Summer Days and Summer Nights is a collection of twelve short love stories set in the summer. If you’re a fan of romance, you must definitely check this out. It features authors who write different genres and who have completely different writing styles. The cast of characters through the stories are so diverse in race and sexuality, it’s refreshing to read such a progressive novel. All the stories are so different you’re definitely going to find at least one story you’ll enjoy. I’m going to talk about each story in the book, without spoiling anything, rate each story and then the anthology as a whole.
Minor spoilers throughout, I’d recommend reading this without knowing anything beforehand. So read, and then come back so we can discuss!
Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo – 4 stars
I didn’t expect this to be what it was. I didn’t dislike it, it was just different. I loved how the characters went from friends to lovers, the development of their relationship was very cute. I thought the end of the story was rather unresolved but it sets the tone for the rest of the book as cute love stories with aspects of surrealism.
The End of Love by Nina Lacour – 3 stars
Lacour has a brilliant writing style, drawing the reader in and keeping them hooked. However, while the writing is great, I can’t say the same about the romance. I loved that this was an F/F romance but it felt a bit forced. Flora and Mimi’s relationship was very vague and not explained well. I loved the friendship between Mimi, Hope and Travis but the romance aspect didn’t do much for me. Flora had a lot of family issues that we didn’t get any resolution about. I’d have liked if this was a bit longer, so much happened in Flora’s past but because of the length of the story, we couldn’t get any details about it.
Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Gray – 3 stars
The dialogue in this story is brilliant – Dave, Dani and Kevin are all hilarious together. This is another story that I didn’t expect to be as surreal as it was. The movie coming to life and it’s characters possessing the audience was a very unique idea. I liked how the characters of the story managed to get out of the situation they were in. However, coming out of a near death experience seemed to be the only reason this romance even happened so that was disappointing.
Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block – 2.5 stars
I loved the writing of this story, but the characters fell a bit flat for me. The characters are referred to by a single letter, presumably the initial of their first names. ‘M’ was very controlling and it quite relatable because most friend groups usually have a ‘leader’. ‘I’ was very submissive and had no character growth through the story. One thing that bothered me was that all the characters seem very smart but they keep doing stupid things. The chemistry between ‘A’ and ‘I’ was great while they were dancing but their romance was a bit random. The ending is very abrupt and open, which is realistic, I suppose but unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan.
In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins – 2 stars
This seems to be a favourite of most because the characters here are from the first anthology, My True Love Gave To Me, and this story is a continuation of their relationship. But because I haven’t read the first one, I didn’t like this story. It was long and boring and I’ll admit, I skimmed through the pages of the descriptions of the surroundings. I loved North’s comic timing but apart from that, this story didn’t do much foe me. I’m going to read the other anthology and come back to this. But for now, as someone who doesn’t know the characters and isn’t invested in their relationship, I did not like this story.
Souvenirs by Tim Federle – 4 stars
I was not expecting a breakup story in this collection, but this was so adorable. I really hope Matty and Keith get back together at some point. Matty was a cutie and Keith was a bit frustrating but together they made a great couple. This story made me feel warm and fuzzy and the story was so cute, I loved it! 🙂
Inertia by Veronica Roth – 4.5 stars
I found the concept of this story so interesting – the Visitation idea was so cool, I’d love to read a full length novel in this world. I loved Roth’s writing here, it’s far better than in Allegiant which I despised. Her characters are so full of emotion and I loved how Matt and Claire went from friends to lovers. I didn’t expect Matt to survive but he did, which was awesome. I loved this story and thought it has a very sweet ending.
Love is the Last Resort – 2 stars
This is a very love heavy story – the author is quite evidently a big fan of love stories, which we can see through his little author interludes, which were a nice touch to the story. This story is a cliche lovers dream with cliche upon cliche. The dialogue is very awkward and old fashioned and the characters were quite boring. I liked that everyone ended up with who they wanted to BUT while a lot of the other stories had surreal aspects, this one, despite being a completely normal (by which I mean, the absence of surreal elements) story was very unrealistic.
Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert – 4 stars
This was such a cute story, I loved how Rashida and Pierre bonded over the things they had in common. It explores some dark themes in a lighthearted manner – it showed the good and the bad in the city. I loved the diversity. Rashida’s anger was understood. Communication was vital in this story, they went from disliking each other to liking each other. Their deep talk led to friendship and then presumably, love 🙂
Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare – 4 stars
This was my most anticipated story because Cassandra Clare wrote it. It is a fantasy, and I got very Night Circus vibes from it. I loved that this, like many others in this story, had a love that went from friends to lovers. I liked the writing but it wasn’t like how Cassie’s books usually are. The plot twists were quite unexpected but the end was very rushed. I felt like this was a summary of a story instead of an actual story. With a few more characters and story arcs, this could have been a full length novel.
A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith – 5 stars
I loved this story so so so much, now I want to read all of Jennifer E. Smith’s books. It’s a very cute story, and I loved Noah. Autism was dealt with very well in this story and I loved how the main character reacted to it. It was a very heartwarming story. I don’t want to say too much about it, except that this was one of the best love stories I have ever read in my life.
A Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman – 5 stars
This was my favourite story in this anthology. I LOVE stories that have to do with time – bending time, going to the past, changing the future – I adore stories like that. I adored the narrative of the protagonist, Mark – he’s got a great sense of humour and I really liked seeing him evolve through the story. A big part of the story is finding these “perfect moments” in the day, which reminds us all to just admire nature and take time to absorb everything that happens around us. The pace at which the story went was great and I loved how it ended. It was a perfect conclusion to this collection.
Averaging the ratings for each story comes to around 3.58 which I’m rounding off to 3.5.
The cover features all the characters in each of the story which is so cute. I found this picture on the net so I’ll leave this here:
There are some great stories and some not so great stories. There is plenty of diversity in the characters. I love the concept of this anthology and the themes it explores and if you like romance or are looking for something to read this summer, I highly recommend this book 🙂