Rating 4/5 Coladas
Summer on the Island by Brenda Novak was everything I was hoping it would be and more. At first intimated, I enjoyed the book’s length and how every word painted a beautiful summertime setting that made you feel like you were on Teach Island. And of course, there was the plot twist that you could feel coming and made it almost impossible to put down the book until your suspicions are confirmed.
Summer on the Island follows the story of three friends, Marlow, Aida, and Claire, as they escape the hustle and bustle of their LA lives for a slower-paced summer at Marlow’s family beach home to self-reflect and remember what’s important to them. Each friend is navigating different battles from career changes, divorce, and loss of homes and businesses. You can tell immediately it’s going to be an interesting summer. Once on the island, they are met with many life-changing decisions, nostalgic memories, secrets, and most importantly, the possibility of new and exciting love. I also appreciated that the book took place in the present day or during the pandemic, making it easier to identify with the characters and feel like real-life versus a novel.
Initially, I didn’t think this book would be wholly a love story, but after the first couple of chapters, you can sense there will be a torrid love affair between Marlow and someone from her past, with whom she has a long and sordid history. I became fully invested in this love story and how it would end because there was something about Marlow that I identified with and made me root for her. As a 35-year-old divorce attorney, Marlow has seen love crash and burn more than she can even stomach. The only successful relationship she looks up to is her mother and father’s marriage – which we learn wasn’t as perfect as she believed. It was honestly no surprise that, up until this summer, Marlow had written off love, marriage, and even a family altogether. But as the summer goes along, she does a lot of self-reflection from her younger days and is swept up by the nostalgia of her past life. This introspection paves a path for a heated and passionate summer she hadn’t initially expected, but finds she’s not opposed. However, when a gut-wrenching secret comes out, you think this may be the last straw for Marlow, which may harden her heart to love forever, wreck everything she knows to be true about love, and make her question the reality of this newfound love on Teach.
In summary, Summer on the Island by Brenda Novak is a perfectly-timed love story perfect for easy reading that you can take with you anywhere. The book is an excellent read during your breaks, park trips, or travel and vacation reading. If you love a contemporary romance novel I highly recommend; you’ll find yourself swept up in the nostalgia and passion of the story and reinvigorated to continue reading all summer.
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