Monday, May 18, 2015

Review-Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

SummerlandSummerland by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Four teenagers, from the small island of Nantucket are involved in a tragic accident the night of high school graduation.  All four were juniors at the high school and 3 of the four had very promising lives ahead of them.  Penny Alistair was killed in this accident.  Penny had a beautiful singing voice that everyone admired. Her twin brother Hobson(Hobby), who was the star of every sports team,  was so badly injured, he was in a coma and had broken 16 bones on his left side.  Jake Randolph, who was Penny's boyfriend was not injured in the crash, but his jeep which Penny was driving was totaled.  And finally, Demeter Castle, Penny's friend who wasn't as popular as the others was also unarmed during the crash.  The kids had all been enjoying graduation festivities when they made their way to the beach for the final party.  Demeter took Penny to the dunes, to use the bathroom.  When they returned, Penny was in such a rage, there was nothing no one could to to stop her.

This was my first book by Elin Hilderbrand.  I have many of her books on my TBR list and this was available so I snatched it up.  I listened to the audio book rather than reading this title.  The book is told from several different perspectives throughout.  The voice of the island of Nantucket, Jake Randolph, Zoey Alistair(Penny & Hobson's mother), Demeter, Jordan Randolph(Jake's father), Hobby, Lynn Castle(Demeter's Mother), Ava Randolph(Jake's mother).  Each one of them have a connection to each other and a connection to the accident.  Telling the story from these different perspectives,  you get a look how the accident as well as other events in their lives have shaped them and brought them to this particular point.  The story is told throughout the summer after the accident.

One of my favorite lines from the book was "Penelope has a heart made from the finest bone china."  When I heard that line, and they say it at least twice in the book, it made my heart hurt for Penny.  She was a very sensitive person.  She took other's pain as her own.   It was Demeter who had said something to Penny that made her upset, but what was it.  Hobby and Jake spend most of the summer trying to figure it out.  It could have been anything, but what could have made her so mad she would have wanted to kill herself.

One thing that I wish was included in this book was Penny's perspective.  I know she was dead, but I would have like to hear a little from her in this book.  We hear about different things that were going on with her from everyone else's point of view, but I would have liked to hear her "voice" in this book.

This was  a good book with diverse characters.  You can see the struggles and concerns of teenagers in this book and it made me think about my own children and my childhood.  All the things I kept from my parents and I wonder if they ever knew.  I hope that other mother's will read this book and will want to keep an open dialogue with their children about the trials and tribulations they are going through.  We have all been teenagers at some point and we can probably help our own children if we can talk to them about how our lives were at that time.  I know when I was a teen, I was sure my mother would never understand me, but she had been in my position once in life as well.

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