Author: Una LaMarche
Publication Date: May 16, 2013
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers (ARC)
Four best friends, five summers of camp memories.
The summer we were nine: Emma was branded "Skylar's friend Emma" by the infamous Adam Loring...
The summer we were ten: Maddie realized she was too far into her lies to think about telling the truth...
The summer we were eleven: Johanna totally freaked out during her first game of Spin the Bottle...
The summer we were twelve: Skylar's love letters from her boyfriend back home were exciting to all of us - except Skylar...
Our last summer together: Emma and Adam almost kissed. Jo found out Maddie's secret. Skylar did something unthinkable...and whether we knew it then or not, five summers of friendship began to fall apart.
Three years after the fateful last night of camp, the four of us are coming back to camp for reunion weekend - and a second chance.
The point of view alternates between the four girls, and the timeline is nonlinear, moving between past and present. The book feels as though it is about Emma more so than the other girls - it starts and ends with Emma's point of view, and more chapters focus on Emma and Skylar and their relationship than on Jo and Maddie. Jo and Maddie are probably my favorites though, so the imbalance had me craving a little more of them and feeling as though their relationship was maybe the more interesting one. Sympathizing with Skylar was a little difficult for me, but the other girls won me over pretty easily.
The plot centers around the girls' attempt at rekindling their friendship after they've slowly drifted apart over the years. The flashback chapters are wonderful because they allow the reader to see this wonderful friendship that they are trying to regain, while also showing some old baggage that they probably need to move past. The conflict involves secrets, lies, and boy drama. There are plenty of issues that exist in Five Summers, but they are not really explored much outside of how they directly affect the girls' friendships with one another. I'd have liked to see these other things delved into a bit more in order to show more of the personal growth in each of the girls, but it doesn't bother me too much that they weren't since the focus of the book is on friendship and the omission of anything too heavy allows the story to sit more on the heartwarming side of the spectrum.
While I enjoyed Five Summers, I did want a little bit more from it as far as emotions and really getting into the girls' heads. Five Summers is a charming friendship book, though, and would make a nice addition to a summer book reading pile. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet little beach read, a book with a camp/lake setting, or a book about friendship - particularly friendships between females.