Monday, July 1, 2013

Sweet Summertime Reads: Celebrating the 4th!

In just a few days we'll be celebrating the 4th of July here in the US!  Independence Day is an iconic day for summer, usually spent grilling hot dogs outside + a firework display at night, which goes along with our Sweet Summertime Reads feature.  I've read quite a few books set during the summer months that portray a scene falling on the 4th of July.  Some stories just mention it, while others use it as a catalyst to move the story in a certain direction.  I've chosen two particular books with scenes set during the 4th of July that embody a perfect fictional summer.  Have you read either of these?  Well maybe these teasers will entice you to!

"I leaped from the last boat, hit the yacht club wharf, and ran...

I hadn't realized how hard I'd been running, but my lungs felt like they were about to fall out as I turned backward to watch the latest rocket arc impossibly high into the air. It paused, quiet. Then it burst into a million golden sparks, and the thunder came afterward to thump me in the chest and take my breath away all over again. The sparks faded into the black sky, then came back in a lovely surprise, bursting suddenly brighter and chasing one another around in circles as they fell. The entire bouquet of golden light reflected in the water. The lake looked like it was rising to meet the light instead of the other way around...

That's when I saw him running down the hill...

The fireworks exploded in midair and lit him up. Two new burn holes had appeared in his t-shirt, giving me a peek at his chest. Soot streaked his tanned face, and his curls were dotted with small lengths of white straw. He grinned at me..." [taken from Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols]

"The Fourth of July was sunny and clear, and it fell on a Saturday...
My mother had decided at the last moment to invite the neighbors to a barbecue before we would all head out to the dock to watch the fireworks...

the first hiss of a firework sounded, and I looked over toward the lake. Sure enough, there was the first firework, streaking across the darkening sky like a comet, exploding with a loud bang and turning into a red, white, and blue light. Everyone on the lawn clapped, and then began moving as a group down toward the dock, the better to watch the show...

I tipped my head back and just watched the bursts of color and light that were taking over the sky, reflecting on the water below." [taken from Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson]

While one book is about young love on the 4th of July, the other is about creating a series of memories with a parent who is dying.  Both are excellent reads, and both are among my favorite contemporaries in YA.  Endless Summer has comical romantic elements through out, cultivating into an array of explosions.  Second Chance Summer is a softer, deeper story about taking second chances when it feels like there may be no chances left.

For those in the US, I hope your 4th of July is filled with celebrations of love & laughter!  And if you're needing some reading material for the holiday, I suggest picking up both of these books.


Don't forget to check out Magan + Estelle from Rather Be Reading, as well as Tara from Fiction Folio, for more Sweet Summertime Reads celebrating the 4th in books this week!


  1. ENDLESS SUMMER!!! You know I love my Echols, G! :-) Thanks for reminding me how great these are--I may have to give em a re-read! :-)

  2. How have i not read either of these books yet?!?! Those excerpts make me want to sprint to the library ASAP.

  3. I LOVE Jennifer Echols books, but I haven't read Endless Summer. Sounds like this is the perfect week to do just that :)

  4. I have not read either of these but they're both in my TBR pile!

  5. I haven't read Endless Summer - something about "romantic comedy" makes me nervous, like is it really funny-not-cheesy?? I haven't really found any except for Meant To Be that are really funny. So I haven't taken the plunge on this one! EEK.

    BUT BUT I just bought Second Chance Summer today! Just about an hour ago! How about that for irony?

    You make great cases for them both. (:

  6. I love this! I haven't yet read Endless Summer, but I have read Second Chance Summer and found it BRILLIANT. Thanks for sharing!

  7. great pick! I can tell you thoroughly enjoyed Endless Summer.

  8. i like it,and i can't wait to read


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