Monday, March 2, 2015

That One Summer - Review

That One Summer (Summer, # 3)

By: CJ Duggan

Published: December 14th 2013 by Amazon Digital Services

349 pages

Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

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Goodreads description--Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …

He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.

So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?

After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

I have been absolutely enjoying this series. The Boys of Summer was such a pleasant surprise, and was followed up by an equally enjoyable An Endless Summer. I wasn’t as excited to see That One Summer was going to be about Chris or Tammy. Even though they’re reasonably likable side characters in the previous two books, there were other characters that I’d like to know their stories a bit more. But once I started getting into That One Summer Chris and Tammy became some of my favorites. Or at least Chris did.

Tammy is a little high strung. She obviously has some confidence issues. She’s anxious almost at all times. And she doesn’t feel like she fits in, but I felt like that was more in her own head than actually not fitting in. I can relate to Tammy a lot actually. Plus she’s made some lifestyle adjustments so that physical exercise is a big part of her life. I liked how CJ Duggan used that in places throughout That One Summer yet didn’t make the book feel like the entire story or all of Tammy’s changes were due to her physical exercise changes.

Chris didn’t come off to me as the description suggests. I guess there are times when he seems broody and moody, but mostly I think Chris is just a serious and quiet guy. He’s not the life of the party, but that’s totally fine with him. Not everyone can be. He felt genuine and honest. I still don’t have Chris completely figured out. I couldn’t predict his actions or his responses, but that didn’t matter. I enjoyed them anyway.

As happens from time to time, I feel like the description above is a bit misleading. Starting off the description with talking about how "loving Chris would be wrong but oh he can kiss" gave me the impression that Tammy experienced this knowledge prior to the start of the events within That One Summer and that’s not true. Tammy and Chris find themselves in a few situations together that start to spark some romantic tension. And so when they get stuck riding together to the group’s camping trip, it is to be expected that they both learn more about the other and begin to develop an attraction as well as a bond.

There was a section of this book that had Tammy jumping to some conclusions which caused her much mental stress. Obviously we all know what assumptions tend to do. This section wasn’t my favorite part because as an avid reader I know that any assumptions made without absolute fact or proof usually turn out false. But I did have a slight panic attack of “what if” going on at the same time.

Favorite quotes:

-Sometimes I wished I could just let go, just stress less and enjoy myself like the others, but I was always plagued with doubt, with worry. Afraid of not fitting in, which was ironic as I sabotaged every chance of fitting in by constantly stepping aside from everyone.

-I wanted to get to know him, the real him. I didn’t want to dismiss him in petty anger because he didn’t make a move last night…

-“You’re not as invisible as you think.”

That One Summer was an enjoyable read for me. I can’t wait to continue the series. I’m not happy that Stan and Ringer only have novellas, but I do hope to read those at some point. I had a few small frustrations, but I could relate to Tammy and Chris was simply a loveable character once I got to know him better. That One Summer gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read That One Summer? What did you think? Let me know!

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