Thursday, June 16, 2011

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
Publication: April 19, 2011 by Razorbill
(269 pages, paperback)
Summary: Noah’s happier than I’ve seen him in months. So I’d be an awful brother to get in the way of that. It’s not like I have some relationship with Melinda. It was just a kiss. Am I going to ruin Noah’s happiness because of a kiss? 
Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart. But some girls are addictive.... 
Not your typical beach read.
My thoughts: I was expecting a typical beach read with this one. The cover, while interesting, also kind of made me think it was going to be a light read. But I was proven completely wrong. Invincible Summer is serious, meaningful, and one of my favorite reads of this year. Chase, the main character, is not only easy-to-relate too, but deep, and a great male POV character. As the summers go by, I got more and more hooked, and slowly came to love and hate all the same things that he did. I understood his sentiments and was wowed by the writing. The simplicity coupled with the summery setting made this a perfect summer read, and a great read for any time of the year.
The book goes over four of Chase's summers, spent in a town with his family, who falls apart and comes together and changes in unexpected ways. Chase's family was strange and not-so-average, but in a way they were normal, so they were all easy to relate too. My favorite character was Noah, Chase's older brother, because he was a mystery. I loved the way the brothers talked to each other, and their complicated relationship. I also loved Chase, because he was sensitive, but not in that typical oh-I'm-so-deep-and-so-lonely boring way that a lot of male characters in YA are. He was real, and almost too real at times.
Since throughout the book there are Camus quotes and a lot of wondering what the purpose of life is, and other serious, typical deep-reading content, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who only likes fast-paced novels or books that are only surface deep. There was some lightness and I enjoyed the humor (mostly sarcasm from Noah, which made me love him even more) a lot too, which made the book not some tedious, over-the-top serious story.
The writing was great. Deep, but not cheesy or forced. I could go on for a while about how much I loved the writing and how many quotes I just had to write down, but I won't bore you. Just read it and find out just how great it is. A lot of reviews seem to be either love-or-hate type, and I definitely fall into the latter category, because not only did I fall in love with the writing, but the characters, setting, and even the story. It made me think and made me cry and laugh. Everything I could ask for from a YA novel, it had. I was satisfied with the ending, even. Which is to say, it was amazing, since I'm hardly ever pleased with the endings of novels that aren't part of a series.
What I liked most of all was the diversity. The story isn't about any one thing in particular, except I suppose summer, and it covered all the bases of a teenage angst story while standing out from all the rest. There was seriousness and lightness and I'm getting repetitive but there's not much more to say than that it was one of the best realistic YA novels I've ever read, and had me hooked from start to end. While it was slower paced, it took me on a complete emotional roller coaster and I loved every second of it (even while I was busy hating it for making me care so much). It was amazing, poignant, and simple.
Covering the Cover: I'm not a huge fan, but only because it makes the story look way lighter than it actually is. But I kind of like it for its intriguing, if a little, erm, intimidating.
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 10/5 (If I'm allowed to do that.)
Overall Rating: 5 stars


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