Growing up I didn’t go to summer camp often, there was always so many fun activities going on in the community that I grew up in that it seemed silly to go away somewhere to do the same things. Plus the the kids that were in my neighborhood may not have always been the ones that I hung out with at school for various reasons. But when I did go to summer camp there was always something magical about it and so I’ve always enjoyed reading books that deal with the subject. Five Summers by Una LaMarche is the newest summer camp book that is told from the points of view of the four best friends (Emma, Maddie, Skylar, and Johanna) over their five summers at camp.
The girls all come from different areas and home lives and they reinvent themselves in different ways at camp. Each summer they come together grow and bond and then they go home for the winter and wait until the next summer. Eventually they grow too old to attend the camp as campers and while some return as counselors the girls mostly drift apart. That is until the annual reunion weekend comes and the girls reunite. Over the course of the book you learn what brings the girls together, what drives them apart, and what bonds them all over again.
Five Summers is a tale of friendship at its best and while there is romance in the story it doesn’t dominate it. In some ways, Five Summers reminded me a little of Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer (my review). Although it was lacking some of the magic that I found in that book. While I enjoyed Five Summers I wish that it had a bit more depth to it. The whole story was a bit predictable and superficial and while part of me was glad the romance wasn’t the focus I also wish that there was more of it.
Five Summers is a book about camp. If you’ve ever been to camp or dreamed of going to camp then it should bring up some fond memories. Five Summers is a book about summer and its lazy days. Its a book about friendships and first loves. Its a quick read and would be a great book to bring with you to read at the beach. Its what I would call a brain candy book in which its fun to read but doesn’t tax the brain too much. To be a brain candy book isn’t a bad thing, sometimes you need those light books to distract yourself from the world. The sort of book that is like an episode of Full House where everything is resolved in 30 minutes and everyone is happy and smiling at the end.
This was Una LaMarche’s first book and while it didn’t wow me as some other debuts I did like it enough to know that I will be looking out for her next book. She may not focus on romance but she does know how to write about friendships. She also writes a pretty entertaining blog so you should check that out after you finish reading her book. If you are a fan of Morgan Matson then you might enjoy this book as well. LaMarche and Matson have a similar style and I look forward to seeing LaMarche’s writing grow over future books.