**THERE ARE SPOILERS BECAUSE I WAS TOO EXCITED TO NOT HAVE THEM**
I have had a long time obsession with I’ll Give You The Sun as my favourite book and now I’ve read Summer Skin (and I was worried because of all the hype), but bUT it is now also my favourite book and I really have to get myself a copy to own and love.
Jess rocks!!! She is one of the best protagonists I’ve read because she is honest but also daring and not afraid to say and do what she thinks. She’s a feminist and proud, but isn’t perfect. She drinks and smokes and swears and is one of the most realistic and relatable characters I’ve read. She’s doing eco and knows about the stock market and keeps her bras in the fridge (which is actually clever??) and isn’t always the best friend.
Her friends and well-rounded and have their own personalities and quirks and I love Blondie/Mitch and his character development is RAD and by the end he’s a better person, but not perfect as well which is awesome because who is perfect anyway?? His family is included and I like that Aidan changes as well from the first and next time that Jess meets him.
Allie and her Instagram addiction are so real and Leanne could be someone I know and Farren – she is bloody awesome and she’s outspoken and proud and stubborn and on the edge of adulthood.
I thought 3rd person would distance me and shut me out as the reader but I didn’t even notice it wasn’t 1st – which is what I associate with close author/character relate-ability.
The sex scenes were real and detailed (but not too detailed), and weren’t glossed over because they were a big part of Jess and Mitch’s relationship and Jess’ stage in her life and part of her character development. It’s apart of the uni world they’re in now so I am glad glad it was included. The romance and language used was appropriate for the context and beautifully fitted in and just bloody well done.
The gender square off was done in the best way possible. It was real and unflinchingly honest and almost uncomfortable but it had to be if it was going to show the real thing. It wasn’t (stereotypical) sneaky gestures by the girls – it was huge look at me and what I’m doing gestures because girls are powerful and it was shown like that.
Mitch’s guilt was confronting and made him vulnerable and Jess comforted but couldn’t fix him because that’s just not how it works. Their relationship wasn’t insta – there were fights and hair dye and no touching and unfair comments and regrettable actions, but they worked and worked and apologised and made more mistakes to get it comfortable again.
Summer Skin is raw and edgy and exciting and emotional and relatable and feminist and loud and brilliant and fast and zingy.
*My phone has very little pixels and I didn’t feel patient enough to find and artistically place things around the book for my #bookstagram photo so I just made it on Photoshop