21 July 2017

Review: One S'More Summer by Beth Merlin


One S’more Summer
Beth Merlin

The Campfire Series #1

Published May 30th 2017

Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
If you love Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin, you’ll love this heartwarming debut from a fresh voice in contemporary chick-lit that offers a lighthearted and fun take on friendship, love, and how to recover from past mistakes.

For twenty long years, Gigi Goldstein has been pining away for her best friend’s guy. She knows it’s wrong and it has to stop, but she hasn’t been able to let go ever since they all met on the bus to summer camp back when they were 7 years old. The same week that her best friends finally announce their wedding date, Gigi loses her high-profile design job. With all of her dreams unravelling, she runs to the last place she remembers being happy.

Taking the Head Counselor position at Camp Chinooka, Gigi hopes to reclaim the joy she felt as a camper, but the job isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every scrap of the campground is laced with memories.

When Gigi finally realizes she can’t escape the present by returning to her past, she’s forced to reexamine her life and find the true meaning of love. But will she be able to mend fences and forgive herself before she loses her one real shot at happiness?

My Review

I really wanted to love this novel, as the synopsis gave me vibes of the Something Borrowed film that I absolutely love. But Merlin made it very difficult for me to do so.

Gigi is basically just running away from her problems the entire novel, and I know that she ever really faces them. She just seems to swap one method for another. Pining after Joshua? Pours self into work. Feeling crappy about dating BFF's boyfriend  while they were broken up, and as a result ending up effecting work and getting fired? Run off to be a counsellor at the camp where it all started. Want to get over Joshua because he is marrying you best friend? Fall for another counsellor at the camp. AND after all that, lets not even end up together at the end of the novel? *rage quit*

The main internal conflict that Gigi deals with is the betrayal of her supposed BFF, Alicia. I say supposed because I never really any evidence of this. They barely talk. They barely see each other. They keep major parts of their lives from one another. Really, if anyone is her best friend, it's Jamie. She tells him everything. He does favours for Gigi at the drop of a hat. At best I think we can call Alicia Gigi's oldest friend. Also, I don't really see how there was any betrayal in the first place since, a) Alicia and Joshua were broken up when they got together, and b) technically, Gigi saw him first. If anything, it's Joshua that is the major douche canoe here. He was perfectly happy with Gigi, then he just drops her the minute Alicia wants to get back together. THEN he continues to string her along. UGH. I do not like Joshua.

Also, the time line jumps all over the place, so I found it difficult to order events in my head.

Probably the only thing that prevented One S'More Summer from getting a 1 star rating from me is that I genuinely enjoyed the camp related stuff. The activities, interactions with the kids, the rivalry between cabin groups. It was fun and witty, and a joy to read.

I supposed this book isn't too terrible if you don't mind no character growth, and having the little story progression that was made dropped at the end. I guess maybe the story progression and character growth happens in the squeal? To bad the likelihood of me reading that is slim to none.


2 out of 5

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