in My True Love Gave to Me, but like you they were hit or miss for me, but I'm still really looking forward to giving this book a go. Hopefully it'll get me in the mood for the Summer, especially with the miserable weather we've been having!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, overall, Lauren! I always struggle with anthologies because I tend to only read the stories that are written by authors I already know and love but I also feel as if I'm probably missing out on other great short stories so this review is SO HELPFUL! Thanks for all the detail regarding all of the stories in this collection--I can't wait to get my hands on this myself! :)

  3. Lovely review Lauren :D YAY for enjoying so many of these stories. <3 And I love that you gave one stars to that one, lol, I did too. SO BAD. Uuugh. Sadly, I didn't give 5 stars to any of them :( Sobs. Just not for me. Sigh. But I did give a few four stars, and I adored the story by Leigh :D YAY. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous review of it sweetie. <3

  4. Great review! I didn't quite enjoy this as much as you did but I'm so glad that you liked it! I agree with you re The End of Love but my favorite was actually Sick Pleasures, which it seems that most people didn't like! Go figure! :)

    my review


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