Friday, 10 January 2014

That One Summer, Series Review!


The Boys of Summer
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.
Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.
All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.
It will be a summer she will always remember.
An Endless Summer
Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in a silent study.
“Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”
I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”
A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?”
After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:
Boarding School.
Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.
How had her dad let it come to this?
With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.
In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.
That One Summer
Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …
He sure could kiss.
As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.
So that can only mean one thing: road trip!
No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.
She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?
After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.
Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.
Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.
Overall Thoughts!
Setting-  I'm always on the look out for different settings especially Australia so I was thrilled to find a whole series! As I'm British the slang made much more sense to me than American slang and I loved that it was a summery Christmas read! Onslow was quaint and I enjoyed the lake setting. The Onslow Hotel was a fantastic base for the series and the characters. I loved how it evolved throughout the series as a workplace, a home and a business. I did however enjoy the road trip aspect of That One Summer as it gave the chance to experience more of Australia!
Characters- I loved almost the whole cast of characters especially their progression throughout the series. Tess, Ellie and Adam, who feature prominently in The Boys of Summer, are such a tight knit fun group of friends. I liked their chemistry and friendship . I loved revisiting their friendship, Tess and Toby's relationship and Adam and Ellie's obvious chemistry through in later books through different perspectives and over time.  Ellie and Adam are particular favourites of mine. Ellie seems to be quite a misunderstood character, other characters are always mistaking her actions or making assumptions about her. I love her energy and friendly personality. Adam is also such a fun light hearted character. I was sad he didn't feature as much as I'd anticipate in the first book but his later appearances show how perspective and thoughtful he is. I'm intrigued as to what he did in the army and looking forward to Ellie and Adam realising what a great couple they could be!
The Onslow Boys themselves were an interesting group! I loved how light hearted and witty they all were, with the exception of Chris. Stan was such a sweet guy, I loved his evolution throughout the series. Chris was very serious but it was great seeing him through different perspectives and finally in That One Summer seeing a fun relaxed side. Sean was my favourite Onslow boy, he was so witty and caring I loved how he helped Amy out in Endless Summer without any expectations. Amy and Tammy were a good duo, they were complete opposites! I liked how after a few years apart their perspectives of each other were equally as complimentary! 
Timeline- I really loved the time between the books. The first two had quite a large gap which was perfect for things to change and evolve however the ending of the second book left you with immediate questions so the gap was much shorter. I also enjoyed that the series takes place in the 1990s, it makes the books stand out and there is much less technology!
Plot-  I really enjoyed and loved how each book wasn't solely focussed on the main relationship. The characters developed and grew, the book's explored their friendships, families and education as well as updating all the Onslow news. Each book felt completely different plot and main character wise, this made the series well rounded, interesting and compelling.
The Boys of Summer
I always find the first book in a series involves a lot of scene setting and the characters of The Boys of Summer were much younger. I did love the camaraderie between Tess, Ellie and Adam and how Tess grew in confidence and self esteem throughout the summer. I loved the scene with Tess and Adam curtailing any romantic developments.
I found The Boys of Summer full of sweet moments and fun scenes!
An Endless Summer
Amy had seemed so bratty in The Boys of Summer so I was looking forward to finding out more about her. I loved her determination to bring the Onslow back to it's former glory. Sean had grown even more witty especially around Amy and the slow development of their relationship was well written. I loved how all the 'old' gang came back to help out and I'm looking forward to reading more about what they got up to! I think out of all the protagonists so far Amy grew the most as a person and found her direction.
That One Summer
If I'm honest I wasn't too sold on the idea of Tammy and Chris but this book changed my mind! Tammy was a completely different person to the persona Amy had given her and I found her very layered. Chris was still bossy and hard to read but he was visibly warmer to Tammy. I think they went perfectly together.  I did find Tammy's inability to read social situations e.g Ellie and Toby and Chris's feelings equally endearing and frustrating. The setting of a road trip and camping added a different dimension to this instalment which made a nice change. That One Summer had different feel to the others, possibly because Tammy was much more timid and on the outside, I loved the relationship between her and Chris and the 1999 setting.

I can't believe I left this series for so long! I cannot wait to catch up with all the  characters and finally get Ellie and Adam's story!

Which is your favourite?
Much Love!

1 comment:

  1. Great reviews I love the sounds of this series and how big a cast it is - I love a lot of characters in stories like these especially when they're so well developed! Glad you liked it!


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