All the Summer Vibes | Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

Friday, May 27, 2022

Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: 5/17/16
Pages: 388
Source: purchased

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love. 
Summer Days and Summer Nights knows exactly how to make your summer. This anthology of many amazing authors will give you all the summer-feels. I rarely read short story anthologies but since Stephanie Perkins is one of my favorite authors, I knew I had to give it a try. Below are mini-reviews/thoughts on each story in the book with sun emojis for all the ratings.

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail - Leigh Bardugo 🌞🌞🌞

  • My primary reason to buying Summer Days and Summer Nights is because it is edited by Stephanie Perkins. However, after reading the Six of Crows duology, I was happily surprised to see Leigh Bardugo starting us off in the anthology. 
  • With extremely high expectations, Bardugo does not disappoint.
  • Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail is such a fantastic way to start off the anthology. Where I was expected all this fun in the sun, Bardugo shows us that summer doesn’t always mean contemporary.
  • The story was filled with superb descriptions! I only wish the story was a little longer. I would love to know what happens next. It may have been a bit predictable but it was still good.
  • Since it is such a short story, I was pleasantly surprised that readers receive such a build up to the kiss. It made for the kiss to be truly spectacular.

The End of Love - Nina LaCour 🌞🌞🌞

  • I’ve never read anything by Nina LaCour but before beginning The End of Love, I knew a few things. LaCour is known for breaking hearts and moving readers. And the title, The End of Love, already points us to the end of something so prepare yourself for something sad. Or so I thought.
  • Despite Flora, the protagonist, having some character depth with her school, home and friend life emphasized, it is her crushing on an old acquaintance the primary focus on this summer-filled story. The End of Love seemed not to know what direction it really wanted to go, especially at first. The slow explanations to Flora’s backstory didn’t really much fit into the message and final goal of the story. 
  • It was a bit ridiculous on how unrealistic her summer course at the local college was. The teacher leaves the class in the student's hands to have a picnic right outside the window. It’s entirely laughable.
  • The story does have some unrealistic scenes but the characters are developed and diverse. The writing is done incredibly well.
  • I kept waiting for something that never came. The story was more of a day in the life than anything else. It was a nice story but I don't think enough happened to give it much substance. The ending left it rather open-ended so readers will never really know much more.

Last Stand at the Cinegore - Libba Bray 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞

  • Libba Bray is one of my all-time favorite authors so I was super excited for this story. This story definitely reflects Bray’s style, hilarious and somewhat dark.
  • It was fun going back and forth with the movie inside Kevin's head. Using his “movie” in screenplay format, it made a nice balance between that format and prose. 
  • Kevin is really relatable. And as much as he gives you all the feels of senior year and graduation, I didn’t really get any summer vibes with this one. There are small comments in the beginning about their summer plans but it wasn’t enough to scream a summer story to me. With the scare and horror movies, it felt like it would be more appropriate to be a short story for the fall.

Sick Pleasure - Francesca Lia Block 🌞🌞

  • From all the stories, thus far, this is the shortest.
  • The direction of this story was strange but unique. The characters all had names, using just one letter. It was different and unexpected.
  • Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be a point to the whole thing. Instead, the message has to be blatantly pointed out to readers at the end, in a “this is what the story is about” kind of way, which didn't leave much room for imagination. However, it was realistic and readers get a glimpse into a life that could very much mirror their own.

In Ninety Minutes Turn North - Stephanie Perkins 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞

  • I bought Summer Days and Summer Nights because Stephanie Perkins was behind this project as editor. However, it was such an amazing surprise to see her story in the book.
  • This was the exact story I was actually expecting this entire book to be filled with. Readers were going to get rainbows, cutesy and romance.
  • Everything about this was absolutely adorable. The wonderful longing was done incredibly well for such a small amount of time. Also, the direction and playfulness of the story has an underlying anxiousness feel to it and something unexpected. The story rang romantic, filled with summer feels of hiking and family vacations. The writing was absolutely amazing, confirming how fantastic Perkins’ books are.

Souvenirs - Tim Federle 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞

  • The writing is very fun and fast paced. The narrator was an introvert; more protagonists need to be introverts!
  • Souvenirs is set in Pennsylvania which was really great, considering the big settings for YA tend to be New York, Massachusetts, California and Illinois (where famous cities are) so it's nice to have a state represented that isn't usually. 
  • The ending was absolute gold: hilarious and extremely satisfying; it left you with a smile on your face.

Inertia - Veronica Roth 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞

  • I rarely cry while reading novels, and never have I cried while reading a short story but this story hit me so powerfully.
  • The story was very unique, revolving around a technology that allows people to share memories with loved ones who were about to die. It was such a gorgeous story. I would have loved a full-length novel by Roth about this. I hope this isn’t the last time we get to see this sort of technology. Roth could definitely flush out the story or even give a sort-of spin-off set in the same world where this technology exists. There just needs to be more to the story than this.
  • With the technology and the romance, it definitely had Veronica Roth’s style that we come to expect from her writing. It was fantastic!

Love is the Last Resort - Jon Skovron 🌞🌞

  • Love is the Last Resort repeatedly breaks the fourth wall which makes for a fun reading experience, at first. By the end, however, I found the narrative to be quite annoying.
  • A lot of Lena's dialogue felt extremely strained. If this was a historical setting, I could see her dialogue fitting in. However, though it is not stated, there are several clues that give away the setting being closer to present day (cell phones, playing basketball, etc.) Lena’s speech was very uptight and did not sound as if it came out present-day teenager’s mouth at all.
  • Similarly to Lena’s dialogue, the wording of a lot of the story sounded a bit too formal and very historical.
  • There was such a large cast of characters. This made it a bit confusing since the story is so short. I kept having to go back and reread parts to try and remember which character this was or what they had done already in the story. 
  • I was not emotionally invested in any of the characters. Right away, Love is the Last Resort was going to be about a bunch of rich people complaining about life and the workers who deal with them at the resort. The romance was ridiculous and even included a scene where everyone just watched a couple kiss for a long period of time. Like, what?! Overall, I didn’t much care for the story.

Good Luck and Farewell - Brandy Colbert 🌞🌞🌞

  • It felt like the author was trying to fit too much into a too short enough of time.
  • The direction of the story took a dramatic turn which was a bit unexpected. Good Luck and Farewell started with a going away party for Rashida's cousin and turned into a deep conversation with a stranger who had hated her in the beginning but now loves her. What? How does that work? Most obviously, Good Luck and Farewell suffers from a serious case of instalove.
  • The story would have worked as a much longer piece rather than the short story we received. Given a longer amount of time, Colbert could have developed the characters and drawn out the romance a bit. With Good Luck and Farewell, I left it feeling like I didn't know a lot or that there was more to tell.

Brand New Attraction - Cassandra Clare 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞

  • Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite authors so I was so excited to hear that she was a part of this project!
  • Brand New Attraction is not Shadowhunter-related which was such a breath of fresh air. I adore her Shadowhunter worlds but I was so excited to read a piece of Clare’s work where she is not talking about Magnus, the gang, or the Clave.
  • The writing was beyond amazing. The plot was truly original with a dark carnival run by a demon. The story was pretty cool. It quickly become one of my favorite stories in the entire anthology.

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong - Jennifer E. Smith 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞

  • Please, can this be a movie? A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong was a bit predictable but a diverse, fun story that will leave you with a smile. Jennifer E. Smith should get an award for this incredibly heartwarming and endearing piece. I’ve only ever read Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love at First Sight and I loved that one but I think I may even love this story more.
  • It worked so well as a short story, absolutely superb.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things - Lev Grossman 🌞🌞🌞🌞

  • The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is super fun with a Groundhog Day-esque mixed with A Monster Calls story. It may not be too original but I liked it all the same. It was truly inspiring with a fantastic message of finding the happy things in life.
  • Mark, our protagonist, is extremely relatable. Just ask yourself what you would do if the same day repeated for you over and over. If the answer was read books all day (that would definitely be my response), you, I, and Mark would all be best friends.
  • Based on this short story, I'm really interested to read more of Grossman’s writing. I have the first in The Magicians series so I am definitely moving it up on my TBR so I’ll read it sooner rather than later.

Overall, Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins is one anthology you will want to read every summer. Each story brings something different and original to the novel. This anthology, also, introduced me to several new authors I haven’t heard of and am definitely looking forward to reading their works in the future. Summer Days and Summer Nights gives you the feeling of summer, all you have to bring is the beach towel and sunscreen.

You Might Also Like