Friday, June 8, 2018

Title: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Author: various, edited by Stephanie Perkins
Narrator(s): various
Series: anthology
Length: 16 hrs 2 mins
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: May 19, 2016
Source: Audible Romance Package
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.

Anthologies can be hit or miss, and not every story is for everyone. Some of these stories were written and narrated by favorites of mine, while others were by authors and narrators I've only ever heard of...if that. But whether I loved all of the stories or not, I still appreciated the different takes on different types of love and just how diverse these stories were. There is literally something for everyone. Here's how they fared all in all:

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo and narrated by Stina Nielsen - 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I saw where this story was headed, almost from the beginning, but the journey there was such a pleasure. This was an almost ethereal tale of a mythical lake monster that transforms into a bittersweet love story, and it was just so lovely I wanted to squeeze it to pieces. Such a great way to kick off this anthology!

The End of Love by Nina Lacour and narrated by Erin Moon - 🌟🌟🌟

Never read a Nina Lacour book before but I found this short story of hers to be quite sweet and hopeful, and the atmosphere just screamed summer. And in such a short space, she covered so many big topics.

Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray and narrated by Christopher Gebauer - 🌟🌟

This one felt like it should have been included in an anthology of spooky stories, not love stories. The romance took such a backseat to the horror going on in the rest of the story that I almost forgot about it. Had I been looking for a scary story, I would've enjoyed this a bit more. It also felt...clunky...for Libba Bray. She's one of my favorite authors and I know she knows how to write romance, so I'm a bit disappointed in this one. Also, it read a little like Zombieland, with Jesse Eisenberg as the awkward main character and the narrator. He wasn't either in this short story, but I almost could have believed he was.

Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block and narrated by Jessica Almasy - 🌟🌟🌟

Okay, so this story was sad and a little brutal, but I'm not gonna hold that against it since it was such a good reminder of what young love is like. It's all great until heartbreak and bad decision-making but it's genuine and real, if not a little bit depressing.

In Ninety Minutes Turn North by Stephanie Perkins and narrated by Cherise Boothe - 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Adorable, but I wouldn't have expected anything less from Stephanie Perkins. Her romances always bring the happy feelings and this second-chance at love was no exception. Pure summer fluff.

Souvenirs by Tim Federle and narrated by Michael Bakkensen - 🌟🌟🌟

Sweet end-of-summer, end-of-romance story. Sometimes summer romances are just that: summer romances. And I'm glad this story didn't endeavor to be more than it was. It was just fun and fluffy and cute.

Inertia by Veronica Roth and narrated by Stina Nielsen - 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I was beginning to think this anthology was going to be full of sad summer love stories, the way some of these stories were going, including this one. But then this one did a full 180 and I'm back on board. I know all summer romances don't end happily, but geez. Although, this one didn't feel like a summer romance so much. It was a vaguely science fiction piece with a friends-to-more romance but it didn't really happen over summer.

Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron and narrated by Christopher Gebauer - 🌟🌟

Eh. I didn't really enjoy the narration style of this story or the matchmaker aspect. Not in a story this short. But love in the workplace or at a resort -- or both -- is fun.

Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert and narrated by Cherise Boothe - 🌟🌟🌟

This was such a lovely story about love and loss and moving on. It featured not only a really sweet start to a summer romance, but a narrative about familial love and how you can lose someone without them being gone and still make room for other people in your life.

Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare and narrated by Erin Moon - 🌟🌟

Insta-love with a sorta-not-really sibling...where have I read this before?  😒  Maybe there were no Shadowhunters, but there were still demons and manipulative parental units aplenty. Honestly, I just don't think Clare has it in her to write outside her wheelhouse.

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith and narrated by Jessica Almasy - 🌟🌟🌟🌟

This one definitely could have been improved by simply being a full-length novel so we could get more of that adorable slow-burn, but otherwise, I kinda loved this simple summer romance and the direction it took.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman and narrated by Michael Bakkensen - 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I really enjoyed this Groundhog Day-esque story, filled with special little miracles that the characters map out so that they can visit whenever they want, for as long as August 4th keeps repeating. I loved the reason behind the repetition and the inevitable outcome, and despite that it finds its basis in Groundhog Day, it still manages to be thoughtful and unique.

I don't read many anthologies, and I enjoyed this one for the most part, but I didn't think it was as cute as the holiday anthology Stephanie Perkins edited. It did get me in the mood for more summer romances, though. 😉

GIF it to me straight:

About the editor:

Hi, there! I'm Steph, and I wrote Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After. I also edited (and contributed a short story to) a romantic holiday anthology called My True Love Gave to Me and its companion anthology, Summer Days and Summer Nights. My next YA release is a horror novel called There's Someone Inside Your House, which was released Fall 2017.

Find Stephanie:

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