I've written and re-written this first paragraph so many times that I've actually lost count at this point. I keep trying to find a way to introduce Summer Sisters in a way that does the book justice, and I keep failing. I want to find a way to express how pleasantly surprised I was to find an adult book that so effortlessly crossed from childhood to adulthood; that so perfectly captured both the innocent curiosity of middle-schoolers and the angsty trials of college and first loves and first heartbreaks; that so wonderfully explored the nuance of childhood friendships as they bend and twist and turn into adult friendships.
I expected to enjoy Summer Sisters more than Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, but I didn't expect the characters and situations of Summer Sisters to resonate with me quite as much as they did. Without ever having had a summer sister of my own, Blume's depiction of a complicated friendship founded on love and respect and competition and possessiveness felt scarily close to a real-life description of my relationship with my one-time best friend. Though I never vacationed on the Vineyard for summers on end, I fully appreciated Blume's representation of that one perfect, important summer in youth that remains crystallized in memories for years and years. Though I am not as young now as some were when they first came to Summer Sisters, I so truly appreciate Blume's frank and candid depictions of sex and sexuality from middle school through adulthood.
My only regret is not having read the damn book sooner--something I hope to correct with more of Blume's works to come. Those who've read her everythings: what should I read next??
What did you think? If this was your first time reading Blume, was it a good entry point? If you're revisiting the book, what was it like as a re-read? How is Blume's work in young adult different from her work in adult fiction?
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