26 July 2013

Mini Reviews: The Boys of Summer and An Endless Summer by C.J Duggan

Book: The Boys of Summer.
Author: C.J Duggan
File Type: Ebook
Release Date:  December 17th 2012
Publisher: Self.
My rating: 2 stars

synopsis:It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.

Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.

To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.
All with the one boy she has never been able to forget. 
It will be a summer she will always remember. 
Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language

I'll award this series some serious credit for being able to capture the right essence and beauty of summer. It was bright, light and sunny....and it was kind of fun. So..YAY!

I've had crushes on older guys. I remember giggling 'mentally' (Yes, I was too cool.) after sneaking glances to see THAT hot senior guy or group of senior guys in my school. I'd walk by their classes repeatedly and I'd keep looking inside and go all swoony and ah, well....I was creepy. So I understand Tess's infatuation. 

I understand why seventeen-year old Tess was so enamoured by 22-year old Toby Morrison. I definitely see the appeal. It's quite natural, actually and frankly, pretty cute. Old and responsible guy with a cute, sweet girl? Nice dynamic.

The problem?

It wasn't believable. 

Tess, Ellie and Adam are best friends and have a fantastic plan for the summer. They plan to work at the Onslow Hotel, swim in the Onslow lake, watch fireworks and have water bomb fights. So all in all, it's going to be an enjoyable summer. But here's the specialty of YA summer-themed contemporary books: You always have hotties.
And the Onslow boys, aka Toby, Sean, Stan, Chris and Ringer are just that. THEY ARE HOTTIES. 
They are employed. They are sweet and they soon take Tess, Ellie and Adam under their wing which is really nice to read about because they come with buckets of banter and swoon swishing and swooshing over the brim, topped with the beauty of friendship, just like a cherry on a cake or..was it ice cream?

Anyway, the idea sounds so compelling and fun but it all fell apart in the book. I had some serious issues with Tess and her behaviour. I won't judge her for what she did but I, as a person, just couldn't agree with any of it. Ergo, I didn't like her. At all.
I loved Ellie and Adam, though! They were amazing bestfriends but by the second half, their characters started..diminishing? Fading away? So I was a tad disappointed. Some of the twists and turns in the book were unacceptable and I felt like pushing my kindle away before I seriously lost it. Sean's and Stan's and Adam's characters were the comic angle of the book but in the end, not much happened for them as well. Although, I wouldn't say that for Sean, because Sean was the only character in the book who actually managed to swoon me off my feet. 

Now, Toby is a different character. I like Broody and intense. I was made for broody and intense but hell no will I accept broody and intense, especially after ....you know. 
Toby as a love interest didn't sit well with me. I kept on vouching for a Tess-Adam or Tess-Sean dynamic because it made sense. They cared about Tess. They were protective, supportive and responsive which obviously, I didn't think Toby was. It wasn't normal and there was a point when all I could so was roll my eyes. Rolling eyes=Not good.

“Do you want some words of advice, Tess?”
I glanced at Adam’s profile as he sipped.
“Don’t give your heart away too easily.” He turned to me. “Make him earn it.”

Book: An Endless Summer
Author: C.J Duggan
File Type: Ebook
Release Date: July 11th 2013
Publisher: Self.
My ratings: 3 stars.    
synopsis:After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:

Boarding School.

Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.

How had her dad let it come to this?

With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.

In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.

And now for, 
An Endless Summer...

*Drum rolls, please.*


I lean towards feistyness. Timid and shy girls just don't do it for me. I think maybe that's why I didn't like Tess all that much, but Amy, well, she's somebody I liked. And trust me, I liked her A LOT.

We met Amy Henderson in the previous book when she was just fifteen years old.Being the Onslow Hotel's owner's daughter, she was spoilt, irritating and easy to dislike. She was known for throwing tantrums and had a temper nobody wanted to be the victim of. But after almost losing her life when she was sixteen and after being saved and sent to boarding school, things were put in a perspective for this hot-headed train of spirit. 

And guess who saved her?

Presenting to you, the swooniest guy amongst the Onslow boys, Sean Murrrphyyy. I've always liked Sean and I didn't really like how things ended for him, in The Boys of Summer, so the fact that he was getting a book of his own appeased my angry heart. 

It's safe to say, that Amy and Sean were perfect for each other. There was so much banter, humour, swoon and hot-displays-of-chest (OMG.), that I don't think I have anything to complain about.

I loved Amy so much. I loved how she didn't want to let go of the hotel and how she wanted to bring back the hotel to it's former glory! I even started to like Toby which is funny considering how much I disliked him in the previous book. Even Tess seemed sane. HAH! Chris, Adam and Amy were the perfect cousins to each other. Even though, Chris was a tad dominating. Adam comes back to play a MAJOR role as the comic angle of the book and boy, his success in being funny is commendable. AND DO I SEE AN ADAM-ELLIE THINGIE IN FUTURE?

Oh wow.

What I love about such books or any book in a series, in general, is that they always shine a spotlight on the underdogs. I've always loved secondary characters and their potential and when these secondary characters get a book of their own, it just makes me immensely happy and I think that's why I read even the dorkiest of books. I read them because I want to know how the character's life pans out.

And An endless summer was satisfyingly good enough to make me happy.

“Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?”

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