Review: The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

Review: The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

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The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan is a book that is perfect for your summer reading list. There are so many different sides to this book that it will engage more than just fans of contemporary novels. The characters are well-developed and the writing is really interesting.

Review: The Summer List by Amy Mason DoanTitle: The Summer List
Author: Amy Mason Doan
Also by this author: Summer Hours
Publisher: Graydon House
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

A tender yet tantalizing novel about two friends, the summer night they fell apart, and the scavenger hunt that reunites them decades later—until the clues expose a breathtaking secret that just might shatter them once and for all.

Laura and Casey were once inseparable: as they floated on their backs in the sunlit lake, as they dreamed about the future under starry skies, and as they teamed up for the wild scavenger hunts in their small California lakeside town. Until one summer night, when a shocking betrayal sent Laura running through the pines, down the dock, and into a new life, leaving Casey and a first love in her wake.

But the past is impossible to escape, and now, after seventeen years away, Laura is pulled home and into a reunion with Casey she can’t resist—one last scavenger hunt. With a twist: this time, the list of clues leads to the settings of their most cherished summer memories. From glistening Jade Cove to the vintage skating rink, each step they take becomes a bittersweet reminder of the friendship they once shared. But just as the game brings Laura and Casey back together, the clues unravel a stunning secret that threatens to tear them apart…

Mesmerizing and unforgettable, Amy Mason Doan’s The Summer List is about losing and recapturing the person who understands you best—and the unbreakable bonds of girlhood.

Amazon “iBooks”

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

There are so many elements to this book that make it a really enjoyable read. The themes of friendship and mother-daughter relationships are what glue the book together. However, there is also some mystery surrounding the reasons why the girls had a falling out in their teen years. The scavenger hunts that the characters go on are also lots of fun to read and set so much in motion for the characters as the book progresses. The hunts were my favourite aspect of the novel.

❀ Well-Developed Characters

I love it when a book has really well-developed characters. Even the side characters are compelling and well-rounded. Laura and Casey are both very engaging and grow so much throughout the novel. I also really enjoyed reading about Casey’s mom, Alex, she is such a spunky, free-spitted woman. She adds an element of excitement to the story.

❀ Three Timelines

The Summer List is actually written in three different timelines. The main parts of the story are written in a dual timeline that shows the girls in their teens and then as adults. However, there is another side story that is woven throughout the novel. At first, the third timeline seems a bit too much, but as the story moves along, it becomes clear that it will all tie together in the end.

❀ A Summery Read

The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan is a book that will satisfy your need for a summery read and give you a little bit of a mystery to solve as well. Although the book is definitely women’s fiction, it can easily be a YA crossover, as much of the novel is set during the teen years of Casey and Laura.

Book Quotes: The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

Book Beginning

Then―not typical―a hot pink envelope. It had fallen facedown, revealing a sticker centred over the triangular flap: a mermaid. Holding a sign saying, You’re Invited!

Friday 56

“What is it?”

I opened it. My talisman. My music box. I only open it on very special occasions. I knew exactly how much to wind it so it would play one time. I was afraid one day I’d overwind it. Then I’d either have to entrust it to some horrible clumsy jewelry repair shop or live with its cold muteness forever.

About Amy Mason Doan

Image of Amy Mason Doan

Amy lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, daughter, and rescue tabby. She grew up in California, but as a girl she visited the Oregon Shakespeare Fest with her grandparents every year, and she now considers both states home.

As a writer for publications including The Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired and Forbes, Amy has interviewed everyone from beer-brewing monks to nanotechnologists. Amy has an M.A. in journalism from Stanford University and a B.A. in English from U.C. Berkeley.

THE SUMMER LIST is her first novel, and draws on her beloved summers in lakeside Pinecrest, California. A second novel, set in coastal California and Oregon, will be published in 2019.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

15 thoughts on “Review: The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

  1. Sam@WLABB says:

    I had my eye on this one. I like relationship books, and this one explores so many different types of relationships. I am also a fan of multiple timelines (I know, people seem to hate them). I like it, because you can really see how much the characters have grown. Great review!
    Sam@WLABB recently posted…In a Nutshell Reviews

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