Review: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider

Posted May 4, 2016 by Shannon in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. SchneiderSummer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
four-half-stars
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 3rd 2016
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.
These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.
Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.
But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.

Buy it here: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

Okay, I’m going to ask this one time, and one time only. Who’s coming to Hawaii with me? Here’s a hula skirt for you, a lei for you, hibiscus flowers for you, and a surfboard for you! Hawaii time for everyone!

Oprah
Let’s just look at the first line in Summer Of Sloane: The condom must’ve broke. Boom. If that doesn’t give you something to start with and grab your attention, I don’t know what will. Especially since this is a YA book, it’s definitely not your average starting point. But that first character? Oh. My. Gosh. I was laughing so hard. But then I felt bad cause it’s truly an awful situation for our heroine. But then I laughed again because I just couldn’t help it. Seriously, this draws you in hook, line and sinker.

Where were guys like Finn when I was seventeen? Hell, where are guys like Finn now? I’m only in my early twenties, surely there is one around close in age who’s available. Do I have to go to Hawaii to find one? Don’t underestimate me, I’ve always wanted to go, so a guy like that could just be the cherry on top.

“This almost doesn’t seem fair. I mean, you’ve got a onearmed dwarf on your team.” Finn mockingly lays a hand over his heart.

If this doesn’t scream boyfriend material, I don’t know what does.

I love everything about Finn, but I would first like to state that I think you’ll either like him or hate him. I understood everything from his perspective, but I also read a few reviews of people hating on my boy because he’s arrogant. My thoughts? What hot 18 year old, living without parents, in a hotel, about to be the starting quarterback, popular guy wouldn’t be cocky or arrogant at times? You find me one and I’ll give you a medal. Or a gold star. Perhaps a high five if I can’t find the other options on short notice. Of course he’s going to act this way! But it’s also very superficial. He has an incredible soul and charming personality. He never pushes Sloane past what she’s comfortable with and he’s completely sweet and caring, not just for Sloane but for all of the characters. And how he is with his sister? Melt my little heart why don’t you. Plus, he drives a motorcycle, has a jeep, can surf and goes for the occasional cliff jump – how does one say no to that? Hmm?

“See? This is useful information to have and I feel like I know you better already. You puke on random strangers, you can spike a volleyball over a six-foot net, you swim like you have a 350-horsepower engine strapped to your ass, and . . . well, you’re a little cuckoo. Awesome.”

I immediately connected with Sloane, and no it’s not because I’ve ever been in that type of situation, thank goodness. Nor do I ever wish to be. She’s down to earth and realistic about her wants and needs. Her feelings were quite accurate, and to be completely honest I would’ve acted about the exact same way about everything as she did. She’s funny and clever but never afraid to speak her mind. There was once or twice she said something that I thought was odd for her character, but then I realized it was beer mixed with pain medicine speaking. Probably not the best idea to mix the two, folks. So that’s fine, I quickly got over it.

“And, God, it didn’t feel like it then—and sometimes it still doesn’t now—but I think everything that happened made me finally wake up. Made me take a new look at what really matters, or better yet, who really matters. Because you can’t imagine how it feels when the people you love the most end up being the ones that hurt you the most.”

I love cheese. Whether I’m talking about cheese as in the dairy product, a Lifetime Original movie or in books, I love it. I grin like an idiot. I’m like ‘Ugh, that’s so cheesy,’ while smiling like a dufus. Really, I do. I want to not like it, but it’s like crack to me. Now with this being said, there is a certain amount of cheesiness I tend to find in any Young Adult book I read, it’s just kind of a given. Some are a little lighter where as others make you wish you were lactose intolerant. I thought Summer of Sloane was right in the money zone. When needed, sure it was a little cheesy at times, but it was also serious, fun, witty, inspires growth and is light hearted – these are are the elements that you focus on.

“As he leans in to kiss me again, I realize it wasn’t so long ago I thought my entire life had completely shattered apart. But here, in this moment with Finn, I’ve never felt more complete.”

Like this?! I LOVE this kind of stuff!!!!!!

Sure there were a few times when the characters were acting mature and a few times where they acted childish. What can you expect? It’s a Young Adult novel. These characters are quite frankly, for all intents and purposes, kids. No one is fully mature at the age of 17, and yet everyone wants the characters of a book to be this way. Why? It’s mind boggling to me. There’s a whole process called growing up that needs to take place. You live, you learn, you grow. It happens. If you want to hear about and interact with fully mature adults, maybe go to a coffee shop or wine tasting. I hear people are mature sometimes at those. I wouldn’t know, I’m not one of them. 😉

“I look back at the pool over my shoulder one last time—so of course it’s at that moment my wet shoes take the opportunity to slide on the slick tiles. I’m like Bambi on ice.”

I can see how some people may be a little turned off by the fact that there’s underage drinking and that the parents supplied the alcohol, so therefore ‘enabling’. I’m not saying I agree or disagree, because everyone will have their own personal opinion, but my thought is this: It wasn’t that long ago I was a teenager. Kids will find a way to get alcohol whether the parents supply it or not, especially while on vacation. So what’s the harm if the parents buy a keg? They know exactly what is there and the amount that’s been given. This seems less harmful to me than having kids pounding back hard liquor that they had to sneak in. And has anyone ever had a good keg? Is there such thing? Anything I’ve experienced is generally watered down crap that no one likes but drinks because that’s all there is.

This book takes you on a one way flight to drama llama land and I love every second of it. Seriously! It’s so much fun. This isn’t chokingly heavy, angst ridden drama, but it does have some heaviness to it at times. Other times it’s just some miscommunication, or childish decisions and reactions. In this case, it’s funny as hell. At one point when everything went up in flames, I burst out laughing because I was having such a good time. I’m sure my laughter wasn’t the author’s intent but hey, I was entertained!

Waikiki

Please pardon the interruption with this gorgeous picture I found of Waikiki Beach. 

The one and only thing that I would’ve liked to change about this story was the resolution between our main characters. Yes there are a lot of different events going on at once, but coming over that peak of the climax and starting on the resolution was a good high. I just wish then we could’ve had a slower ride coming to the end of the book. Sure actions, reactions and thoughts were all explained so that was good, but it just seemed to feel like they kissed and made up in two seconds. Personally I would’ve liked it to be talked out a little more,

Fairly early on I guessed what might happen in the conclusion of Summer Of Sloane. The story has a very natural progression and an ending that while yes it’s slightly predictable, it will leave the reader satisfied. Even though I had my suspicions, I was still smiling like an idiot by the time I got to the last page.

“He makes me feel free. He makes me feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before.”

Based in the fact that I was having such a good time reading is book, it surprised me how much the emotion effected me. It was extremely well written, but didn’t put a damper on the mood. It was used for emphasis and depth and was very effective. It gave background to the characters and helps the reader understand their hold ups. It was also never blatant. An issue, fear, memory were discussed and dealt with, whether bonded over or with giving comfort. They didn’t dwell in things they couldn’t fix which I loved!

“There’s nothing—not even that smile of his that always makes me melt, that always makes everything better—that will make me change my mind. And it hurts, God does it hurt. But deep down in my very core, I feel that it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing for me. And I’m finally choosing me.”

 

“Please. Tell me you don’t want to walk away.”

This is a perfect read for anything summer related. Want to go to the beach or sit by the edge of a pool? Here’s your book! A warm sunny day and you want a story to make you laugh, feel good and have some drama thrown in? Here’s your story! Is it a cold day and you can’t find your long johns? Here! Have some Hawaiian sun to help warm you up. If you’re ever in a bad mood, this will help. I was smiling or laughing through at least half of the book and was so giddy afterwards, I was up half the night.

Erin did a marvellous job of mixing up both genuine life lessons and funny ones, then jam packing them all into one story. Did you know that you’re never, ever suppose to tuck your thumb into your fist when you punch? If not, you do now. Thanks for the tip! Or how about, it’s generally best to get off a guy’s shoulders before you puke on him? *Writes that down* I’ll keep that filled away. Then in all seriousness, trusting yourself. How sometimes words aren’t enough. Needing space to heal. Finding your own path in life. The reader embarks on a journey as Sloane tries to get her once ordinary life out of shackles and back into the picture she imagined. Or perhaps, an even better picture than she could’ve expected.

My mom steps in and whispers so only I can hear, “You deserve so much more, Sloane. The right one is waiting out there for you somewhere, I promise. But maybe next time, you save your hand and don’t break his nose, okay?”

It’s books like this that remind me why I not only love to read, but still love to read Young Adult stories just as much as the others I tend to focus more on. Summer Of Sloane has everything I could want in a book and then some. Sloane is on a road of rediscovery and she’ll be the first to tell you, remember to never tuck your thumb into a punch!

Until next time… remember to live.

*An ARC was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Shannon

four-half-stars

About Erin L. Schneider

Erin L. Schneider is a native of the Pacific Northwest, attended college in Honolulu, and–although Hawaiian–should never be allowed on a surfboard. With more than twenty years in corporate merchandising, she’s now a full-time writer living in Seattle with her husband, Neal; their baby boy, Kellan; a rowdy German shepherd named Ronin; and two crazy cats, Ono and Poke. She’s a member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SCBWI, and is also co-founder of the YA Buccaneers (yabuccaneers.com). Summer of Sloane is her debut novel. Visit Erin online at erinlschneider.com or on Twitter @ErinLSchneider1.

Leave a Reply