Book Review: Summer Sisters

Summer Sisters

Judy Blume

Bantam

399 pages

Caitlin and Victoria (Vix) are school friends when Vix is invited to spend the summer with Caitlin at her father’s home on Martha’s Vineyard.  Regardless of where the girls are during the school year or whether or not they remain close during that time, Vix always returns to stay at the Vineyard during the summer. Each summer is chronicled as the girls continue to get older, so in some ways it could definitely be seen as a coming of age story.

Caitlin is the more outgoing, dare devilish girl, whereas Vix is more contemplative and serious.  She attempts to keep Caitlin out of trouble, but as the years go on,  Caitlin seems to get more out of control.  Meanwhile, both girls find boyfriends, as well as get into typical squabbles.  As they get older, they end up growing apart, although Vix always seems to hold onto that bond she has had with Caitlin.

I had a hard time writing the above summary, because it just felt so juvenile.  But the book itself was pretty juvenile, so I guess it makes sense.  At the beginning, I was unsure of why the book was touted as an adult book when it clearly did not have that tone, but then it became obvious: sex.  There is a LOT of sex in this book.  That wouldn’t generally be a problem for me, but it seemed disingenuous in this case, not to mention that it felt like there was no point; it was just sex for the sake of sex.

The character development in Summer Sisters was also lacking.  It was difficult to get any insight into most of the characters, and even Vix started to really irritate me.  She seemed to be the most mature, but she was also non confrontational to a fault.  The book starts off with Caitlin’s wedding . . . to Vix’s ex boyfriend.  The circumstances aren’t exactly clear at that point, but as the back story develops, Caitlin’s motives come into question and I was left wanting to shake Vix for just going along with it! She seemed spineless.

Maybe Blume should have stuck with YA, which seems to be her niche.  So far, I haven’t been too blown away by her adult novels.  I actually contemplated putting this one down halfway through, which never would have crossed my mind with any of her YA books.

Other Reviews:

everything distils into reading

I purchased this book from Half Price Books.

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8 Responses

  1. As you know, I did not like it either. Only recently someone asks for it and I was too happy to give it her. Told her to keep it, pass it on, throw it!

    Thanks for the link!

  2. *asked not asks!!

  3. well they can’t all be winners. maybe you’re right- maybe YA is more her thing!

  4. I’m sorry this one didn’t really work for you. I remember reading Forever as a teenager and loving it. I also enjoyed her books when I was younger, but I haven’t felt the urge to read her adult books.

  5. This sounds quite meh. It’s annoying when books have sex for the sake of sex…

  6. I read this book so long ago, I can’t remember if I loved it, or just liked it because my hero J.B. wrote it. I liked Wifey, but then again, I read it in the third grade, so the sex polt was fascinating for me.

  7. Great review. I remember reading this book as a teenager and being so traumatized by it! I swore then never to read any more adult books by Blume. I haven’tread any of her other adult reads but I do love her children’s books.

  8. As a teenager I found this book slightly hard to read. Girls came back and forward over and over by the ongoings. In the end I though “Thanks to God!”. I had some serious teenager thoughts going through my mind. But.. is it an adult book? Don’t think so. It’s more like going through teen age and seeing the consequences. I don’t think it’s useful for adults to read it, waste of time. BUT not for me, not for dumb teenagers!

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