Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"summer's list" by anita higman

Thirty-something single Summer Snow has been unlucky in love. But when her grandmother's dying wish is for Summer to complete a bucket list of sorts with the childhood friend she hasn't seen in twenty years, it seems Summer's luck in love is about to change.

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.

Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness---caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore---she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love . . . didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something---or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

When I first heard about Summer's List, I was intrigued. I love reading about older heroines, and the bucket list concept combined with a long-lost best friend sounded fun and romantic. And it was, some of the time. However, I really struggled to connect with Summer's List. I think there are several reasons for this:
  • The dialog often comes off as stilted and unnatural. I don't think I've met anyone who speaks quite like Summer, Martin, and Granny, and their conversations tended to make me feel removed from the story.
  • The novel is dialog heavy and description light. This wouldn't be such a problem if the dialog was more natural, but because I didn't particularly enjoy the dialog, the lack of description only further removed me from the story.
  • Martin's brothers are horrible at best and psychotic at worst. The resolution with them near the end of the novel really seemed too good to be true.
  • A few things aren't explained fully, like Summer's parents' deaths and Martin's parents' abandonment. I definitely would have liked more information and, in the case of Martin's parents, a more thorough resolution.
I did enjoy certain aspects of the novel, though. I loved the list that Summer had to complete, especially the hot air balloon ride. That scene, as well as the events directly following, really tugged at my heart. Martin was completely endearing, and I enjoyed watching him rekindle his friendship (and more) with Summer. I also enjoyed the mystery of Martin's parents--both biological and adoptive. 

I wish that I had liked Summer's List more, but I just didn't connect with the majority of the novel. I do think that many readers will enjoy it, but it wasn't the novel for me. 2-1/2 stars.

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Higman's A Merry Little Christmas ( 3-1/2 stars) and Winter in Full Bloom (3 stars).

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find Anita online: website, Twitter, Facebook

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Oh my gosh! I am so glad I read this review!
    I was suppose to post a review and totally forgot!

    I pretty much agree with almost everything you said!!
    I give it a generous 3 stars.
    But I agree with not connecting with the characters.
    And yes, there were a lot of details left out and too much details in places where there didn't need to be.

    Thanks for reminding me of this!!


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