Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Title:  The Summer of Skinny Dipping
Author:  Amanda Howells
Released: 6/1/2010
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Number of Pages: 324
Reading Level: Young Adult

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Thanks Around the World Tours for giving me the chance to read & review this book.

Description from Goodreads:

"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...." 

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Mia is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives she find her cousins distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever, until she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. And from the very first time he encourages her to go skinny dipping, she's caught in a current impossible to resist. 

Timeless in feel, The Summer of Skinny-Dipping is a poignant, literary coming-of-age romance that will live on long after summer has ended.

My thoughts:

This is an impressive coming of age novel.  Mia finds herself out of her element after expecting an amazing summer vacation with her cousin, Corinne.  Corinne has changed as well as the family dynamic Mia has always envied. Growing up thinking Corinne had the perfect life, Mia now realizes maybe she was mistaken. Between the changes in her cousin, and the realization her aunt may not be as perfect as she’d believed, she can’t help but feel thrown for a loop. There is also the ever strained relationship between Mia and her mother. Now Mia finds herself surrounded by girls that are everything she’s not. She’s struggling with the pressure to conform to fit in, or stay true to herself. Feeling awkward, and alone she gives up the hope of having a good time while on vacation. Then she meets Simon. Now she needs to put her insecurities aside, and give herself a chance to have some fun.

A few years have passed since I was a teen, but I still remember the pressure to fit in.  The author nailed the emotions with main character Mia. I felt for her. The relationship between Mia and Simon was so sweet.  I loved their secret meetings, and deep conversations.  Never have I felt such a strong urge to skip to the end of a book, and read the final pages. I had to know what happened between Mia and Simon. I didn’t sneak a peek even though I wanted to.  I spent the entire afternoon reading, because I could not put this book down. The ending was not at all what I expected.  Paint me shocked, and a little broken-hearted!   Very few books have had the ability to make me feel so many different emotions. Anger, delight, frustration, and even grief.  The Summer of Skinny Dipping is an intense book, with a strong message. A great reminder that life is too short not to take a few risks, and make sure the people you love know you do. The author’s writing was beautifully descriptive, and almost poetic at times.  I’d recommend this one, but make sure you have a box of tissues handy. You’re going to need them.

The Summer of Skinny Dipping is a book I’d recommend for not only teens, but also adults searching for a sense of nostalgia. A beautiful book that I highly recommend.


  1. This sounds right up my ally! I will see if my library has it.

  2. Thanks Juju! I don’t think it did this wonderful book justice.

    Kristin you really should. It was such an amazing read.

  3. great review, this one is on my wishlist!

  4. I've seen great things said about this book! Might be just the thing I need after I plow my way through The Passage. :-)

  5. I don't know what it is about coming of age novels, but I always seem to find something in them that just sticks with me. This definitely sounds like a well done coming of age story that would definitely resonate with me. Thanks for the great review. I'll be keeping my eye out for this one.

  6. I absolutely adored this book! Your review was just perfect for it. I loved how the author wrote and how everything worked out so well, even though it was terribly sad. LOVED this book! Fabulous review!

  7. Wonderful review =) I agree with you 100%! It's been a while since I was a teen, yet I still felt like I could relate to Mia on an emotional level.

    The ending was definitely a shocker! I can't say it was the ending that I hoped for, but it certainly changed the feel of the book. What started off as a sweet summer read because a compelling, coming of age tale.

    Also, we have a Sunshine Award for you here.


  8. Thanks everyone! It is a beautiful book, and one I’ll be pushing on everyone I can :)