Tuesday 4 June 2013

Book Review: All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue.

Product details:
Publisher: William Morrow & Co.
Release date:  May 21st 2013.
Paperback, 264 pages.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: Adult
Source: Received from publisher for review.

In Philadelphia, good girl Kate is dumped by her fiance the day she learns she is pregnant with his child. In New York City, beautiful stay-at-home mom Vanessa is obsessively searching the Internet for news of an old flame. And in San Francisco, Dani, the aspiring writer who can't seem to put down a book--or a cocktail--long enough to open her laptop, has just been fired...again.

In an effort to regroup, Kate, Vanessa, and Dani retreat to the New Jersey beach town where they once spent their summers. Emboldened by the seductive cadences of the shore, the women being to realize how much their lives, and friendships, have been shaped by the choices they made one fateful night on the beach eight years earlier--and the secrets that only now threaten to surface

The perfect book to add to your beach bag, All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue explores the complexities of female friendship via three very different twenty-somethings as they reconnect for a summer of secrets that will change their lives, and their friendships, forever.

Kate is a planner; it’s what she does, and so far her plan seems to be working out just fine, thank you very much. At twenty-nine, Kate has a successful career as a lawyer and in three months she’ll be married. Peter, a fellow lawyer, is just perfect for Kate – he fits into her life just right.  Kate is sure their wedding day will be perfect; she knows it will be, because she planned it. As for her days off, Kate plans them with the same dedication she applied to her wedding. For example, Sunday mornings are for jogging with her dog Grace Kelly, followed by The New York Times, an egg sandwich and lots of coffee. For Kate planning means no nasty surprises – and that’s how she likes it. What Kate didn’t plan for was Peter stopping by (unscheduled) to break up with her. And finding out that she’s pregnant – also not in the plan.

 From the outside, it looks like Vanessa has it all. Once a successful career girl, with aspirations of opening her own art gallery in the not to distant future, Vanessa lives in New York City with her husband, the dashing Drew Warren, and her adorable two-year old daughter, Lucy. She’s got the perfect life, or so everybody thinks. And while Vanessa loves being a mom to Lucy, she sometimes wonders if motherhood is enough for her. Vanessa is dissatisfied with the way her life is going, so when Drew suggests trying for another baby, she balks at the idea. That might have something to do though with the fact that Drew confessed to kissing another woman not so long ago. Another baby? No thanks. Revenge with an ex? That’s a maybe.

Perpetually hungover and unable to hold down a job, Dani knows that she has to make some life changes. To her friends, though, Dani is living a life of fun and freedom in San Francisco while she pursues her dream of being a published author. Only problem is that though Dani’s been writing her book for eight long years now she just can’t bring herself to write those final chapters. So instead she smokes and drinks her days away; and in order to keep the demons of the past at bay, she’s been turning to drugs with alarming regularity too.

Kate, Vanessa and Dani have a friendship fostered in school playgrounds and the sandy beaches of Avalon.  And, as with all lifelong friendships, even those that have grown apart, there is a certain sense of obligation to their connection too. So, when Vanessa and Dani learn of Kate’s broken engagement, they figure that what she needs is a long weekend in Avalon.  But while Avalon holds fond memories for the friends, it also holds secrets, guilt and tragedy in the form of the death of Kate’s twin brother Colin.  Now, as the trio return to the beach house of their summers in Avalon, they are hoping for fun in the sun and a renewal of their friendship bonds. But each of them is haunted by events of that last summer in Avalon with Colin. Weighed down by the guilt of their secrets, it’s not long before the truth behind Colin’s death come spilling out.

With its great setting, engaging and relatable characters and a story that unfolds in a slow burn, All the Summer Girls is a great read for a long, lazy summer day.


  1. All the Summer Girls sounds like the perfect Summer read, I like how different all the girls are, but can come together when one of them needs them the most. Thanks for the lovely review Leanna and for putting this on my radar!

  2. Yay! I am so glad you liked this one. I LOVED it - what made it so very special to me was the fact that I grew up going to Avalon and still go every summer. I knew all of the places the girls hung out like the Princeton, Jack's Place, the Avalon library, etc. It was surreal! I think it's the perfect summer read, too. Great review, Leanna! I am looking forward to your "Summer Spotlight!"

  3. Jenny @ Supernatural Snark4 June 2013 at 15:12

    Wow Leanna, this sounds so good! I love the focus on the friendship between the girls and how that's changed as their lives have changed, I haven't read too many books that feature strong friendships between women. I think I'll be adding this to my vacation bag in a couple weeks!

  4. Titles and Teacups4 June 2013 at 17:39

    This looks like the perfect summer book! I hadn't heard of it until now so this book is definitely looking like something to add to my Kindle. I usually only read Young Adult though, and am slightly nervous about heading into the world of Adult books!

  5. Jess Hearts Books4 June 2013 at 18:11

    This sounds right up my street! I've read a few good reviews of this one lately so it's going on the wishlist. Lovely review, really glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Oh wow, I LOVE books like these! It's definitely going on my wishlist now! Hopefully I'll be able to get to it this summer. Thank you for the review!

  7. I love the sound of this, I love books about friendship and how life circumstances affect the friendship. Ideal summer read :-)

  8. Excellent review, I loved this one, it was a long time since I read an adult contemporary and I enjoyed this sooo much!

  9. daisychainbooks8 June 2013 at 21:11

    Hope you enjoy this one if you get to reading it, Jasprit. I didn't know much about it before I read it, but really enjoyed it!

  10. daisychainbooks8 June 2013 at 21:13

    I know - it's so cool that you know the setting so well. I think that must make the book even more special to you. I was googling pictures of the beach! :) After reading Nantucket Blue I want to spend a summer there!

  11. daisychainbooks8 June 2013 at 21:14

    I can't wait to hear what you think, Jenny! This one is a great summer read!

  12. daisychainbooks8 June 2013 at 21:14

    I read mostly YA too, but it's nice to try something different from time to time. I've been trying to read more Adult books lately! :)

  13. daisychainbooks8 June 2013 at 21:14

    I think you'd like this one, Jess!

  14. daisychainbooks8 June 2013 at 21:15

    It's a fun read - perfect for summer! :)

  15. daisychainbooks8 June 2013 at 21:15

    I'd like to read more like this one so if you come across anything similar in your reading let me know! :)


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