All Summer Long by Melody Carson

Disclaimer: All Summer Long, by Melody Carlson, was provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review.

Tia D’Amico is thrilled to move to San Francisco to help her aunt transform an old luxury yacht into an upscale floating restaurant. What’s not to love? Sunset dinner cruises, posh wedding receptions—the possibilities are endless and far more appetizing than staying in a monotonous job in her Podunk hometown. Besides, some of her best memories are tied to San Francisco—especially the memory of Leo Parker, her crush from a long-ago sailing camp. When Leo Parker himself turns out to be the yacht’s captain, Tia is floating on air. But will it all come crashing down around her when she discovers his heart belongs to someone else?

All Summer Long is melodramatic and ridiculous and doesn’t even have a good plot or setting to offset all the eyerolling. I sound harsh from the get-go, I know, but I’m a little tired of trying to sugarcoat bad writing. The book starts off by Tia feeling offended that Leo never told her he was engaged when there was no particular reason for him to do so because it’s none of her business and if she expects him to spill his entire life story in a twenty-minute car ride then that’s her problem. Then the book goes into Tia feeling alternately sorry for herself, offended again, and then angry for whatever reasons, and then sorry for herself again, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum. Then we have Natalie, the typical, unoriginal “glamorous” girlfriend/fiancé who is a walking cliché, and some other random people who aren’t memorable at all.

I suppose one positive is that at least Tia thinks for a little bit about how she doesn’t want to be “that girl”—you know, the girl the guy dates right after he breaks up with his fiancé—because she is, irrevocably, “that girl.” It bothered me to no end that Leo and Tia start dating about ten minutes (seriously) after he and Natalie officially break up. I’m glad that Carlson addressed that issue, but it was so glanced over that it felt more dissatisfying than anything else.

Also, the Christian books I review tend to fall into either “preachy Christian novel” camps or “so little Christianity that it barely deserves the label” camp. All Summer Long is the latter, with a few mentions of church and prayer for ill family being all that encompasses the Christian aspect of the novel. There was some prime spots for some Christianity to slip in, but instead Carlson chose to accentuate character feelings (over and over), which is a pity because I think this novel could have had a lot to say about the nature of self-doubt, troublesome relationships, and discernment. As it stands, it says very little, and very badly.

My rating: 1/5

Warnings: None.

Genre: Realistic, Christian

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