Member Reviews

This book is everything I love in a summer beach read: a coastal house, an intriguing family, and a past love returning. I loved the twist at the end that brings it all together! I also love the back and forth timeline! All the characters intertwined so gracefully! Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC!

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This book was slow for me to get into but I really enjoyed the pacing, the depth of the characters and how the author wove the story together!

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Lauren Bailey’s "Summer After Summer" is a poignant and beautifully written exploration of love, loss, and the enduring power of memories. Set against the backdrop of a small coastal town, the novel deftly captures the bittersweet essence of summers past and the complex journey of moving forward.

The story follows Ava Michaels, a woman in her late twenties, who returns to her childhood summer retreat after the unexpected death of her mother. Ava's return to the place where she spent her happiest and most formative summers forces her to confront not only her grief but also the unresolved feelings from a long-lost summer romance with her first love, Jake Bennett.

Bailey’s writing is evocative and lyrical, painting vivid pictures of the sun-soaked beaches, the cozy seaside cottages, and the intimate moments that Ava and Jake shared. The narrative alternates between the past and present, weaving together the golden summers of Ava’s youth with her current struggle to make sense of her life and her mother’s legacy. This structure adds depth to the story, gradually revealing the layers of Ava’s emotional journey and the significance of her memories.

Ava is a well-rounded and relatable protagonist. Her journey is filled with the kind of introspection and personal growth that makes her story resonate deeply. Bailey captures Ava’s internal conflict with sensitivity and realism, portraying her grief, her yearning for the past, and her cautious hope for the future. As Ava reconnects with old friends and familiar places, she begins to understand that moving forward doesn’t mean leaving her past behind but rather integrating those cherished memories into her present life.

The rekindled relationship between Ava and Jake is at the heart of the novel. Bailey handles their reunion with a deft touch, avoiding clichéd romantic tropes and instead focusing on the genuine emotions and shared history that bind them. Their interactions are filled with a mix of nostalgia, unresolved tension, and the possibility of new beginnings. The chemistry between them is palpable, and their story is as much about healing and forgiveness as it is about rekindled love.

Supporting characters add richness to the narrative, each playing a crucial role in Ava’s journey. From her supportive best friend to the quirky locals who populate the town, these characters bring warmth and authenticity to the story. Bailey’s ability to create a vivid, tight-knit community adds to the novel’s charm and underscores the themes of connection and belonging.

One of the novel’s strengths is its exploration of the passage of time and the inevitability of change. Bailey poignantly captures the transient nature of summer and the way memories can both haunt and heal. The novel’s title, "Summer After Summer," reflects the cyclical nature of life and the enduring impact of formative experiences. This theme is skillfully woven throughout the narrative, making the story both deeply personal and universally relatable.

In conclusion, "Summer After Summer" by Lauren Bailey is a beautifully crafted novel that offers a heartfelt exploration of love, loss, and the power of memories. Ava’s journey is both heartwarming and heartrending, making for a compelling read that lingers long after the final page. Bailey’s evocative prose, well-drawn characters, and poignant themes make this book a must-read for anyone who has ever been touched by the magic of summer and the enduring pull of the past. Highly recommended for readers seeking a moving and introspective literary escape.

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Lauren Bailey's debut novel "Summer After Summer" is the perfect book to grab this summer! I loved the family aspect, tennis, and complicated love story in this book. I couldn't put it down!

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Ahh I had such high hopes for this one! The premise sounded great and I was excited for a fun summer debut.

Unfortunately it wasn't what I was hoping for. The book has a lot of mis-communication between the characters which lead to some frustration, as well as I really did not like the main character Olivia. I felt like she was acting very immature. It maybe would have sat better with me if she was younger, but given that she was older than me - some of her actions were annoying.

I also felt confused with a lot of jumping between POVs and timelines. The pacing was tough, and I felt like too much time was spent in the past.

I guess the book is a modern re-telling of Jane Austen's 'Persuasion' and while I haven't read that book, this one felt familiar to me. Overall I think it could have been done a bit better but it wasn't terrible.

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☀️ Summer After Summer - Lauren Bailey

3.5 ⭐️ - This is a lovely, enjoyable, huggable summer romance read. Nothing too earth shattering and I hear it’s a retelling, but it was enjoyable, easy to listen to (highly recommend the audio) and light for the summer.

This one has your second chance, young love romance and it’s sweet, heartbreaking, and heartwarming at the same time. I enjoyed the characters, their relationships with each other both in romantic and familial ways, and the progression of the story. The flashbacks kept me engaged with learning about our characters past loves and current lives. I definitely recommend this for your summer reading list, especially for romance readers!

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This is a good book. The two main characters are Olivia and Fred. They have known each other all their lives. They dated when they were young and broke up. That’s what happens, when they are both single they try again, but something happens and they break. This time Olivia is in the process of divorcing and she return her family’s beach house in the Hampton, where she meet Fred. She is scared to see Fred because they both have changed, but maybe this time will work.

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After having time to sit with this book I didn't feel like I was enjoying it was much. I really enjoy second-chance romances, but this was done in a way that made me feel like the main characters weren't really meant for one another. I know there's a thing as not getting the timing right, but this seemed to happen for them over a decade which just feels like such a long time to figure your shit out. But then again I don't have this experience so I can't totally judge I suppose!

I did however really enjoy the little twist at the end. That was super satisifying and I love when the bad guys get their dues and don't have happy endings.

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I LOVED this book and will be recommending it to all of my reader friends. It was such a sweet story and had great characters. I liked fidning out the history of the main characters and seeing the payoff of their long story at the end.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 Stars
Happy publication day to Lauren Bailey and Summer After Summer! Thank you to @laurenbaileyauthor, Alcove Press ( @alcovepress ), and NetGalley ( @netgalley ) for allowing me to read this book for an honest review!

📅 May 7, 2024 is the pub date for Summer After Summer. 📅

This past weekend was Commencement for the College I work for and I must admit that I’m so excited for the upcoming summer months. Summer After Summer is most definitely the perfect way to kick off summer this year. It was easily a five-star read for me!

The characters were realistic and lovable (well, for the most part…there are two that have room to improve their loyalty and relationship skills)! This book has some nice parallels to Persuasion by Jane Austen but with a much more modern day take!

Olivia has grown only knowing how to love four things: Her mom, Taylor House, tennis, and her best friend Ashley. When her mom dies, she is left with her love of tennis and Taylor house with a splash of Ash until the summer Olivia turns 16.

Ashley creates a bucket list for the two of them to complete and at the top of Olivia’s list is to have her first kiss. Shortly after, Olivia meets Fred, has her first kiss, and realizes there is much more in life to love. Unexpected circumstances cause Olivia and Fred to separate after their first summer together but they make a pact to meet back up again in five years. Does their childhood pact bring them together every five years or does life have a funny way of making connections? When one has finished grieving and is open to love, the other has circumstances that need time and attention. Will the timing ever be right for both to love unconditionally? I’ll let you decide for yourself. I highly recommend this read for the romance lover or hopeless romantic!

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FAMILY DRAMA - 4 stars

Plot - 4 stars - With Olivia's marriage in jeopardy, she agrees to come home to the Hamptons to help her father and sisters pack up the family estate. Someone’s finally bailing them out with a huge offer to buy their beachfront property, which is a good thing, although it means losing the home she grew up in, where her mother died, and where she first met Fred, the love of her life. It’s been five years since the last time things blew up between Olivia and Fred, but much longer since the first time. And neither of them is the same person they were the last time they met. This time, maybe their relationship will be different.

Writing - 4 stars - This is a new-to-me author, and she drew me in right from the first page. The scenario is familiar, the family drama is not unusual, but the characters grabbed me and got me invested in their story.

Characters - 4.5 stars - This is where the story shone for me. Olivia is a strong character, but she's been beaten down by life and disappointed expectations. But she's solid, and I liked how she struggled back, taking on responsibilities and getting back into tennis. Fred is a very appealing character, so I wasn't sure why he seemed to always be on everyone's negative radar. They seemed like a great couple, and it was fun to go back in time to see how their relationship developed, then skipped ahead to recognize their selves today and how their relationship might have changed.

Title - 4 stars - I suppose this refers to the fact that Fred and Olivia get together each summer in the Hamptons, with their relationship growing and changing.

Cover - 3.5 stars - A representative cover to show a large house on the beach, but the cartoon-y aspect of it doesn't appeal to me.

Overall - 4 stars - This was a very enjoyable book, one of my favorite recent reads. I think it was because I found it fascinating to hear about Olivia's pro tennis career, being behind the scenes while she tackled each opponent. I did find it a bit frustrating that Olivia and Fred's relationship kept going in fits and starts, somehow always getting back together every five years, then something else would come between them. But, I also admired the fact that they each recognized when (that) the other wasn't ready for forever and was willing to wait.

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Olivia has returned home to the Hamptons to help her family pack up their family home - and to avoid her crumbling marriage. But when she finds out that the new owner of her family’s home is none other than Fred, the love of her life, she isn’t quite sure what to think - especially since they can’t seem to get it together, no matter the passion between them.

I was really excited about this one but it fell completely flat for me, which I hate to say. The characters were all insufferable, I wasn’t actually rooting for Fred and Olivia to be together, and the dialogue felt super clunky.

Fred and Olivia reminded me of a grown up version of the couple in Normal People - they were just toxic together and I think instead of trying to figure out if they should be together, they should’ve run far away from one another. But otherwise this book was mostly just about rich people and the problems they cause for themselves. I usually eat up that type of gossipy storyline but this one just didn’t work at all for me. It all felt either entirely predictable or wildly ridiculous which made it hard for me to want to stay in the story. And though it was a standard length, I felt like it took forever to get through.

I was hoping this would be the perfect beach bag book but sadly it isn’t one that I’d readily recommend.

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im not sure how i feel about this book. I thought that it was a tad predictable and it didnt flow very well between the time jumps. The two main characters were likeable but the others not so much. Im not sure why it isnt melding for me. Doesnt mean its not worth a try for you.

Thanks NetGalley for this ARC.

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Teacher Olivia and her sisters Ann and Charlotte have come together to put their father’s 26 (or 27?) room house in the Hamptons on the market. Being home for the summer brings up fond memories of their mother, and more poignant ones of first love and teenage friendship. Olivia is contemplating divorce, as she’s recently learned of her husband’s infidelity. There is a lot about tennis, as she was a highly-ranked teenage player.

This literary romance, loosely modeled after Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion, tells the story of Fred and Olivia, who have a relationship that recurs in five year intervals; the narrative moves back and forth in time to lay out all of their encounters, and with each new chapter, it’s like the reader is spiraling in, closer to the center, with more revealed. The careful crafting, rich people problems, and WASPy tone made me difficult to connect–I felt a little removed from the characters–and I would not call it an easy or fun read, but it will give a patience reader with a taste for this style of writing a lot to chew on, and the what will happen next of it all was compelling enough to power through.

I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #SummerAfterSummer via NetGalley, courtesy of Alcove Press.

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I have never read Jane Austen, so had no clue about the storyline.
I did like this, I liked the 5 year jumps.
I liked Olivia's sisters Charlette and Sophia. I thought they were both a bit self centered, but I have sisters and can understand this.
I did not like Wes at all! Yuck!
I liked Olivia and Fred. I liked his friend James as well.
this was a fun easy read.
Thanks for the copy

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I had high hopes for this book, but it was not my favorite. The tennis element was very fun, and I do wish there was a little bit more of it. I do love Fred and how he is a great guy overall. It was a nice second chance romance, but I was not the biggest fan of the actions of some of the characters. I felt the story dragged on a little bit in the middle. The book was written in a dual timeline, which was a little but confusing for me at times (a lot to keep track of). Maybe this book was not for me because it was a nice story with a happy ending.

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I almost aways read a Jane Austin Retelling, so i was eager to dive into this one of Persuasion.

I love a good second chance romance, so between that, the Persuasion angle and the beach setting, i was ready to go all in.
But it just didn't pull me in like it should have.

But all in all this was a light read and a good one to stick in your bag on your next beach vacation

Thank you to NetGalley for the Arc. All opinions are my own

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Thank you Netgalley, Alcove Press and Lauren Bailey.
I really enjoyed this romance. I loved Olivia and Fred together, what a beautiful heartwarming love story which spans decades.
No matter their time apart, every 5 years somehow their path crossed.
I could not put this novel down.
4 stars

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I'm not much into classics, but I am a little interested in the retellings. So, I haven't read Persuasion but I've read a modern retelling, which I liked.

That was the reason I requested this book, but I couldn't finish this one, as I didn't connect with the characters and writing style. Maybe, this book wasn't for me.

Thank you for the ARC.

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This was a five star read for me! Honestly, it had everything I needed in a summer romance. I love the dual timeline, the childhood star crossed lovers, the tennis career plot. It gave me major “talking at night” & “every summer after” vibes. Which have been top romance reads for me in the past two years!

I did feel at times that Bailey’s writing felt more withdrawn for first person narrative. Like we barely dived into the some of the emotions of Olivia. I would have LOVED Fred’s POV. But it was fun to get his confessions & feelings through out the book of how Olivia was always it for him. I loved that he never gave up on her.

The ending was not at all expected and I kind of loved it! Although I felt it wrapped up quite quickly compared to the pacing of the rest of the story.

Thank you, thank you for the advanced copy Alcove Press!!

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