I started reading this on a frigid winter night here in Canada, and it was exactly the book I needed to transport me somewhere else. Precisely, to the beaches of Hawaii—and thanks to Erin Schneider’s gorgeous writing, I almost felt like I was reading on the beach with a fruity drink in my hand instead of in my pajamas bundled up with the wind howling outside.
Yes, SUMMER OF SLOANE is the kind of book with the power to take your mind somewhere warmer and more exotic. But don’t mistake this for an airy beach read. It’s a story that tackles so many things with grace, humor, and truth.
Sloane has just finished her junior year of high school and she and her twin brother, Penn, are off to visit their mom in Hawaii for the summer, like they do every year. Only this year is different. Because before she gets on the plane, Sloane suffers a devastating blow—she finds out that her lifelong best friend and her boyfriend, the two people she loves and trusts the most, hooked up behind her back. After expressing her anger through a well-thrown right hook (not going to lie, I loved that part!), Sloane boards the plane with a broken hand and a shattered heart.
But Hawaii might just be the change in setting Sloane needs. After vowing to make it her summer and leave the drama back in Seattle, Sloane meets handsome and charismatic Finn, who makes her believe she can move on from what has happened and learn to trust someone again. But Finn has demons of his own, and Sloane is torn between the undertow of her past and the new life she could have on the horizon.
Right away, I was pulled in to Erin Schneider’s writing style. It’s the perfect blend of heavy and light, serious and funny. Sloane was strong but vulnerable, sad yet hopeful—and the moments where she learned to put herself first made me want to cheer out loud. Her struggles were extremely realistic. Even though she’s thousands of miles from home and the people who betrayed her, the ties with her past aren’t easy to sever, and the good memories don’t just get blotted out because of the betrayal itself. The way Sloane grapples with her dueling feelings made my heart hurt.
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
On another note, all of the supporting characters here are so wonderfully fleshed out, with quirks and heartaches and hopes of their own. I found myself invested in what happened to all of them.
This is a book with a lot of depth. And if you’re reading it before bedtime, know that there’s a great chance you’ll stay up a lot later than you intended because you’ll need to know what happens next. SUMMER OF SLOANE is virtually unputdownable.