Cover Image: Sweet Songs of Summer: An Anthology

Sweet Songs of Summer: An Anthology

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Member Reviews

Sweet songs of Summer is a collection of beautiful short stories set in South Africa. I found this book amazing to read. I never read shorts but this collection made me rethink that and also discover new authors to keep on my radar. This collection is definitely one to add on your tbr
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This is a collection of books book, and each one gets better and better. All of the authors are very talented, and this book is just a little taste of what they can do. I recommend this book as a great beach read book...perfect for the summer.
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I'm so disappointed by this anthology for several reasons.
For one, it was my first ever read off #netgalley and I was really rooting for this to be awesome and worthy of a good review so they'd be motivated to keep letting me get ARC's for reviews.

The second disappointment is with the calibre of the stories. I've read [edit] six out of nine and it's hard for me to believe that these stories have been edited at all. Did I get a version of first drafts?

Except for [edit] two stories, "Time waits for Nora" and "The Pool guy", that read like proper, intact, well written love stories with an arc, with dialogue, with character development and sweetness, the rest read like summaries of plots and they are SO flat. Besides which, there are spelling mistakes, even with the names of the protagonists. In one single page, Brian and Bryan both appear and they are the same person! Details and past events are crammed into unending sentences that left me shaking my head. This happened in several stories. It was super confusing and really broke my pace.
The stories are really unpolished and not in a gemstone way! The protagonists hold forth, they pontificate, they present paragraphs of information; in one story, the lead reacts with, "Oh My Word," three times in a row. It's all sloppy and could have done with so much tightening.

And finally, I was disappointed because it didn't live up to its promise. The anthology features South African writers and I was really looking forward to expanding my universe and reading stories set in a different land. I know South Africa has a mixed population, I thought I'd see that diversity, learn about culture and even race; Sadly, only one story at all "A Taste of Romance" even took us to the market at all with any kind of scene setting. Another had a polo ground, but seriously, it was just the setting for the sport. Could I picture Africa? Not at all! I mean four out of five male leads were blond and blue-eyed and the people, language, stories, settings were so bland, they could have been anywhere.
I don't think I can read the remaining four stories. I wanted to read this as a palate cleanser between two sci fi/magic realism books, but I need something to wash this off!
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The wonderful words of Alissa Baxter, Francine Beaton, Lara van Lelyveld, Lorna Kelly, PG Barker, Melissa A Volker, Meg Chronis, Kathy Bosman, Tlalane Manciya in a sweet, romantic collection of stories to happily ever after.  These beautiful, intricately woven stories are so romantic and so charming!
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