Cover Image: Cape May

Cape May

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book a lot. The characters were clever and engaging, and getting to spend time with them was a treat. I liked the writing too - it was descriptive without ever veering into flowery territory, and I would certainly be interested in reading more work by this author. The cover is great too!
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Is this...Gatsby fanfic? With a side of soft porn? 50 Shades of Cape May.

I really thought I would enjoy this based on the premise and setting, but it’s essentially a stale loss of innocence story spiced up by an incessant use of the word “penis.” 

I suppose there’s an audience for this sort of thing, but that audience just isn’t me. And the synopsis for the book didn’t accurately sum up what this truly is: Sex with a side of story, instead of the other way around. 

Romances in any form really aren’t my favorite, but there are loads of them with more depth and charm than this. It’s a tired plot with eye roll inducing porny sequences that delegitimize the few interesting plot points that the book has to offer. 

Cheek isn’t a bad writer at all, but he wasted his skill on an unworthy, unoriginal plot.
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50% DNF.  I tried several times to get into this book and failed.  The characters didn't speak to me and I thought the story was not for me, too many unpleasant people and situations.

Thanks to Celadon Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Sadly, I did not finish Cape May. I couldn't connect with any of the characters. Thank you for the opportunity.
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In the synopsis, this novel is described as a "mesmerizing debut novel by Chip Cheek". The unputdownable nature of its contents and the speed with which I tore through the pages can certainly attest to that!
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I did not like this book. I thought there was a lot of hype about it and I was anxious to read it. When I started reading the bad part I wish I had stopped, but I trudged on. It only got worse. I skimmed through a few pages. 
It's porn. It's disgusting. The story line is no better.
I cannot recommend this book.
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley.
All opinions are my own.
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I am a Jersey Shore love and Cape May is one of my favorite places. Loved reading about it!  First for me by this author but won’t be the last
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Chip Cheek is a good writer. His descriptions about off-season Cape May and the contrast between the small town Georgia life vs. New York high-life was stunning and beautifully written. There were some sections when the group was sailing or just sitting around by the fire that really sucked me in purely because Chip has such a way with describing and capturing the small moments. That's the end of the books success though. The characters themselves were un-relatable and two dimensional. I didn't have any sympathy for them nor did I care about what happened to them or why. The last chapter of the book felt like a last-minute addition and I didn't think it was necessary and I actually think it took away from the book. There was clearly a lesson to be learned. After spending an entire week with these couples over the span of the entire book, having one chapter the sum up the rest of their lives felt like the lesson was being shoved down my throat, just in-case I hadn't caught on already. 

This book had a lot of potential, and I'd like to see what Chip Cheek does in future books, if he learns to build up his characters as much as he does the setting.
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My feedback here is late to the party.  I enjoyed this book, but it was relatively forgettable.  I'd recommend it to others as a quick read.
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I wanted to love this book, but truth be told I barely liked it. It's filled with sex, booze, and infidelity. The content is quite graphic, making this a title that I would likely not recommend.

Henry and Effie are on their honeymoon when they encounter Clara and Max in the sleepy tourist town of Cape May. In the beginning, Henry and Effie are timid and unsure as they begin their marriage. But once Clara, Max, and Max's half-sister Alma enter the novel, their story takes a new direction fueled by gin and lust. The young couple's relationship seems to unravel before them as secrets and betrayals are revealed.
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This was a good historical fiction summer read. A little more steamy romance than I anticipated, but I enjoyed it.
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I was initially drawn to this book because my own honeymoon years ago was at a resort where couples interacted (as far as I know only at events in public) where we met a couple on their anniversary trip. This reminded me of that sort of experience but then wow. It was way too much "50 Shades of Grey" for my liking so I wound up giving it up despite trying to read it a couple of times. Just not for me.

#CapeMay #NetGalley #CeladonBooks
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This is a perfect summer read. I initially thought it was a fluff piece filled with sex (nothing wrong with that) but as I read more realized there was a bit more to it. The title was what attracted me to the book as I visit Cape May every year but the story could have taken place in any beach town off season.
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In Chip Cheek’s debut novel, the year is 1957, and newlyweds Henry and Effie have just arrived in breezy, beautiful Cape May, New Jersey, for their two-week honeymoon. While the two grew up together in Georgia, Effie has visited Cape May every summer and loves the social scene and packed beaches. Unfortunately, they have arrived in the middle of September; the deserted beaches, restaurants and houses depress Effie, and she demands that they head home early. When they run into a glamorous old frenemy named Clara, however, they decide to stay. What follows is a glittering, gin-soaked bacchanal that will forever change Henry and Effie’s marriage.

What initially seems like a quick beach read quickly turns into something much darker as Henry and Effie befriend and become equal parts horrified and dazzled by their fellow vacationers. One thing that immediately sets CAPE MAY apart is its characters: none are particularly likable, though they all read a bit like a celebrity gossip magazine. In Effie we have a big fish in a little pond. Back home she is the mayor’s daughter, but is still the twangy southern girl to her Cape May friends. Henry is more relatable, at least at first. He is wide-eyed and virginal, and hopelessly in awe of his precious wife. At the same time, he possesses a certain aimlessness and naïveté that can be more frustrating than endearing.

Henry and Effie’s friends for the summer, Clara and Max, are a bit more interesting, if not more likable. Clara is big in every sense of the word: body, personality and hospitality. She married for wealth and has an agreement with her husband that allows her to throw lavish, gin-fueled parties and sleep with her friend/lover, Max, a writer. Rounding out the group is Alma, Max’s aloof, brooding half-sister, to whom Henry feels an instant attraction. It is at one of these parties that Henry and Effie become acquainted with the group, and the five begin a friendship that lasts the rest of their honeymoon and beyond, as they turn the abandoned town of Cape May into their own private playground.

Over the next week, the gang goes sailing, picnicking and frolicking on the beach, all while Henry and Effie begin to adjust to married life. The two are young enough to be new to alcohol and its effects, and they find that Clara’s gin emboldens them to make love in new ways and in new places, though they still seem shy with one another when the sun is up. But as they become more comfortable with Clara, her friends and each other, their desires begin to deepen --- both for one another and for the people around them. When Effie falls ill, their careful rhythm falls out of step and Henry finds himself slipping into new habits that will change their marriage forever.

If I had to sum up CAPE MAY in three words, they would be sex, gin and debauchery. This is a steamy novel, no doubt about it, and the unlikable characters make the sensuality seem that much more depraved and reckless in a “can’t look away” kind of way. I cannot say for sure whether I liked any of the characters or supported their actions, but I could not stop reading.

Cheek is a solid writer, that much is certain. His portrayal of Cape May feels like a character in and of itself, and I am sure I will not be alone in saying that I craved the crisp coolness of a gin and tonic while reading this book. I loved reading about deserted Cape May and its idiosyncracies --- unlocked lavish mansions filled with surprising decorations and tightly secured smaller homes full of riches. As a New Jersey native, I enjoyed learning more about the history of the town, which has always been a favorite of mine. Cheek’s writing is atmospheric, and his setting is positively tangible, but I wanted a bit more in terms of character development. It is one thing to write unlikable characters --- a trope that I love in books --- but the denizens of Cape May felt flat and unmotivated. Henry was perhaps the most developed, but he was so hopelessly naïve that I struggled to relate to him and understand his decisions.

CAPE MAY is a quick, fun read, and the erotica is nicely metered out --- but ultimately it feels a bit inconsequential. Though Cheek does a terrific job of relating the discomfort and shyness of newlyweds, the juxtaposition of these tender moments against the raw sensuality that appears on later pages feels too jarring without stronger characters to back it up. As much as I love a quick read, this is one book that I would have liked to see a bit more fleshed out.
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Choosing Cape May for their honeymoon was Effie’s idea, based on the fun she’d had there visiting relatives during the summer. Henry had never seen the ocean, never been outside their small Georgia town, and of course, he wanted whatever Effie wanted. Late September wasn’t the best time to visit, as all the summer people had returned home, but Effie’s uncle grudgingly allowed them to use his cottage without charging them. 

Effie was stunned to meet up with an old acquaintance from her childhood, though Henry was thrilled to see other young people in the mostly deserted town. Wary, Effie agreed as Henry accepted Clara’s invitation to join the party, remembering how Clara had behaved as a teenager. After many days of drinking and dancing, they agreed to move down to Clara’s cottage, where their lives took an unexpected turn from which they might never fully recover.

It was 1957, it was a different era, and Henry and Effie were so incredibly young and naïve. Clara and her friends Max and Alma were worlds apart from what they were used to, and it was almost painful to watch as they were sucked into something they were not prepared to handle. The premise was interesting, and yet I didn’t feel invested in the story.
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I have thought a long time about whether or not to post a review about Cape May by Chip Cheek. It was the worst, most horrible book I have ever read and I have so many problems with it. I don't want anyone to see it and without reading the review think I am encouraging anyone to read it. The cover of this book gives the feeling that this would be a great, relaxing summer read and so I decided I wanted to at least let people know that that is not the case and hope they read at least a bit of this review and not just look at the picture. 

In 1957 Henry and Effie go to Cape May for their honeymoon. The town is almost deserted and there is not much to do. The story starts with them getting it know one another in intimate ways and trying to find things to do in this town where not much is going on. They discover some people in a house where multiple people are coming and going and there is a huge party every night. They are soon caught up with these people and their parties. 

That may sound like a nice enough plot but really all that this book is about is sex. It really is just the story of a horny guywho has sex with more than one other woman on his honeymoon and thinks this is ok. He says he loves his wife but his actions show he really doesn’t. I felt like this book showed a false side to what love is. Love is not wanting to have sex with someone. I thought maybe this would be a coming of age story and that Henry would grow up and learn about love. But nope, Henry spends his life thinking it is not only okay but also perfectly normal to continually cheat on his wife. I also had a big problem with the idea that boys will be boys and all men cheat on their wives. This story was only about sex and it was very explicit in showing this. I also thought this was totally unnecessary. I got the idea that Henry was a jerk who was more concerned about having sex than about the feeling of others.  I didn’t also need to read in detail about the sexual experience. I skipped through those scenes and would skip through pages and pages before there was something else happening. Henry often talked about how the feeling to cheat would rise up and take over and control him. I also did not like this idea being promoted. This is a completely false idea. We do have control over our thoughts and we do not need to act on every impulse we have. The last thing that really bothered me was that there were absolutely no consequences to Henry’s actions. He goes on to have a good life in his view. I don’t like the idea of people reading that it is ok to do what you want be be completely selfish without it ever affecting you.

I have tried hard to figure out why this book is called literary fiction. I just can’t come up with any reason and I don’t think anyone should read it.
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A few weeks at Cape May in the off season reveals the emotions of the young honeymooners as they become involved with older jet-setters. These few weeks sets the direction to the rest of their life. This is written with a male voice.
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I wanted to read a love story by the beach and instead got a story about young newlyweds in Cape May, entangled with other people and couples that they shouldn’t have been a part of. 

1950’s Cape May, Henry and Effie start their honeymoon discovering one another, and the people they meet in coastal New Jersey. Sexual desires abound, along with the gin and tonic that’s flowing, and it doesn’t take long before these couples discover their hidden desires. 

Overall I enjoyed this, but I think I was expecting a different story! Definitely seeing mixed reviews on this, and while I wasn’t blown away, I found it entertaining.

*Thank you to netgalley and Celadon books for this complimentary book. All opinions are my own
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I received an Advanced Review Copy of Cape May from the publisher Celadon Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Effie and Henry are honeymooning in Cape May in 1957. Newly married they're a bit awkard about each other and then they run into Effie's childhood acquaintance Clara and the trip takes a wild turn.  

I'll be honest this book was not for me, I found the book to be oversexualized and written for a typical intellectual man. I'm not a prude but I just thought it was excessive and seemed more like a fantasy than real life and the sexual content just seemed to be too unbelieveable. 

I think the author is trying to make a point that  the 1950's were more sexual and wild than we might believe. I also do think that the author was trying to point out the inherent misogyny around women's sexuality, and made it a clear focus point of the book, in a way that makes this book a good discussion book. However, I just really did not enjoy it though I think that there are certainly people who may and at the very least discuss the points the author makes about sexuality.
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I found Cape May to be a slightly shocking and certainly sinful read!  A young couple heads to a nearly-deserted summer town after their fall wedding.  They enjoy quiet moments as they get to know one another more intimately, and though they seem to be happy, the author gives the reader the feeling that all is not quite settled and well.

The couple's slightly uncomfortable time is thrown off when they discover that there are other people visiting in town, and as they spend more time with the free-wheeling young people, they find themselves committing acts they had never imagined.

By the end of the book, the couple is left with the after-effects of their choices made during that brief time away.
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