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Cruel Summer Paperback – May 27, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Colby Cavendish's plans are tossed overboard when her parents decide she should spend the summer with her aunt on a remote Greek island. They are jeopardizing her hard-won spot as ultracool Amanda's "new best friend," and now that she's hooked up with hottie Levi Bonham, how is she supposed to hang on to him? Crazy Aunt Tally, who talks to her plants and sells handmade jewelry, doesn't have a cell phone, TV, or Internet access. Colby's feelings and experiences are relayed through clever, but sometimes typographically confusing, emails, journal entries, letters, postcards, and a "Cruel Summer" blog. (The island has an Internet café.) The story is one of understandable teen frustration and resentment: adults don't make sense to her, and she's insecure about her new social status. She's far away from the usual connections, electronic and otherwise, that she and many comfortably middle-class, modern American teens rely on. An islander, Yannis, complicates her feelings for Levi, and Colby finds herself becoming involved, against her will, in the rhythms and lifestyle of this charming, remote place. The protagonist's venting and observations are alternately whiny, wistful, strident, and hilarious. Despite typical teen self-obsession, Colby is likable and ultimately well intentioned. As she deals with her feelings, she blunders her way rather charmingly into a new maturity.—Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
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Review

"Alyson Noël truly captures what it's like to be a teenager struggling to find herself." --Portrait Magazine
 
“Noël writes a smart and compelling story about life, love and loss that you won't be able to put down.” --Cara Lockwood, author of Wuthering High
 
"Noël writes with a bit more humor and authenticity than some of her contemporaries." --Booklist
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312355114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312355111
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times best selling, award-winning, author of FAKING 19, ART GEEKS AND PROM QUEENS, LAGUNA COVE, FLY ME TO THE MOON, KISS & BLOG, SAVING ZOË, CRUEL SUMMER, FOREVER SUMMER (a LAGUNA COVE/CRUEL SUMMER 2-in1), KEEPING SECRETS (FAKING 19/SAVING ZOE 2-in-1), THE IMMORTALS series including: EVERMORE, BLUE MOON, SHADOWLAND, DARK FLAME, NIGHT STAR, & EVERLASTING, THE IMMORTALS spin-off, RILEY BLOOM series including RADIANCE, SHIMMER, DREAMLAND & WHISPER), with short stories apearing in the anthologies: FIRST KISS (THEN TELL), KISSES FROM HELL, & DEAR BULLY. She is currently working on a new series for teens, THE SOUL SEEKERS: including FATED & ECHO- in stores now-, MYSTIC (05.07.13), & HORIZON (11.12.13).

With over 8 New York Times bestsellers in 2 years, and over 7 million copies in print, her books have been translated into 37 languages, sold in over 50 countries, and have made the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, NCIBA, Walmart, and numerous international bestsellers lists. And have won numerous awards such as: the National Reader's Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Stuff for the Teenage, TeenReads Best Books of 2007, Reviewer's Choice 2007 Top Ten, appeared on the CBS Early Show's "Give the Gift of Reading" segment, and selected for Seventeen Magazine's "Hot List" and Beach Book Club Pick.

The dramatic rights for all 4 books in THE SOUL SEEKERS series were optioned for film by Cheyenne Enterprises--and her adult novel, FLY ME TO THE MOON, was optioned by Ridley Scott's, Scott Free Productions, with Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones' Diary) set to write and direct.

Born and raised in Orange County, California, she's lived in both Mykonos and Manhattan and is now settled in Southern California where she's working on her next book.

Photo by Nancy Villere.

Customer Reviews

Overall, an excellent read and I cannot wait to check out more of Alyson Noel's work.
PaigeM.
The ending went down, being too philosophical and corny for comfort, but the first two thirds of the book definitely made up for that.
Libro Joven - (Blogspot)
My biggest complaint is the main character is bratty and selfish though just about the entire book!
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rachael Stein VINE VOICE on August 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Colbie Cavendish is looking forward to a fun summer spenet partying with her new (and über-popular) circle of friends. Unfortunately, her fighting parents decide to send her to a tiny Greek island no one's ever heard of to stay with her crazy aunt Tally. This is practically unforgivable to Colbie since she'll only have minimal contact with her new friends (email) and is worried they'll forget her. But when Colbie finally takes a break from being depressed about her vacation when she spends mostly in an Internet café, she realizes that maybe she should be out living instead of mourning all the changes to her old life. And that's when she meets Yannis, a gorgeous Greek guy who's just as interested in her as she is in him. It seems Colbie's vacation isn't as miserable as she thought it would be; it changes her perspective on her entire life.

I really enjoyed Alyson Noël's writing in her other novels that I've read, Faking 19 and Saving Zoë, and Cruel Summer was no different. While the plot isn't fast-paced and exciting, it's the well-developed characters that really caught my attention, though in this case, Colbie was the only well-developed character as the story was told from her point-of-view. Alyson Noël has a subtle way of making her stories much deeper and more meaningful than they may appear on the surface, and this makes them seem real. For example, Colbie is initially portrayed as a whiny and insecure girl, but as her vacation progresses, she starts to appreciate or at least accept what she has in life. I also liked how romance was incorporated into Colbie's story, because she really deserved Yannis in the midst of all her other problems. In all, Cruel Summer was a very enjoyable story and, despite the cover, much better than just a beach read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on May 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Colby Cavendish has finally made it into the in crowd! She worked hard to gain Amanda's favor and now she's her new best friend. She's practically guaranteed the best Senior year ever! As an added bonus, Levi Bonham, the hottest guy in school, has suddenly become very interested in Colby! So interested that she's actually sitting right next to him on the couch at Amanda's house.

Okay, so Colby's just a little nervous that it's their first date...well, not even really a date. She's alone downstairs kissing Levi like she's always dreamed, like they'd been dating for forever, while Amanda is upstairs in her room with her guy. And Colby can't stop thinking about her curfew, which, by the way, passed, like, two hours ago. But at least she's stopped feeling guilty about dumping her former best friend, Natalie. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to progress up the social ladder. It's just part of life. Right?

Colby's parents are in the middle of a messy, angry divorce. Turns out they were so engrossed in their fight of the night, that they didn't even know Colby missed her curfew. It seems they barely remember they have a daughter, whose life they are royally screwing up. Then Colby finds out they have plans for her summer that don't include hitting the malls and becoming fully entrenched in her new social order.

They are sending her to Greece. No, not Athens. A tiny little island called Tinos. No amount of ranting, reasoning, pleading, or even crying will change their mind. Colby boards the plane bound for three months with Crazy Aunt Tally and no TV, no computer, no Wi-Fi. Nothing. How is she supposed to maintain her new social status? What if Colby gets replaced by a new Amanda Wanna-Be?

But soon things are looking up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Libro Joven - (Blogspot) on January 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was the reason why I wanted to read Evermore. I hoped that Evermore would have a higher dose of the spirit in Cruel Summer (which it didn't, but that's not the point). Which means: the main character was a really funny girl, with an actual sense of humor, and the style was fast and, sure, funny. The ending went down, being too philosophical and corny for comfort, but the first two thirds of the book definitely made up for that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa Marie on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a fun, fast, easy read that I would recomment to all lovers of young adult fiction. It deals with real-life issues in a humorous and hopeful way. From divorce to the death of a friend, Noel covers it all and lets readers know that no matter what happens, there is still hope and life is still worth living.
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Format: Paperback
Who wouldn't want to spend a summer in Greece? Colby Cavendish most definitely does not. The summer before her senior year, she is banished to a tiny island with her "crazy Aunt Tally" while her parents sort out their divorce.

This was going to be her best summer yet. Colby had been working for a long time to get into the elite popular circle by befriending Amanda. She even dropped Natalie, her best friend since second grade. The night before she leaves for Tinos, Colby connects with Levi, the guy every girl wants. Everything set the stage for what should have been the best senior year anyone has ever had.

But now she is on Tinos, where dirt is everywhere and she can just barely make out the city of Mykonos across the water. Her aunt seems to follow the same boring routine every day of running her shop, going to the beach and making a simple dinner with her boyfriend Tassos. Sometimes they eat things straight out of the sea.

Colby is sure life can't get worse and is feeling a bit better when she finds an Internet café run by the stern Petros, who keeps urging her to get back out into the sun. It is beautiful on Tinos, and only a couple of hours on the beach has given Colby a lovely tan and streaks in her hair. But she keeps trying to connect with people back home so she won't lose her popularity status.

She begins writing a blog and filling in a handwritten journal. Amanda is not returning her email, and her parents seem to be making decisions without her, such as selling their home and getting new girlfriends/boyfriends. Levi has not even sent one message, which Colby learns about from her former friend, Natalie, who has started emailing.
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