Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway: THE SUMMER OF SKINNY DIPPING


OK, so full disclosure, THE SUMMER OF SKINNY DIPPING by Amanda Howells is my kind of book. For me the cover + the title = a book I ABSOLUTELY had to read. And I wasn't disappointed.

THE SUMMER OF SKINNY DIPPING follows 16-year-old Mia to the Hamptons for the summer. Her cousins are NYC hipsters and she sticks out like a sore thumb in their glam crowd. Add a strained relationship with her mother and a boatload of body image issues and you wind up with a pretty realistic portrait of a teen girl. But when Mia meets the fearless Simon on one of her late night walks on the beach, everything changes and her miserable summer turns magical.

This book makes you long for the beach and a summer romance. I fell in love with Mia, Simon and even Mia's crazy family. I think this might be the perfect beach read. But this book goes deeper than your typical YA romance. It has more substance and style. Honestly,  I want you guys to read it so I have people to discuss the book with! There's a lot to talk about....

Lucky for you guys, I'm going to be giving away our ARC to one reader. All you have to do is make sure you're a blog follower and leave us a comment about your best summer vacation. The contest will be open until 11:59 PM on Sunday May 23rd. Good luck!

60 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

Not sure I would be into this story but why prejudge?

Can I leave my comment here? My best summer vacation was spent at summer camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area which butts right up against Canada in Northern Minnesota. It is one of the most beautiful wildernesses I have ever seen.

I spent 6 weeks living out of a canoe, tent and backpack and enjoyed (almost) every moment of it. There are lakes there so fresh and pure that you can see all the way to the bottom on a sunny day, even if the lake is a hundred feet deep.

Christine Danek said...

Sounds good. Best summer vacation: the beach. It holds my best memories--ice cream, sand, sun, boardwalk...

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

Yay for an awesome some read review! Thanks so much,

My favorite summer vacation was definitely my destination wedding/honeymoon in St. Lucia two years ago. We spent two weeks in paradise. We had loved ones around (for part of the time!), did e3very activity we possibly could, and I was priveleged to marry my wonderful significant other.

Marissa

Christina Farley said...

Yeah! A beach read. I always am looking for those for the summer.

Rachele Alpine said...

I have to agree with Matt...I camped for ten years at Camp Christopher and then was a counselor for four. I loved loved loved that place. I remember leaveing at the end of every summer and crying for days. Sometimes I think leaving summer camp was worse than a break up...I was always heart broken to see the summer end.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Cool contest!

I loved lazy summer vacations. My best friend and I had a general schedule- wake up, have breakfast- call eachother around 8:30am- go for a walk, go swimming, lounge around the pool, snack, lounge, snack, lounge, snack..you get the picture. Then our parents would get together for a bonfire at night and have beers while we swam (the water was always cooler than the air) or caught fire flies. (yes we seriously did catch fire flights for fun) I don't think I'll ever see another vacation like that again.

Liza said...

Oh I would so love this book for my sixteen-year-old daughter...of course I would read it too. My best summer vacation was the summer I was 16, and lived and worked with my girlfriend at her parents' inn located in a different state...I had my first kiss...

Bethany Elizabeth said...

That sounds like a great book, and I can totally understand the need to talk about books with someone. :)
Umm.... Favorite summer vacation? I'd have to say Cannon Beach when I was about 14. My family was at a conference with extended family that we never see and our best friends. An entire week of being kids just before being kids went out of style, dancing on the beach and screaming at the top of our lungs as we jumped into the freezing waves... meanwhile the family watched and shook their heads, taking us to eat seafood when we got cold, then reading in the late afternoon, getting together for the conference meeting in the early evening, ice cream and card games afterwards. It was pretty magical. :D

Katie said...

This sounds AWESOME! Totally my kind of book. As for summer vacays, I was a nanny one time for a family up north. Not the Hamptons but somewhere like it. I was a shy nervous wreck and it didn't turn out well, but a hottie liked my accent and TRIED to give me a fabulous summer. Too bad, I was too shy to even go out with him. What a dork, I was.

uughhh.

I did meet one of the Von Trapp children though. One of the REAL kids that the Sound of Music movie was based on. Of course he was probably 40.

salarsenッ said...

Ooh, sounds great and my kind of story. Sweet and genuine.

Many favorite summer stories, ones that culminate around summer campfires and family, or amusement parks and cotton candy. But my latest favorite is for the past 6 years, hubby and I take two days and morph into teens again. We go to Boston to a Red Sox game, eat, drink, and be very, very merry--alone.

Cheese.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh oh! I so want to read this book. I've already won one of your giveaways (and I'm super glad I did) so I'm not going to enter this time. I have, though, had some pretty amazing summers. :D

But I have something on my blog for you today. :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Sounds good. :)

I've had so many good summers, but my trip to Hawaii is prob at the top of the list. Swimming with huge sea turtles and dolphins (in the wild), walking so close to an active volcano that my shoes started to melt, meeting awesome people. Such good memories. Sadly, no skinny dipping.

But there's always THIS summer! :)

Hardygirl said...

Hmm. Best summer vacation? Last year with the family in Colorado.

But, maybe I need to think back to teen years . . . nope. Those all turned out disastrous (boyfriend breakups, unfulfilled crushes, best friend trauma . ..)

Ick. I think I'd just like to read about some other teenager's vacation. So . . . pick me! Pick me!!

sf

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I agree with you, the cover is gorgeous and the title is funny, it sure catches one's eyes.

My high school summers were always fun: we had a country house on the lake shore, I spent weeks there with my friends: we read/talked/swam during the days, and at night we had bonfires, BBQs and story telling. Truly memorable :-)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Sounds like a great read.:)

My best summer: Swimming with dolphins in Florida on my birthday 3 years ago. I always smile when I think about it.

Laura Pauling said...

Um, let's see. My favorite summer memory is a day trip to the ocean with my best friend and riding the waves and the fear and adrenaline that comes with almost crashing into the pilings. Yes, we could have been seriously hurt but the waves were that powerful.

Lynn said...

This sounds like a wonderful read. A read that myself and daughters can read and discuss. I love those kind of books.
My best summer vacation had to be Cancun when I learned how to wind surf.

Simon C. Larter said...

Okay, admit it. When you read the name of the male romantic interest, you totally thought of me, didn't you? Well, I guess I can't discount the fact that you might've thought about Simon Cowell, since he's all famous and stuff, but I'm thinking you were thinking of me. Was Simon wearing shades when he met Mia on the beach? That would kind of clinch it, wouldn't it? (I know you said it was late night walks, but he could totally still be wearing shades. Adds to the coolness factor, y'know. Because tripping over things on the beach late at night because you're wearing shades is definitely cool.)

You don't have to admit to all that in public. You can e-mail me and confess. I won't judge.

:)

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Sounds like a great summer read!

Best vacation hmmm, summers is Montreal!

Serenissima said...

A beachy romance sounds devine.

Best summer vaca would be eurorailing with my boyfriend, who's now my hubby.

Marsha Sigman said...

Best summer vacation...summertime in the Ozark Mountains, clear mountain lakes, rope swings, and camping under the stars.

Jonathon Arntson said...

My best summer vacation was the one where I finally discovered, no accepted who I am. Of course, the following school year sucked, but that summer free of inhibitions was amazing.

Carolyn V. said...

Wow, sounds like a great book for me to read this summer! =) Thanks for the review. =)

Readerly Person said...

Studying creative writing at Columbia University!

- Rebecca

Laura Marcella said...

This book looks great! I'm adding it to my to-read list, but maybe I'll win it! *fingers crossed*

My favorite summer vacation was when I was 6 years old! My parents, sister, 2 brothers and I camped from PA to AZ. We had a pop-up camper. We took one route to Arizona, visited with our relatives for a week, then returned home a different route. That's how I'd been to (or driven through) more than half the states before I was 7. We camped every summer and did a similar long trip from PA to ME, but there was nothing like that AZ trip. Incredible experience!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Great contest! You've intrigued me with the book...

My best summer? Probably the summer I got married. My husband and I drove through the UP of MI through MN and Down through IL visiting family and sightseeing. It was awesome.

Linda Henderson said...

I think my favorite vacation was going to Disneyland, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Colorado all in a two week vacation. We had a lot of fun.

Elana Johnson said...

It looks great! Sounds like my kind of book too. So is it not out yet, then? Dangitall...

My best summer vacay was last year when we went to Yellowstone. I went with my in-laws and didn't pay or worry about anything. Awesome.

Icy Roses said...

Dude, this looks like a quintessential summer book. Headless girls + beaches on cover = obvious summer bestseller.

Seriously though, I'm probably going to check it out because any book with beaches on the cover makes me want to read it in the summer. Ay, my landlocked life.

Icy Roses said...

Oy, forgot to leave a comment about my best summer vacay.

Um, probably when I went to China when I was 10. I think it's easiest to enjoy things when you're young (what am I talking about, I'm like a baby compared to everyone here), and you have the best memories of that time. In case you didn't know, middle of China in summer = 100+ Fahrenheit every day. Plus, my brother and I spent most of my time in the countryside with my paternal grandparents. When there's a lack of electricity in the summer, they redirect it from the country to the city, so we were without electricity most days until after the sun went down. I had no English books (and I was an avid reader), so my grandpa bought me Uncle Tom's Cabin and I swear that I read it at least 5 times through. I still have that version, with Chinese writing on the cover and a Chinese index in the back. We pumped water out of wells, caught bucket loads of frogs and baby toads in the rain, and played badminton in the streets with the village kids with crappy racquets and no net. We climbed on dusty rooftops and watched the stars come out every night. In the morning, I would wake up to the yelling of traveling vendors selling cucumbers, tomatoes, and liang pi, a kind of cold noodle with hot sauce.

Best summer of my life.

Katelyn (twaddleoranything) said...

Aw, this sounds like a lovely read!

My favorite summer vacation involved best friends, fireworks, almost-kisses, a poodle who thought he was a person, mother-daughter bonding, Josh Groban (live!), and a creative writing workshop at Duke. Utterly wonderful.

Dara said...

I didn't really have many summer vacations to places when I was growing up (it was difficult financially) but my favorite summer was when we went to D.C. and Virginia Beach when I was in 8th grade. We rented a minivan and went with my aunt and cousin. Half the fun was the car ride there and back :P

I also vividly remember going to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and riding the rapids ride about a dozen times. So much fun!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Ooo, sounds like my kind of book--definitely. Must add it to my wishlist.

My best summer vacation...hm...that's hard. I was on year round school from middle school on, so that makes it more tricky.

Honestly, it was probably the summer between my Junior and Senior year of College. I was living in LA. I worked a little at CBS. I was casting a student film so I had headshots arriving at my apartment by the truckload (my mailmain HATED me. He'd leave a bin outside my door every day), and most of them were so hilarious my friends and I would have competitions to find the lamest ones, or the most obscure skill, or the pretty people, etc. And the auditions were priceless. YES I called in a few people there was no WAY we were going to cast, just because I had to see if they were as crazy as they seemed. Good times. :)

Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) said...

My best summer vacation was a few years ago. Me and my family flew out west to see my cousins in Idaho and Wyoming. We got to stay in 2 of their three houses, camp on beautiful lakes, and even go to Yellowstone. And I get to go again this summer!

Loretta Nyhan said...

Beautiful cover on that book! Sounds like a great story, too.

The summer after junior year I went to stay with my great-aunts in my grandfather's hometown in rural Mexico. On the morning of my 17th birthday, my cousin and some of the local boys serenaded me. They freaking stood under my balcony playing guitars and singing at seven in the morning. Best birthday present ever.

C. Michael Fontes said...

My best summer vacation was between sophomore and junior year in high school. I spent every day body boarding at the beach... I have never been that relaxed since.

ChristaCarol said...

This book sounds awesome! And I love the cover.

Hm. My best summer vacation would have to be when I was 18 and I flew to NY to meet some online guy friends. Yeah, my parents were a little liberal. From being the only gal standing on a school roof top while the guys peed off it and having to jump off the damn thing when the cops came (I swear, I was a good girl but this was totally an adrenaline rush!) to enjoying my first experience of the Long Island Sound, and just feeling all around "cool" surrounded by a bunch of dudes, it was a great experience and the only time, sadly, I've been to NY. *sniff*

Shannon said...

This book sounds amazing. And the cover is gorgeous. Adding it to my list! :)

Thanks!

Cara said...

This book sounds great and I need something to fill the void left by the end of the Twilight Series. I've actually started to reread them. I had a wonderful summer romance, back in 1955 - ahh, the memories.

Karyn said...

My favorite summer, winter, whatever vacation is always Disneyland. Pirates of the Caribbean made me long to go to the Caribbean with all my heart. I've gone to the Caribbean three times now... yeah, it was great, but it made me realize that what I really want is to go to Disneyland and ride Pirates of the Caribbean and pretend I'm in the Caribbean. It might be the same for New Orleans, but I haven't been there yet. Isn't imagination always better than real life? Kudos, Walt Disney!

Sarah said...

Ooh, this book looks great! My best summer vacation...a couple of summers ago, I went back to Australia for a month to visit old friends and do fun touristy things you never think to do when you call somewhere home. It was freezing (yes, colder than Canada...and I caught pneumonia. WHAT OF IT?), but perfect and fun.

Sara B. Larson said...

Best summer vacation while I was in high school was the summer I got to go to Sweden and London with my fam. It was GORGEOUS! I love Europe and hope to go back someday...

This book sounds great! I hope I win. :-)

Candyland said...

Best vacation...hmmm...probably LA where I met Jake from California Dreams. I was 12, 190 lbs and couldn't speak. He took a pic with me, but mom did all the talking. Yes, I'm a loser.

Kelly H-Y said...

Sounds great!
My best summer vacation ... hmmmm ... probably to Maui ... though, it was at the tail-end of summer after everyone else's summer vacations had already ended! (This was before kids, when vacation schedules did not revolve around school!!).

ally said...

I'd have to say last summer... I went on a trip by myself to the US.. got to Atlanta, NY, Pennsylvania, NJ... and it was so fun =)!!!! Sounds like my kind of book too! Count me in :)

Lisa_Gibson said...

I don't remember us doing much during our summers out of school. The one I remember where we actually took a vacation and went somewhere was shortly before my parents divorced. We went to a place in the Smoky Mountains and stayed in an A-frame house. It had a spiral staircase with orange shag carpeting on the steps (lets you know how long ago it was), making each one look like a giant Dorito. I remember riding a little pony one day. It was the last time I remember us having a vacation where we were all together and really happy.

MissV said...

Okay, sign me up...the 23rd is my daughter's, my brother's, AND my sister's birthday (they are not twins) so that's a good sign, right?

Shannon O'Donnell said...

My best summer vacation was when we took our three kids Washington, DC., Jamestown, Yorktown, Mount Vernon, and Colonial Williamsburg. They loved and we loved it. We saw everything, we ate everything, we did everything - and we stayed in a great resort while we did it! :-)

Hayley said...

A comment about my best summer vacation?

I went with an academic group to Hawaii for two weeks, when I was twelve, and I learned about the native culture, got to see two of the islands and had an experience I wont soon forget.

T. Anne said...

I'd LOVE to win an arc of this book. My best summer 'evah? Fifteen, Europe, there was a boy, need I say more? It was one long, hot, summer.

Jemi Fraser said...

THis sounds like a great story - perfect beach read.

My favourite summer vacation was camping up at a nearby campsite with the kids. We canoed, hiked, played and watched a funnel cloud move across the water. :)

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

3 years ago

Entire fam at beach

One big house

13 kids under the age of 12

8 adults

10 days

Sunshine
Sand
Water
Food
Laughter

We plan to repeat this July! ;o)

awesome contest!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Corinne O'Flynn said...

Best summer vacation: Weeks spent in the Catskills as a kid with my aunt and uncle, younger sister, and 2 cousins. Late night roaming, tarzan-style tree swing, lightening bugs, sunrises, and drive-in movies. *sigh*

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

My best summer holiday was last summer. It began with a week long trip to our cabin in Southern MO on a crystal clear lake. That was followed by an awesome trip to the Black Hills of SD and panning for gold. The finale of my summer holiday included a quick trip to England to pick up my daughter (who we let go visit my Dad for a week by herself), my first cross country train ride, my first solo taxi ride across London and a visit with my grandparents. It was a great summer. :)

Riv Re said...

I had a great summer this past year. Working in a day camp in July and having a blast. August was devoted to over-night camp.
I'm a follower.
rivkarno1(at)hotmail(dot)com

Lori W. said...

Best summer vacation = the one before I went away to college. I worked at a resort on one of the Gulf Islands in the Pacific Northwest. I met tons of interesting people, danced at impromptu parties held in the employee bunkhouse, took a little boat to isolated beaches to read and sunbathe half nekkid, and hopped on the back of a motorcycle for picnics up island. It was such a beautiful place. Why have I never written about this before?!

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for the recommendation!

When I was 14, my family went to Switzerland to visit my cousin and his family. They talked my parents into leaving me there for the next couple of months. I got to go to school with my cousins, meet cute boys, make new friends/pen pals, and cook with my cousin's wife.

When they went on their vacation to a beach house in Portugal, I went with them. We drove through France, Spain (I remember fields of sunflowers and stork nests on top of cathedrals), and Portugal to get there, and there was some kind of civil unrest going on in Portugal - barricades and such. One of the leaders of the movement actually got in the car with us and took us through to the other side. Yes, they had guns. But no, I didn't think it was scary.

That summer changed the way I saw myself as a person. I mean, I navigated the airport in Paris on my own to get home, using the French I'd picked up that summer. Guys stopped me on the street to talk to me because they thought I was cute (didn't happen at home). It was one of the best adventures ever.

Carissa said...

ooohh...i want to read that book! my favorite summer vacation was spent driving around the south with my parents and sister for 6 weeks as a kid. great memories!

Janine said...

Favorite summer vacation? Driving across country to spend the summer with my family a few months after getting married. My husband and I had so much fun being irresponsible and playing together!

This book looks like fun

Mandy said...

I live in to Florida, so one year we went to the Gulf and stayed at this one hotel. It's like one of the oldest all wooden hotels or something, downstairs past the lobby they had and ice cream shop inside the hotel, which was really cool. But what I remember most is that the whole hotel was kind of empty and had this all most Titanic feel to it. I dont know but it had the most amazing atmosphere, and I wish to go back someday.