The Perfect Poolside Read Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Summer Days and Summer Nights is, as the title suggests, a collection of short stories all featuring summer romance, making it a perfect read for this time of year. After being kindly sent this book by Pan Macmillan, I raced through it at the end of last summer and mentioned it various times on my blog. However, I never fully reviewed it as posting about a summer themed book in autumn didn't seem appropriate, but now that summer is finally upon us, I thought it was the perfect time to share all of my thoughts and opinions on this beautiful, heartwarming read.

This book contains twelve short stories, meaning you can choose to read one per sitting or race through the entire book whilst lying in the sun, much like I did. If you're someone who can't commit to a long novel, especially when you're on holiday with many distractions and plenty of other things to do, then Summer Days and Summer Nights may be the perfect book for you. I never usually read short stories, but I embraced this book with open arms and ended up really enjoying it, so I'd definitely say that it's worth a try.

Let's be honest, you don't want to read anything incredibly heavy-going or intense whilst you're chilling in the sun, yet equally, you don't want a book that is boring. Summer Days and Summer Nights is the perfect choice in this instance, being captivating and enthralling whilst still being a light read. Despite being short stories, there was still a great level of depth and the plot didn't feel lacking or rushed at any points, yet all of the stories still had a relaxed atmosphere that makes them perfect for indulging in for some light poolside reading.

A variety of different authors contributed to this novel, including notable names such as Stephanie Perkins, Cassandra Clare and Leigh Bardugo, as well as a few that I'd never heard of. Not only was this the perfect introduction to the works of many authors, but it was also interesting to see how each interpreted the theme of summer love in a different way, providing a wide variety of storylines and genres included.

To give you a taste of what Summer Days and Summer Nights is like, I thought I'd share my three favourite short stories from the collection with you, in no particular order, all of which exemplify the different genres and styles included.

Favourite #1 - Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron 
If you're looking for an idealistic, feel-good summer love story then look no further than this. Being set in a vacation resort, this story fits perfectly with the summer theme and has an instantly uplifting vibe to it. It's essentially three love stories rolled into one, with plenty of matchmaking and cliche yet cute moments scattered throughout. I loved the quirky style of narration and almost cheesy comedic moments, which really added to the essence of this incredibly breezy and enjoyable story.

Favourite #2 - Inertia by Veronica Roth
This is definitely the most creative story in the collection, revolving around the premise of the 'Last Visitation' where you are able to revisit shared memories in your final moments. This was a huge departure from the lighthearted summer reading I was expecting, but it made for an emotional read that was probably my favourite. I love the concept of controlling someone's mind and the focus on dreams, meaning I was fully immersed throughout reading this. Not only does this sci-fi story feature impeccable writing, but it does a brilliant job at exploring family and friendship relationships, as well as the topics of mental health and grief.

Favourite #3 - Souvenirs by Tim Federle
This story essentially flips the cliche of idealistic, happy summer romances on its head, with the main characters counting down to their 'break-up day'. It has a pensive, melancholic vibe to it which you definitely wouldn't expect from a summer-themed story, but this is paired with a fun, upbeat tone and a lot of humour. The rambling style of the teenage narrative epitomises authentic love, and this story definitely portrays the most realistic relationship in the collection, despite still having a scattering of heartfelt moments.

To conclude, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins, and the contributions from other authors made it an unforgettable read that I'd urge you to pick up. If you're looking for a summer romance featuring racial diversity, LGBT characters, mental health issues or many other topics, this book has a variety to keep you entertained and leave you with a heartwarming sense of happiness.

I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts of this book, and if you'd like me to review any other books in the future then make sure you let me know down in the comments. Thanks for reading and I'll see you again next Sunday!

Love from Daisy x

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