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Five Summers Hardcover – May 16, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (May 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595146725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595146724
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,496,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The JEMS—Jo, Emma, Maddie, and Skylar—are summer-camp besties from New Hampshire’s Camp Nedoba, which features all the usual summer camp staples: T-shirts and cargo shorts; bikinis and bandannas; waffles and bug juice; crushes and betrayals; a camp director who offers a significant but benign adult presence; and the quintessential friendship pact, replete with rules and rules about how to follow the rules. Emma is the initial narrator, but Jo, Maddie, and Skylar are promptly fleshed out with backstories from their noncamp lives. The challenge for the reader is the mix of brief chapters that shift among the four characters over a seven-year period, following the girls from age 10 to their reunion at 17, three years after their last camp session spent together. Capturing the campfire glow of adolescent summers spent in cabins, in the woods, and on the lake, the sweet rewards in LaMarche’s debut novel are the moments that reveal the beauty of true friendships that have everlasting promise. Grades 7-12. --Gail Bush

Review

"Vivid, warm, familiar and bittersweet, Five Summers is a welcome escape, full of moments that linger beyond the final pages." --Jodi Lynn AndersonAuthor of NY Times Bestseller PEACHES

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Sometimes I miss being able to feel that much, and this book helped me FEEL again.
Aileen Payumo
It's one of those books that you don't want to put down--I found myself sneaking off to bed early just so I could read more of it.
Margaret R Havemann
I don't read a lot of YA novels, but I am a fan of this author's blog and was looking for a good summer read.
S. Parsons

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dark Faerie Tales on May 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: This was a cute book filled with lots of drama, heartache and love.

Opening Sentence: There are some things that seem like they'll just never happen.

The Review:

Emma, Skylar, Maddie, and Jo met at camp when they were nine years old and they soon became best friends. They went to camp together for five years and through that whole time their friendship grew and they were inseparable during camp. During the year they lived across the country from each other but that never affected their friendship during camp. Then the unenviable happened -- camp came to an end. They slowly drifted apart through the years and lost touch. It is now time for a camp reunion and the four girls will be together again for the first time in 3 years.

First there is Emma. She is the Ivy League bound college student. She is currently interning for a magazine in New York for the summer. She tried to stay in touch with the girls but something always seemed to get in the way whether it is her family or school. She can't wait to go back to camp and try to reconnect with all the girls. Also Emma has regrets from her last night at camp. She had a huge crush on Adam Loring for years, but she was always too shy to say anything. She planned to tell him the last night of camp but she chickened out, she is hoping that maybe she will get a second chance at the reunion.

Skylar is the beauty of the group, but she is also the one that has the loose morals. She is very artistic and would love to be a painter one day, but her family isn't the most encouraging. She stayed in touch with Jo, but only because they both became a counselor at the camp for every summer since the girls left.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aileen Payumo on May 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm no longer a teenager, but reading this book took me back to that time in my life when everything that happened was the biggest deal in the world. I remember how much I FELT at that age--I loved my friends so much that I wanted to squeeze them, I liked a boy so much that I felt an ache in my chest. Sometimes I miss being able to feel that much, and this book helped me FEEL again. I was so engrossed in each of the girls' lives, and I empathized with every one of them. They were fun, flawed, loving, sometimes exasperating girls boldly navigating their way towards adulthood.

It's a page turner. I started reading it on a Friday afternoon, and before I went to work the next Monday, I had devoured every page.

Whether you're 13 or 31 years old, read this book and get to know these awesome gals, and allow yourself to wince, weep and laugh along with them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Annie H. Kee on May 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I went to summer camp for SEVEN SUMMERS and remember exactly how important every single moment was to me. Reading Una's book brought me back to those days, when the friendships I made felt life-changing and the boys I liked made my mind reel. I got the book on Thursday and stayed in bed Saturday morning to finish it, finding myself with tears in my eyes by the end of it.

Anyone who has ever been an 11 year old girl will appreciate this book, see themselves in these characters, and be equally touched by Una's story.

I highly recommend it!
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Format: Paperback
I wasn’t expecting much going into Five Summers – I hadn’t heard all that much about it, and it sounded good, but also not like anything special, anything that hasn’t been done before. And it’s true that Five Summers doesn’t have the most original premise, and in a while, I probably won’t be able to tell it apart from the other summer-camp related books I’ve read. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t love it – Five Summers is a cute, fun, entertaining summer read!

It’s been done before, but I’m a huge fan of books set at summer camp. I’ve never been to camp, so it’s a foreign world to me that I always love to explore in books. This setting provides so many opportunities for intense relationships and fun stories, and Una LaMarche makes use of it expertly, creating a ton of entertaining relationship and friendship drama with the backdrop of the camp. Since it’s a reunion, we don’t get quite as much of the excitement of being away from home and experiencing something new, but we do get some insights because of the flashbacks. I wish, though, we had found out even more about the girls’ first summer, to see how they all met and became friends.

The characters are what make this book work – I loved all four of these girls! As always in books with more than two narrators, I had some trouble telling them apart, but once I figured it out, I could definitely see their individual voices and personalities shining through. Each one of them has their own story and background that I loved reading about. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Skylar, but I related to and felt for each of the girls in one way or another.
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Format: Hardcover
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book was not really on my radar until I received an unsolicited copy for review. Realizing that it contained many of my favorite things (contemporary genre; alternating perspective; summer; female friendship), I added it to my review schedule and I'm so glad I squeezed it in to the summer season though this could certainly be read during any other as well.

Over the course of five summers, Emma, Jo, Skylar, and Maddie forged an unbreakable bond of best friendship that sustained them through the sometimes difficult school year until they could return to camp. However once they grew too old to be campers, their lives further diverged with high school, boys, and secrets interfering. Now it's reunion weekend for the seventeen year olds and the truth is coming out-can their friendship be sustained?

As a child, I never attended camp nor did I really want to (I was an extremely picky eater who loathed physical activity/outdoors/bugs/latrines-I do not think I would have done well) so the fond memories of camp are not mine. Saying that, the Baby-Sitters Club did attend a camp and I enjoyed their adventures vicariously, same as I did for the girls here. They placed a lot of importance on the camp and the people they were there and I enjoyed getting to know them and their friendship.

I initially anticipated having some trouble with the narration which is told third person, alternating between the four girls as well as over time (the five summers plus reunion weekend.) Yet most of the story is told in the present day at reunion weekend and I feel like Emma was the main character so it was very easy to follow the engaging writing.
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More About the Author

Una LaMarche is the author of two young adult novels, FIVE SUMMERS and LIKE NO OTHER, and UNABROW, a forthcoming collection of humor essays based on some of her more questionable life choices. She is also a contributing writer for The New York Observer and The Huffington Post, and blogs at The Sassy Curmudgeon. Una lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son. You can follow her on Twitter @sassycurmudgeon, and if you pre-order her next book, somewhere up in heaven, a dance circle will form and an angel will successfully jump over its own leg.

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