The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner
Published by Little, Brown and Company
When attorney Marin Bishop loses her job and her fiancé in the same week, she can’t imagine any more surprises in her life – until she gets a call from a stranger, Rachel, who explains that she and Marin are biological sisters and Rachel is on her way to meet their biological grandmother. Marin’s parents have been happily married since before Marin’s birth, so while this news is extremely confusing and she remains in denial about Rachel’s claims, she agrees to accompany her to their supposed biological grandmother’s beach house. At the last minute, Marin’s mother tells her that she and her father are getting a divorce and she’d like to accompany Marin and Rachel on this trip – even though she still refuses to tell Marin the truth about her paternity. This road trip is just the beginning of a summer filled with secrets being outed, lives being changed forever, and relationships evolving as these three women figure out the truth about their pasts and futures.
The Forever Summer started off with a lot of promise, but it has SO much going on that it ended up being a bit much for me. I will just be honest and say upfront that I just did not enjoy the book. About halfway through, I wanted to give up because there was just too much drama – most of it unrealistic – but a small part of me did want to know what would happen to the characters, so I pushed on.
Without spoilers, I will just say that way too many bad things happened to these characters in a short period of time to the point where it felt like a soap opera and not a novel. It was just too much – unrealistic melodrama at its finest. I totally get why people could love this, though – there are multiple characters with Major Issues to focus on, complicated family dramas, big reveals towards the end of the book, all kinds of stuff to keep the reader interested. I have to admit, I was kept on my toes throughout most of the book as I waited anxiously to find out what would happen to these characters. But the reason I wanted to find out how things would turn out wasn’t because I cared, necessarily, it was more that I had already invested time into the book and wanted that time to pay off somehow.
Overall I didn’t HATE the book but just can’t recommend it. Plenty of people would enjoy The Forever Summer but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.